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How to Be Diplomatic

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How to Be Diplomatic
How to Be Diplomatic - Articles from The School of Life, a gathering of the best ideas around wisdom and emotional intelligence.

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The start of diplomacy

The start of diplomacy

Diplomacy evolved initially to deal with problems in the relationships between countries.

Instead of leaders infuriating each other and making decisions in the heat of the moment, they ...

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Diplomacy is an art

Diplomacy is the art of promoting an idea or cause without unnecessarily inflaming passions.

It involves an understanding of the many parts of human nature that can lead to strife and a...

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Direct confrontation

Within a negotiation with someone, there is often a request that they change in some way.

A diplomat knows that it is futile to state the call to change too directly as many insist on ...

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Craving respect

Diplomats know the intensity with which humans crave respect. Diplomats take the time to show that they have bothered to see how things look through the other person's eyes.

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Conquering fear

Diplomats know that fear holds people back and therefore offer love and reassurance.

They know too when recommending change, they are not speaking from a position of perfection. For a recom...

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Bad behavior

A diplomat is serene in the face of bad behavior, such as a sudden loss of temper.

They don't take a wild accusation or a mean remark personally but understand that the person who bang...

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Sidestepping direct engagement

A diplomat understands that there are moments to sidestep direct engagement. They don't teach a lesson whenever it might first or most apply; they wait until it has the best chance of b...

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The realist

A diplomat has given up on the ideal out of mature readiness to see compromise as a necessary requirement in an imperfect world.

The diplomat may be polite but is willing to deliver bits of...

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Straightforward people

Straightforward people

Straightforward people are easy to be around with because we know exactly what the issues are from the start. There is no need to guess or infer or translate.

If they don&...

Complicated people

Complicated people are very unsure about the legitimacy of their own desires, making them unable to let the world know what they really want and feel.

They may initially appear to agree with everything you're saying, but later on, their reservations will become known. They will say they want to join you for dinner but will inwardly ache for an early night. They will give the impression of being happy while crying inside. They will say sorry when they want you to apologize.

The reason for confusing complexity

The root cause of confusing complexity may come from fear of how an audience might respond if our real intentions are known.

The origins may have started in childhood. A child becomes complicated when they are given the impression that there is no room for their honesty. A child may have received irritation or open anger for their honesty.

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Your inner critic

Your inner critic

We almost all have a character inside our minds that tends to visit us late at night when we're very tired, telling us terrible things in order to destroy our self-confidence and self-c...

Every story has two sides

You could tell everything as a tragedy, or you could tell an equally valid and far kinder story. You could say that you made some serious errors, as every human will, and you paid the price for them. Nevertheless, you tried to be good and loved a few people properly. Despite everything, your heart is in the right place.

The difference between hope and despair depends on the way of telling conflicting stories from the same facts.

Your inner critic was always an outer critic

... who has been internalized. You're speaking to yourself as someone else once talked to you or made you feel.

You should acknowledge your failures and be happy to make amends. But you also have to stand back from this critic and question what they are doing in your mind. They don't have a right to walk as they wish through the rooms of your mind.

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Mental Wellness

Mental Wellness

Being psychologically well does not mean being super excited, happy or exuberant at all times.

We are seldom aware of the stability of our ‘pendulum’ of thoughts and feeli...

The Window Of Tolerance

In psychological terms, our minds have a certain bandwidth within which we can tolerate discomfort, a certain speed range in which we can drive with ease, taking care of the challenges and problems. This is known as the window of tolerance.

If we cross the upward barrier in this speed range, we feel terrified, guilty or shameful. If we are below the bottom threshold of this window, we feel lonely, bored, alienated and numb. Remaining within the Window Of Tolerance is our daily challenge as we zig-zag between various emotions and try to keep ourselves sane by self-regulating the mind to remain in the ‘harmonious’ window, while not being stagnant.

Piloting Our Mind

If we continuously feel a lot of distress and draining, we should recover ourselves by moderation in eating and drinking, meditation, reading, exercising, and ample rest.

We need to be aware of the direction and trajectory of our moods, emotions and feelings, and make use of introspection and self-observation to get us out of possible pitfalls, avoiding a ‘crash landing’ at a later stage if we do not pay attention.