Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Be a Good Neighbour

 Do you live in a neighborhood where you feel save and connected to others, or do you feel overcrowded, threatened, and otherwise unsafe in your surroundings? This, and other aspects of neighborhood life, can impact both your level of happiness and stress.

One way you can be a better neighbour and citizen of character is to practice deference.
Deference is practicing civility…especially in disagreement. You might have the right to say or do what you want, but is it helpful? Is it appropriate? Is it treating others as you’d like them to treat you?

Respect Differences
Individuals possess a wide variety of tastes, preferences, family histories, and cultural backgrounds. By themselves, these differences are not right or wrong…they just are. How we respond to such differences becomes a character issue.We need humility to learn from others instead of expecting everyone to share our perspectives. We need persuasiveness to understand others and clearly communicate with them. We need discernment to understand what is important and what is trivial.

Mind Your Surroundings
Deference starts by knowing where you are and what is appropriate in each situation. Yelling and laughing might be appropriate at a ball game, but not in a workspace where people are trying to concentrate. Texting on your phone might be okay when you’re alone, but not during a meeting.

Seek Resolution
Deference is not just giving in. Deference is valuing the other person enough to avoid needless conflict…and to engage in needed conflict.If your coworker has an annoying habit of cracking his or her knuckles, you might show deference by not saying anything. If another coworker has bad breath, you might take him aside and tactfully address the problem before a sales meeting. If your little brother is doing drugs, your concern for your brother should motivate you to confront him.Face issues before they tear your relationships apart, and be careful how you say things. As much as possible, live peaceably with others.

article by Robert Greenlaw

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