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Thread: How do I stop myself from talking back?

  1. #1
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    How do I stop myself from talking back?

    Iíve had the realisation that I will be easier to work with if I say yes to peopleís instructions and requests, and made the decision that I want to be a person who says yes and does the thing even if the thing is impossible or I think itís the wrong way to do the thing. Problem is in the thick of it I still find myself argueing the point.

    Is there anyway I can practice or drill this into my subconscious so my knee jerk reaction changes?

  2. #2

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    I have the same issue as you currently as far as having an argumentative personality goes. Unfortunately, there's no straight-edge way to overcome it. It takes active thought about it and sheer will power to not talk back. It eventually gets easier and easier to suppress it as you go, but I wouldn't say it ever completely goes away. Personally, I'm nearing the end of my teenage years, so hormones have made it extremely hard to overcome the talking back (and believe me, teenagers are the EXPERTS of believing they're always right), but just forcing myself to not talk back through actively thinking about it every day made the urge to retort slowly subside. Hopefully this perspective has helped a bit. Best of luck!!!

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    Can you provide examples?

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    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    You're right that getting along with people on your job will ensure better outcomes for you. Especially during layoffs when companies shed their most 'negative' or 'difficult' workers first.

    To avoid kneejerking a resistance to requests, consider answering, "Sure, I'd like to do that." Then, if an issue with the request occurs to you, avoid stating that in the form of an argument, but rather, frame it as a question. For instance, ask what they might suggest you do when you encounter [the issue].

    The 'appearance' of being reasonable is often more important than actually being reasonable. If you foresee barriers to doing something another way, first accept the request in order to establish that you're on the same side, and then raise questions and ask for suggestions as to potential ways to resolve those.

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Live and let live. There's more than one way to do anything. More importantly your way is not necessarily the "right" way. People have their opinions and thoughts on things just as you do so let them express that. Short term therapy may also help to identify "knee jerk" combativeness origins and solutions.

    If it a superior giving instruction, just get it done. Combativeness can be about many things. Insecurity, arrogance, mood or personality issues, stress,bad habits, etc. Only you know what drives it. Also pick your battles. Ask yourself "how important is this to spend time debating over?".
    Originally Posted by 1a1a
    Problem is in the thick of it I still find myself argueing the point. Is there anyway I can practice or drill this into my subconscious so my knee jerk reaction changes?

  7. #6
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    Two specific examples from current job; we had to unpack a truck which means rolling a lot of boxes of varying weights down a ramp. Industry standard is to stand in front of the box and wal it down backwards so you have all of your body and strength to prevent it from rolling away out of control. I took down one that was a bit too heavy and it tried to wobble away from me (ramp has little bumpers on the side that saved it from rolling off). Boss advises walking it down behind (so as to not be hurt in the event of one being too heavy I think). I responded to that with something about how Iíd been told elsewhere to always walk them down with myself in front. The boss then proceeds to take down a heavy box his way and literally slides the last 2 metres (being pulled along by momentum).

    The other example was from today and it one I wished Iíd just done what he asked. Again, itís standard to tape cables up to truss on the outside of the truss. Means when youíre packing it all up at the end of the show you can pull the cables off, snapping the tape in the process and everything falls to the floor ready to be coiled up. Boss asks me to run it through the truss because that will be quicker. I say it wonít be quicker because Iíll stlll have to move the ladder at multiple points. Boss says it will be better for the out. And I think I reply something like Will it?í Which was enough lack of compliance for him to say Ďgo help other bossí and just do it himself

    I guess mindfulness is key. Iíll try writing a reminder note and sticking it on the dash Ďyesí.....

    Those are great buying time suggestions catfeeder (I think I might remember them from my other thread in a similar vein)

    The other kind of thing that causes me to argue instead of doing is when I think the requested task isnít possible (from an old thread/thing that happened, being asked to turn down the volume of a live band and saying I canít because the volume isnít coming from the pa).

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    Forum Supporter Jibralta's Avatar
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    I can see your side in the first two scenarios, actually. The first one, in particular. But even the second one because you know what you're doing and why.

    But as you've noticed, your delivery is coming off poorly. You're in a tough situation.

    In the first case, following your boss's advice could have resulted in damaged equipment. Do you still comply because he's the boss? Honestly, I don't know. Probably the best thing to do would have been to ask for help in the first place, so as not to lose control of a box and be subject to unsolicited advice.

    The second case was a good exercise in swallowing your own pride. Sure, maybe you were right. But what's the difference. Whether it takes 10 minutes or 20 minutes to wrap up some cables, you are still getting paid. In the future, look for this type of opportunity to comply with what your boss is telling you. Even if you think he's wrong. Just pretend to yourself that you might learn a better way to do something.

    The third scenario is one where a statement like, "Let me see what I can do" will help you out a lot. It doesn't shut the other person completely down, but it doesn't make promises, either. When you come back a couple minutes later, they will at least feel as though you tried to help them.

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    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 1a1a
    The boss then proceeds to take down a heavy box his way and literally slides the last 2 metres (being pulled along by momentum).
    Is this a bad thing, or an easier way? I'd speak with him to ask whether working from behind is safer, and what kind liability for damage your could face if you lose control from behind. I'd also ask if there's a way you can put two people on the heaviest stuff to spot it down.

    Originally Posted by 1a1a
    Means when youíre packing it all up at the end of the show you can pull the cables off, snapping the tape in the process and everything falls to the floor ready to be coiled up. Boss asks me to run it through the truss because that will be quicker.
    Consider answering, "Okay, but we can't just cut it down afterward--is that all right with you?"

    Originally Posted by 1a1a
    The other kind of thing that causes me to argue instead of doing is when I think the requested task isnít possible (from an old thread/thing that happened, being asked to turn down the volume of a live band and saying I canít because the volume isnít coming from the pa).
    "I wish I could do that, but the volume doesn't come from the PA, it comes from 'x'. Let me look into this for you and see what I can do..." Or, if you can't leave your post, "I'd suggest speaking with that guy over there. His name is [His Name,] and he can manage the output."

    In other words, start with a cooperative statement, then ask your question or offer a helpful alternative. You're smart to lose the kneejerk 'no' habit, and like any other habit, it's just a matter of catching it and replacing it with something more positive.

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    I have the same issues as well. I only say no when I see something not morale right. I see time and time again that people do things just to be fake and avoid the morale truth. It could be taken in many ways, but I find it hard to not say yes when I know the background and the reasons behind it. So I feel you big time.
    Last edited by mbc230; 02-12-2019 at 10:12 AM.

  11. #10
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    Originally Posted by Jibralta
    I can see your side in the first two scenarios, actually. The first one, in particular. But even the second one because you know what you're doing and why.

    But as you've noticed, your delivery is coming off poorly. You're in a tough situation.

    In the first case, following your boss's advice could have resulted in damaged equipment. Do you still comply because he's the boss? Honestly, I don't know. Probably the best thing to do would have been to ask for help in the first place, so as not to lose control of a box and be subject to unsolicited advice.

    The second case was a good exercise in swallowing your own pride. Sure, maybe you were right. But what's the difference. Whether it takes 10 minutes or 20 minutes to wrap up some cables, you are still getting paid. In the future, look for this type of opportunity to comply with what your boss is telling you. Even if you think he's wrong. Just pretend to yourself that you might learn a better way to do something.

    The third scenario is one where a statement like, "Let me see what I can do" will help you out a lot. It doesn't shut the other person completely down, but it doesn't make promises, either. When you come back a couple minutes later, they will at least feel as though you tried to help them.
    Yes! Delivery. Do a sandwich - positive reaction first, then maybe something constructive that might come across as a criticism, then positive

    "Yes, sure thing Boss! So, sometimes I find that if you do it ____ way it [is more efficient] just let me know if next time you want me to try it that way. " (then get busy and do your work).

    And yes sometimes you just have to swallow it and do it their way, and with a smile. Yes, if it could be actually dangerous or if it would then be inconsistent with what his superior told you to do, you need to bring that up diplomatically.

    Show that you're a team player. At all times. And that your interest is in the bottom line of the company, not being "right"

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