Six difficult people and one “golden rule”

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Chistina Tinsley
  • 81st Dental Squadron first sergeant
My mother and father taught me the "golden rule" at an early age: Treat others as you want to be treated.

When I was caught being disrespectful or, as my mother called it, "being ugly," timeouts weren't an option. I was given the opportunity to pick my own discipline from the tree in the backyard, if you know what I mean.

As we travel through life, we may experience difficulty as we interact with friends, family and coworkers. We should evaluate our own attitude and behavior in order to continue good relations with those around us.

I would like to introduce you to six difficult people: Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, Rabbit and Owl.

Let's start with Pooh.

Pooh is the "maybe" person. In a moment of decision, Poohs procrastinate, hoping a better choice will present itself. If you're a Pooh, evaluate all options and obstacles involved and make a firm decision. You may find that you are constantly reminding yourself there is no such thing as the perfect decision and that's OK. I have found that a "pros" and "cons" list works well when trying to make the best choice. Develop your plan of action and stick with it.

If you aren't a Pooh, then you may be a Piglet.

Piglet is the "yes" person. In an effort to please everyone and avoid confrontation, Piglets say "yes" without thinking things through and often over-commit. Piglets find it hard to delegate or ask for help. If you're a Piglet, prioritize your tasks and delegate when necessary.

Piglets can be frustrating at times, especially when interacting with Eeyores.

Eeyores feel helpless and always overwhelmed by an unfair world. Misery loves company, so they whine to anyone who will listen. Eeyores often see their glass as half empty versus half full. If you're an Eeyore, stop focusing on what is wrong and start putting your energy into what can be done to make the situation right. You can start by writing down your goals or tasks and envision the positive outcome. Feeling overwhelmed is common, so remain focused and don't become discouraged by the challenge.

From being overwhelmed to overconfident, Tigger is the next difficult person.

Tiggers think they know it all. These individuals use exaggeration to feel important and they have a strong urge to be liked by everyone. Tiggers try to fool people into believing they know it all, at least for the sake of getting attention. If you are a Tigger, avoid trying to impress everyone. God gave us two ears and one mouth; practice doing twice as much listening as talking.

To some, Tiggers may not seem as intimidating as Rabbits.

Through rude comments, sarcasm and a roll of the eyes, making others look foolish, Rabbit is the next difficult person. Rabbits tend to hold grudges and easily become irritated with someone else's ideas. They should be mindful of the feelings of others and practice the "golden rule." As a Rabbit, you should take a look at how your attitude and behavior is defeating important goals you may have. Stop thinking your way is the only way.

Rabbits and Owls share similar traits.

Owl is the last difficult person and is known as the "know-it-all." They have a low tolerance for correction and contradiction. Everything must be logical and they must be right. If you are an Owl, understand that those who value knowledge can only obtain it by keeping their minds open. It's OK to listen to the opinions and ideas of others. These suggestions make some of the best Air Force decisions.

It doesn't matter if you're Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, Rabbit or Owl--evaluating yourself is beneficial when interacting with those around you. Keep an open mind the next time you have a conflict with a friend, family member or coworker. We all bring something to the table, whether we are brand new to the Air Force, first-line supervisors or seasoned Airmen.

Remember the "golden rule!"