In my last two posts I talked about the unproductive games we play in our lives and how they keep us from getting the love and happiness we all want.
For most of us, playing one game or another has been a life-long habit and it will take awareness and practice to overcome and replace them with more productive ones. Below I am listing several more games and ways to change them. Please feel free to add what you observe about your own habits in the comment section. Sharing them will help other people to identify their own.
The Being Late Game – Running late every once in a while is part of our hectic lifestyle and if you live in LA it’s often due to an overly congested city. Some people, however, are always late. I had a client once who was at least 30, if not 60 minutes late to each of our appointments. After first addressing the issue and then charging for the unused time, I finally had to end the coaching relationship because it became utterly unproductive.
The being late game is a subtle way of dominating others by constantly letting them wait for you. If this is a pattern in your life, be honest with yourself: Is it really due to the circumstances? To change this habit you need to see for yourself the importance of being on time. Then, you will be able to follow through with it. Otherwise, you may lose a few friends or business partners.
Acting Nice – I talked about this game before and I am putting it up here again. It’s an easy one to miss because truly, what can be so bad about being nice, right?
Acting nice is a way of not being honest with yourself and others. It’s putting on a smile when what you really want is to punch. It’s skirting around the issue without ever getting to the point.
It probably started in childhood: “Be nice,” your mother may have told you, “be a good girl.” Observe yourself, do you look the other way when people misbehave? Do you avoid conflict at all cost? Are people walking all over you? Learning to speak up and to tell it like it is can be very hard if you never learned how to do so. A great way to practice this is by role playing specific situations with a person that knows you and can help you to express yourself. Give it a try. As with everything, it will get easier with practice!
Know-It-All – Are you someone who always has to have the last word? Or, do you know that people get frustrated with you because they can’t ever get their point across?
Not being able to express themselves can leave others exhausted and angry; they will feel isolated, misunderstood and will ultimately avoid your company.
Give people some room to express their own opinions. Hold your tongue even if you think you have a really important point to make and remember, there are many different ways of looking at one and the same issue. Your way does not have to be the only one.
As always, thank you for reading.
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