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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Lessons from Jake: Dog Fight!

I spent last week back home in Cleveland, and I took my dog Jake with me. If I didn’t think Jake needed a dog trainer before, I know he does now. He and my dad’s dog Bentley were natural enemies from the start. They were kept in separate sides of the house. It was crazy! What’s a poor pet owner to do!

I’ve had Jake for just a few months but he has taught me a lot so far. His ‘issues’ with Bentley made me think, “What happens when we humans encounter people that just rub us the wrong way?”

I’m a chronic (and recovering) people pleaser. I really, really, really want everyone to like me. However, as I’ve gotten older, I have realized that some people just don’t like me … and that’s okay. There are also people (not many but a few) that rub me the wrong way … and that is okay, too.

Here are four things to keep in mind when you find yourself dealing with someone you just don’t like.
  1. Functional, not friendly. You can be cordial. You don’t have to be besties but acting respectfully and making basic conversation should be possible.
  2.  Don’t share your dislike. Everyone doesn’t have to know how you feel about this person, this is especially true if they are family members!
  3. Limit your contact. Chances are you’ll have to see this person at some time. However, you don’t need to sit right next to them on a 12-hour road trip or rub elbows with them over Thanksgiving dinner!
  4. Don’t do the drama! Yes, you aren’t crazy about this person. Yes, they probably aren’t crazy about you either. However, do not dissect their every move or comment, looking for dirt. Looking for ways to dislike the person even more isn’t productive or helpful.
You might be oil and the other person could be vinegar. It's okay. Dislike doesn't have to descend into disgust. It is what it is. In the meantime, Jake will have a seat in some training program very soon!

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