Do Nasty People impact Your Overall Health?

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What do ‘Nasty People’ have to do with your overall health and wellbeing as a physician? Well, nothing directly … but how you choose to deal with the people you encounter each day can have a HUGE impact on how you emotionally & physically feel!

Do your patients get nasty with you when they don’t get an appointment that they want or when you are running late or when they don’t feel like they are getting the answers they need? Does your office staff annoy you at times and become snippy with you when you are asking them why they overbooked you? What about the people you encounter on your commute or in your daily tasks throughout the day?

Do you ever argue with someone and then find that you physically don’t feel too good or that you are exhausted from all that negative energy you exerted (or all the negative energy coming from that person)??

There are many studies that prove that stress has a negative impact on our Health — so why do we choose to get upset when some nasty or annoying person is rude to us or treats us poorly? If I choose to get upset or yell at that person, it sure is NOT going to change how that person is going to continue to behave. (Matter of fact, it may make things worse).

If it is someone that just cut me off on the road, I let it go. If it is someone that is talking to me, I am respectful, but firm in my voice, never yell and just take the corporate/professional approach. I am a firm believer in treating people the way I would want to be treated — and yes, that still applies to the people that are ‘nasty’. Of course, the tone in my voice is far more light-hearted when I am speaking with someone who has a pleasant disposition and is friendly and considerate. But, I refuse to get all angry & frustrated when I encounter the ‘nasty person’.

I also remind myself that ‘you never know what other people’s baggage is’. Maybe that person is being nasty because their spouse just left them. Maybe their boss just chewed them out for just doing their job. Maybe they have been treated poorly their whole life and don’t know any other way to treat people. Maybe they were just told that they have 5 months to live…. the list can go on. We simply just don’t know why people act the way they do… but one thing I do know is that YOU have a choice on how you respond, behave and act with people. You are in control of your own actions. So, the next time that someone ‘pisses you off’, take the high road… and add a few years to your life by responding in a neutral way.

Here’s an equation that may help you to remember how best to respond to those people that get under your skin … E + R = O

E= Event (which is always neutral — an event that occurs is neither positive or negative — we put that judgement on it)

R= Our response to the event (Negative or Positive)

O = Outcome (which is all based on our response since the event is actually neutral)

For example, let’s say it rains on your golf day. The event is ‘it’s raining on your golf day’. You can choose to respond by getting all upset and being annoyed that you can’t golf that day (negative response) OR you can choose to say ‘oh well, maybe I will go out with my friends today and grab a bite to eat, instead’ or ‘maybe I will read that book I have been wanting to read and curl up with that warm comfy blanket’. Now, what do you think the outcome would be for these two very different types of responses… the one where you are upset because you can’t golf will probably ruin your whole day (negative outcome). The other response will probably keep you in a good mood and you will end up having a pleasant day after all, despite the rain.

This may all seem trivial, but when you have a career that demands so much of you physically and emotionally, it is crucial that you minimize your stress level, maintain a positive and healthy attitude as often as you can and make sure that you do things and behave in a way that maintains your energy level or increases it … not things that diminish your energy level.

Do yourself a favor, the next time you encounter a ‘nasty person’ or have an event happen to you that you perceive as ‘negative’, ask yourself the following question:

“How could I respond to this differently that would positively impact how I feel on the inside?” And then … JUST DO IT!

Have a Lovin’ Life week! 🙂

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