Dec 19, 2013 Catching myself when tempted to rail against others and to lose focus on the now
Recently, I let myself get irritated, temporarily, by the seeming take-it-or-leave it perfunctoriness of a prosecutor whom I previously considered to be one of the more human prosecutors to talk with. I did not share my irritation with this prosecutor. Instead, I reminded myself that my dealings with this and all prosecutors is all about my clients. Therefore, when I resumed speaking with this prosecutor, as best I could, I erased thoughts of this prosecutor as a potential Mr. Hyde transformed from Dr. Jekyll, but instead looked, spoke and joked with him as if he and I were Dr. Jekyll, not Mr. Hyde.
In so doing, the prosecutor was more at ease and open to a true and beneficial dialogue for me to get more discovery about my client’s case and to move forward better on settlement negotiations. With me and the prosecutor more at ease, the police witness with us was more at ease. When people are at ease, that makes them more open to persuasion.
Working hand-in-hand with the above approach to persuasion — and to the actor’s personal happiness, success and abundance — is the need to focus on the person we are trying to persuade, to hold off on automatically sharing with them that we are irritated with them (that can just snowball the irritation for both of us), and to reverse roles with them at times . People will not tend t0 want to focus on us and our message any more than we focus on them and their message. In that regard, I was surprised at the recent non-stop long-windedness, although kindly, of a car salesperson who would have been closer to having me as a customer had he done otherwise. My car needs replacing after all these blissful miles, and I went to a dealership to check out a similar model. The salesperson and I were making small talk about the car and other matters, when he at one point went into a multi-minute soliloquy about a past irrelevant experience he had as an entrepreneur. He talked and he talked, nearly right to the point that we had returned to the dealership
Perhaps this salesperson felt at ease talking to me about himself, perhaps seeing his time with me as a diversion from his workday, maybe akin to the strangers on the train who tell each other some of their deepest thoughts, knowing they will not see each other again to then be uncomfortable about having told so much to a stranger. However, this salesperson had a golden opportunity during this test drive to show that he would be attentive to me if I called with a variety of questions, from as small as warranty questions and questions about available cars without leather (comporting with my vegetarian lifestyle). As an aside, when buying a car, always be ready to bargain well and hard, with as much relevant pricing and sales information as you can gather.
The salesperson’s behavior did not alienate me. Instead, it was a reminder for me not to do the same with others.
Back to the prosecutor whom I discuss above. When I get angry, tense or uncomfortable about people, myself and situations, others will sense my unease. My unease will feed into theirs, and they will be distracted from my message with their unease, and with any distrust and fear of me that may accompany that unease. As a perhaps more stark example, how long can you tolerate sitting across from someone in such a state of unease that they are constantly biting their lips and fingernails, mumbling gibberish in discomfort, looking as glum as anything, and unable even to look you in the eye?
I am not talking about superficially putting ourselves and others at ease. Everything starts with us. There is no out there for the mind. When we look within ourselves for clues about why we are in an uncomfortable or seemingly imbalanced situation, rather than looking to blame other beings or events, we will be better able, in clarity and ease, to summon our own magic to make the situation better, just as I did when I finally proverbially shook myself by the shoulders when feeling irritated by the above-discussed prosecutor, and reminded myself that I have the ability to diffuse the tension as simply as letting the air out of a balloon, and to fill the balloon with powerful harmony and benefits for my client, and, consequently, for me.