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Tips for Dealing with Difficult People

Perusing Facebook you may come across one of your friends posts that refers to some interesting life hack to make the day-to-day a bit simpler. If you really want to know about a life hack, ask your grandma or someone else’s grandma. Sounds silly or absurd but I cannot tell you what a wealth of information our family and elders can be with real life advice in her most simplistic form. My suggestion is to find someone who was born at least 1954 or older, the Baby Boomers are fabulous for advice from careers, life, love, and finances.

The Baby Boomer generation was raised in a similarly volatile time as us GenX crowd are living now. They were young 20 and 30somethings who were paving the career path, blazing the trails of innovation and progress. The mortgage crisis happened before… in the 80s, only interest rates were as high or higher than most unemployment rates; we are talking double digits. The personal computer and microwave were huge luxuries for this crowd. A cell phone? Forget it, those were only for the elite of the business echelon.

Some of my favorite life hacks from my favorite grandparents, my parents are included as they are now grandparents to my children, have made my life more fruitful and interesting to say the least. My grandfather, grandmother and father shared this nugget with me, but I am going to explain how you can really make this work for you in your life.

  • Vinegar is best used at home. But honey is for everything.

Have you heard the term “you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar?” If so then this is a great and simple life hack for all your situations. Vinegar is always a treating or cleansing agent. Bug bite? Use vinegar. Stinky clothes? Vinegar. If you want to piss off your boss and separate yourself from your success, pour on the vinegar. When in the thick of a bad situation, we often let our emotions get the better of us. You know that feeling where your chest tightens up a little, as do the muscles in your neck, shoulders and back, contracting from the tension. The blood in your face begins to burn your cheeks, you literally feel like the venom of frustration and anger are pulsing through your veins. At that moment the best course of action is to do nothing. Just breathe.

Boy-That-Escalated-Quickly-AnchormanIf you are like me, you may look to solve problems and use common sense for the most basic and seemingly complex and abstract situations in life. You might also want to pop off at the individual who just verbally vomited something doltish. Instead of being right, be righteous. Be the honey.

Honey is an organic sweetener and fabulous for everything, including dealing with people. When you know someone has just spewed off nonsense that you are certain is incorrect, smooth on the honey and ask them a question. For instance I saw a post the other day in a fitness forum I am co-leading and I saw how a young woman posted that she did an hour of rigorous cardio PRIOR to lifting weights. Rather than telling her she was blatantly wrong, the best method that I applied was asking her the science of cardio prior to weights. I asked, “don’t you lift prior to cardio, so you aren’t burning all your energy prior to lifting?” I’ll divulge the details of the science for you.

When participating in cardiovascular activity you are taxing your muscles of all the glycogen stores. So your muscles are helping to provide your energy to run, walk, whatever your poison for cardio. If immediately you jump off the treadmill and hit the weights you are going to be gassed and your body taxes those muscles again for energy and in some cases your body begins to eat at the muscles instead of fat stores. This is not a good idea. Lift first tearing into those muscles and then do 65% heart rate cardio so your body turns to excess fat for energy. Lean muscle mass and fat loss synthesize during this time.

My honey method started a conversation. If I had told her she was wrong, and hadn’t explained to her after she provided her thoughts, my vinegar would have put her on the defense and caused a rift. Also, the post was not about me being right or her being right, but how I could help someone reach their potential and take additional steps towards their goal.

Just remember that certain situations are not always about you. Pouring on the honey, though not too thick or you can really find yourself in a sticky situation, can help a dose of medicine be swallowed. You will feel better knowing you didn’t throw an Irish car bomb of know it all at the individual and you gain an ally as well.

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