Question: How do you deal with a challenging situation? Answer: Be nice.

Question: How do you deal with a challenging situation? Answer: Be nice.

Hi All. I hope that you have all had a good week. How did you find my blog post from last week? Did you take on board any of the advice about finding happiness to be helpful? Let me know if you found it helpful. Plus if you want any more advice around that area please let me know.

As some of you know who follow my weekly blogs, each week I look at things which are either experienced by lived experience of the moment and or inspired by the fitness and wellness journey that I am currently on. Last week I looked at finding happiness. This week I am going to look at the other side of that emotional coin, the side of being more assertive in life, something which may help you in your training, your wellbeing, your work and or your personal life. How am I going to do this, you may ask? I am going to look at…being nice. 

I love movies. Ever since I had eyes, and glasses which could help me appreciate the visual spectacle of movies, I have loved the craft of movie making. As a young male growing up the 80s and 90s, I was also exposed to big action movies, headed by action heavyweights such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, and of course, Patrick Swayze.

Patrick Swayze was riding the wave of success in the 80s and early 90s. He was huge in ‘Dirty Dancing’ (1987), ‘Road House’ (1989), ‘Ghost’ (1990) and ‘Point Break’ (1991). He did some other projects which did not fair that well, especially in the late 90s, but saw somewhat of a career resurgence with the critically acclaimed cult classic ‘Donnie Darko’ in 2001. Sadly, Patrick Swayze passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2009 at the relatively young age of 57, but his movies live on. 

It could be suggested that Swayze’s peak was in the late 80s, and whilst I enjoyed ‘Ghost’ and ‘Point Break’, his role as the bouncer Dalton in ‘Road House’, a film which I have recently revisited, is an entertaining standout.

Why, may you ask, is this film a standout? Well, apart from embodying the tough guy protagonist of the late 80s, it was an uncharacteristically controlled and self-regulated tough guy that stood the character apart. What also set them apart was their three rules, which will form the basis for this week’s blog.

Dalton: Don’t worry about it; all you have to do is follow 3 simple rules: One, never underestimate your opponent..expect the unexpected; Two, take it outside, never start anything inside the bar unless it’s absolutely necessary; and Three…be nice.

(Bit of pre-warning: contains a bit of language NSFW)

Rule Number One: Never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected. This is a rule that can be used in life, in a professional setting and in a personal setting. Never underestimate the competition. Always be planning more, reading more. Your opponent may be playing it cool, but trust me, they are up early every morning while you sleep getting in more time to perfect their craft. Also, expect the unexpected. Life will throw you a curve ball every now and then. When it does, it can be difficult. In my blog ‘Adapting to the unexpected’ ( https://fitforanyage.co.uk/2019/04/19/adapting-to-the-unexpected/ ) I look at adapting to the unexpected and change, and how to grow and learn from the experience.

Rule Number Two: Take it outside. Never start anything unless it is absolutely necessary. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Choose your battles wisely”? Maybe your mom told you this when you asked advice about how to handle a tricky situation at work. Maybe it’s what older married couples said the first time you thought your spouse took a disagreement too far. “Choose your battles wisely” simply means there is a time to fight and a time to back down and save the fight for another day. Backing down is not always easy. Sometimes our pride gets in the way. Instead of weighing the pros and cons, we make unwise decisions to prove a point. Never start anything unless it is absolutely necessary. And if you do, do it professionally and discreetly. People like to air their dirty laundry on social media and have full on arguments. I’ve seen it. It’s embarrassing. Not only does it make you look like silly, it also paints a negative picture of your social media image. Consider your social media image as an open platform. It is not only a place to post holiday pictures: it’s also a place where future potential employees can read up on you and decide if you are a viable candidate for the job.

Rule Number Three: Be nice. Be nice. Keep your cool. Given a difficult customer or a colleague or an aggressive encounter, be nice. Be the better person when it comes to approaching a challenging situation. Not only will this speak volumes for your character, it will also set you as a good role model in your place of work and in your family and friends circle. Be assertive. Not aggressive. There is a difference. And it can be done.

Here are four tips to help you manage your mood when presented with a challenging situation:

  1. Think before you act. This includes saying things as well as doing them. Putting your brain in gear before engaging in a verbal assault will help you prevent any escalation and keep the situation under control.
  2. Learn about your triggers and avoid them. For example, if traffic makes you crazy, take the scenic route. If you absolutely hate the checkout lines in the market, most places now deliver if you order online. It may take a little inventiveness, but eliminating the stress is worth it.
  3. Take a few deep breaths. It’s amazing how many people hold their breath when they get upset. Forcing fresh air into your lungs sends oxygen to your heart and brain and acts as a calming agent. Breathe slowly and calmly. Take deep breaths.
  4. Think before you speak. Saying to yourself what you might say to another, and imagining how he or she will take it, is a great way to prevent downward spirals from occurring.

Incidentally, ‘The Telegraph’ magazine ran an article in 2015 in which New York police officers were trained using the three rules by Patrick Swayze’s bouncer in the film ‘Road House’ in an effort to retrain them toward handling difficult and challenging members of the public. And who said that movies can’t be educational, even a movie with an ass kicking Swayze in his prime?

Here is the link for you in case you would like to read the article:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/11432591/New-York-police-trained-to-be-nice-by-Patrick-Swayzes-bouncer-in-Road-House.html

In summary, following three simple rules could help you with approaching and managing life challenges and challenging people in our lives: never underestimate your opponent, never start something unless it is absolutely necessary, and be nice. 

I hope you have found the blog of some help. Remember: it’s a journey. It will take time. Have patience in the process. You will get there. Until then, stay happy, stay healthy, and have a lovely weekend wherever you are on the planet.

And remember: love yourself. 

Bonus news: have some exciting online developments in the pipeline. Have my good friend Mike helping me with the tech side of things. He is a pretty brainy guy when it comes to tech. Also fantastic company over a pint. Watch this space folks 😉

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A bit about the author:

I am a guy who is (nearly) 40, who is sharing a journey of weight management and wellbeing.I am also a mental health professional with a wealth of years of experience in supporting individuals who have challenging mental illnesses and personality disorders.

Prior to my current professional role, I spent several years supporting members of the community as a fitness professional, assisting individuals with weight loss and health improvement programmes.

I completed a PGDip in Mental Health Nursing in 2013, and an MSc in Advanced Practice in 2016 in which I looked at improving nurses’ level of engagement with patients with challenging personality disorders.

In 2018 I successfully undertook a Clinical reasoning in Physical Assessments course with the view to start studying toward becoming an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in late 2019.

In 2015 I also undertook a Mentorship for practice (BSc Hons) course and have been supporting future nurses with their training and development. I have also recently supported a Healthcare Assistant Staff toward training in and successfully passing and achieving a Foundation Degree in Mental Health Nursing.

In my current role I am a person looking to support the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the individual. As part of my role within the health services in supporting individuals with mental health care needs, I am also currently looking to develop myself as a Wellness Coach, to support the individual with weekly wellness blogs, with the view to support individuals on a 1:1 basis as well as holding motivational lectures and seminars.

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