When someone yells at me, I get scared. I assume I did something wrong and they are right.
I tend to be a people pleaser. Which is not the best way to be.
I had to figure out what kinds of people there are, how I react to them, and if there are better ways to react to them.
A) Happy People
Some people seem to be happy all the time. They seem good-natured and nothing seems to bother them.
At first I would sometimes resent these people. How come they are so happy?
Maybe I would even be jealous? Maybe they were happy because they were rich or good looking or better than me in every way.
But, “dress for the job you want”.
I have to always remind myself to be happy for the happy people.
I don’t know if this is easy for some people. It was not easy for me. It’s a daily practice. But it works.
B) People in pain.
It’s hard to see a homeless person in the street. Or have a relative in the hospital. Or a friend in jail.
I often don’t know how to deal with it. Sometimes I’ve been stupid and have avoided these people.
But compassion is a muscle. And it’s important to exercise. And the best way to change someone’s life is when they really need your help and you have the ability to give it.
Exercising compassion is probably the healthiest muscle to exercise.
I tell my daughters at the end of each day to ask, “who did I help today?”
And I can’t tell them to do that unless I ask myself that question also.
The people who need help are the people in pain.
C) Good people
Some people might not be happy but are good.
It’s easy to be jealous of Bill Gates. I was jealous of him for a long time. I wanted to believe he created bad products and illegal monopolies and so on.
But he’s giving $100 billion to charity. And he’s on his way to curing Malaria in Africa and solving many other billion-person problems.
This is the type of person I’d like to be. The sort of person who can solve these types of problems. And if I want to be in the Justice League of America along with Bill Gates and other big philanthropists then the real super power is to try and help them now and be a supporter of their efforts.
D) High-tempered (Crappy) People.
It’s never the person down the street.
It’s never the person on the subway.
You know what to do with them if, for some reason, they yell at you. You simply leave. You go away. You never speak to them again.
But what if it’s a boss, a friend, a family member, someone you come into regular contact with.
And they are yelling, which is abusive, and they are taking advantage. For me, because i was trying too hard to be liked, it was easy to take advantage of me.
This was not the crappy person’s fault. It was my fault for opening the door.
You have to close the door.
Take a break.
Skip a holiday dinner.
Life is short. You can’t let anyone abuse you, you can’t let anyone be crazy on you.
Yes, maybe it’s because they need help. But if the only way to help them is to damage yourself then that’s the wrong kind of help.
Be kind, be compassionate, but limit contact. Even with a boss. Nod “hi” in the hallways…and look for another job before he or she yells again.
This is the way people have trained and domesticated wild animals for hundreds of thousands of years.
For all of these things, the same premise applies: Act like the person you want to become.
Dress for the job you want, else other people will give you the job they want you to have. And it won’t be as good.
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James Altucher is the author of the bestselling book Choose Yourself, editor at The Altucher Report and host of the popular podcast, The James Altucher Show, which takes you beyond business and entrepreneurship by exploring what it means to be human and achieve well-being in a world that is increasingly complicated.