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Recognize patterns of behavior

Take an honest look at your own patterns of behavior. Perhaps you’re the one who starts some of the arguments, or you are a willing participant once they get going.

This type of reflective wisdom allows you to better choose what to say and what not to say; who to spend time with and who to avoid, when possible. It helps you make the decision “not to go certain places” with certain people.

Maybe you have a friend who loves to gossip. By recognizing this pattern of behavior, you can avoid a great deal of potential grief and stop rumors before they have chance to start. You begin to realize that if you share a story with him, he is going to share that story with others. It doesn’t matter whether you ask him not to – or that he promises that he won’t—or that his intentions are pure. This doesn’t mean he’s a bad person, only that his pattern is that he can’t help but gossip.

If you recognize the pattern, you have an enormous edge. You can bite your tongue and keep your secrets to yourself when you are with him, unless you really don’t mind him sharing them with others.

Someone who gets jealous usually does so on a consistent basis. A person who is dishonest tends to be dishonest whenever it seems to suit his needs. Someone who is hypersensitive will likely feel criticized, regardless of how gentle you attempt to be.

An individual who is consistently late will probably show up late even though you’ve asked her not to – and so forth.

Once you witness the pattern, whatever it is, it’s a bit self-destructive to feed into it.

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