What's REALLY Bothering You?

A huge part of my job is highlighting habits that we all do that cause interpersonal conflict. 

Rarely does intense interpersonal  conflict rise from a singular event. Most often it comes from a series of events that have been compounded. 

When you yelled at your husband because he left his socks left on the floor, I bet it wasn't the first time. I will also bet that the misplacement of those garments is not really the issue. Most likely you are feeling unappreciated, tired, unheard, threatened or some related  sentiment.

People ask me all the time why I  deal in the "touchy feel-ly" or "soft" skills. Someone once described soft skills  as a set of personal qualities  habits, attitudes, and social graces that make  someone compatible to work with. 

I like this  definition because it refers to these skills as habits, attitudes, and social  graces. All of which are "touched" and "felt" by us all everyday we are not living in isolation. 

Often we deal with how to handle what to do AFTER someone  blows up, and that is important, but we need to attack this at the front end as well. That is why I focus on interpersonal skills.

The good news is that these sets of qualities,  habits, and attitudes can be tweaked and changed with knowledge, skill, application, and coaching.

Going back to our example, I cautiously say  perhaps the problem with your husband leaving his socks on the floor may not be  your husband. Consider for a moment if the issue is with your  attitudes, beliefs, or habits (ducks as you swing at me)

Your  attitude, beliefs, and habits surrounding the issue could be causing compounded  grief, frustration, and anger. I am not saying he is off the hook. What I am  saying is that you can do something to keep small stuff small and deal with the  REAL issue at hand. 

1. Identify the real issue.

2. Come up with a plan to control your triggers going forward.
3. Prepare and then speak with the offending party. NEVER confront without a plan.

These steps are useful  when faced with annoying habits  by not only your spouse, but also your  co-worker, boss, or teenager. You might need some help identifying the REAL  issues, your triggers, and putting together a plan. 

Though simple, these steps can take on greater complexity as you try to implement them into your unique situation. BRAVE is here to coach you through.Contact  me today!


  1. Very well said. I am in a tough spot right now and have noticed that I am "short" with people and easily frustrated. This was helpful. Oh...and I like the "ducks as you swing at me part" made me laugh. It also reminded me of why I like to read your blog. :)

    1. Andrea, I would suggest we dig to the root of what is making you "short" with people. Once we did past the fatigue and apathy, usually there is a core belief that is being challenged that makes us build up walls. The good news is it doesn't take long to walk through those steps to find stress relief. Let me know if I can help!