The past 3 weeks has been busy with listening to books. I've listened to "Coping with Difficult People" by Robert Bramson, "21 Ways to Defuse Anger and Calm People Down" by Michael Staver, "The Believing Brain" by Michael Shermer, "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable" by Patrick Lencioni, "Your Brain at Work" by David Rock, "Verbal Art of Self Defense" by Suzette Haden Elgin and "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. I've noticed some similarities with some of the subjects with the books. The book, "Your Brain at Work" discusses at one point the anger people have and "21 Ways to Defuse Anger" actually discusses and deals with that subject a bit more. "Your Brain at Work" also discusses some of the ideas further emphasized in "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" and quite possibly "How to Win Friends".
It is interesting to me how there is some overlap with the books, where one book does not explain the brain fundamentals in "21 Ways" and "Five Dysfunctions", it is explained in "Your Brain at Work". It is helpful to fill in the gaps and relate the topics together. Interesting "Brain Bugs" does also help with the inner workings as well explaining how the brain works or doesn't work.
What is interesting is that with all of these books with dealing with people, the common thread is that you don't deal with people by being mean or being a jerk. This causes the opposite affect as the brain rejects the idea as it is triggering its threat response. The best way to deal with someone is by getting their dopamine levels raised. You can train someone better with treats and praise without them even realizing what you are doing.
Not quite manipulation, since from some of the books, people can tell when someone is faking. Much like when people realize someone isn't truly smiling. The brain knows what people can't quite put in words triggering a response that isn't normally favorable to the one attempting to do the manipulation. Of course, this does work, but generally triggers the threat response without the person realizing why.
My normal response has been, "Tough Love" and I'm realizing now the reason it has never worked. I simply thought, incorrectly, that if they knew how right I was and competent and logical my solution was that the person would understand and follow through with my plan. However, it is the way you say things that drive people against or for you. The problem, I suppose, is that it takes a lot of practice and while I'm putting some of the ideas into how I deal with people, I still tend to revert back to my asshole self.
People are motivated by many things and I think the "Verbal Art of Self Defense" says it best, "Assume that the person says is true for them." To often we don't do that and it leads to misunderstandings.
It is frustrating when you are talking to someone and they (you think) assume that you are an idiot and reject what you are saying as wrong based on the premise of missing information. Instead of questioning their train of thought and asking for further clarification, the thought patterns leads down one of trolling. You end up thinking the person is unfair, since the person never let you explain your idea and kept insulting it and they simply continue thinking you don't know what you are talking about.
Spin this around and applying the Verbal art of Self Defense, we can probably apply some of the rules from 21 Ways to Defuse Anger and approach this conversation a different way that leads the person to understanding your train of thought and accepting your idea. It is difficult. "Your Brain at Work" does discuss many techniques for how to remain calm and continue thinking with a cool head, but it takes practice. It takes never being angry, because anger prevents the thought flow. More than that it takes working through your anger so that it doesn't simply remain in the background waiting to boil over. It is very difficult.
To often I remember becoming so angry that I couldn't think straight. Of course, both "Your Brain at Work" and "21 Ways to Defuse Anger" explain why, more so in "Your Brain at Work" and alluded to in "21 Ways".
It is interesting that by listening to these books after each other that it makes more sense. The Verbal Art of Self Defense and 21 Ways to Defuse Anger talks about practical ways to handle situations, however understanding the underlying reasons why your brain acts the way it does helps too.
I find this topic interesting and it is nice that these books are short and are, I think, made to be listened to over and over again. Which I think is how the ideas really start to stick. Applying maybe one or two techniques from each book will probably be better since you will be better off as a person and in relationships. I also think that the full wealth of the books will be researching them as you would a bible until the techniques and information in the books or audio listens become second nature.
It is difficult to change one's behavior. I know this intimately well. Taking baby steps seems to be working well for me and I look forward to hopefully being in enough situations where I can learn and apply more of what I learned from these books. It is a good thing I think to never be in a situation to need Verbal Art of Self Defense or 21 Ways to Defuse Anger, but also bad since you'll never have the apply the techniques in order to drill them into your mind with practice.