How Smart People Handle Difficult People

Recently I’ve been hearing so many people complaining about dealing with difficult people at their jobs, personally, and even at public places at times.  It feels that initially we have this desire to just scream or kick someone in order to deal with the craziness of these individuals.  When I stumbled on this article I thought it provides some ideas that most people can learn to apply in their daily lives in order to co-exist with these difficult individuals that surround us everywhere. Some occasionally, and others on a daily basis, so we do need to become experts on handling this behavior in order to maintain our sanity.

Difficult people defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons. Either way, they create unnecessary complexity, strife and worst of all stress.

Studies have long shown that stress can have a lasting, negative impact on the brain. Exposure to even a few days of stress compromises the effectiveness of neurons in the hippocampus — an important brain area responsible for reasoning and memory. Weeks of stress cause reversible damage to neuronal dendrites (the small “arms” that brain cells use to communicate with each other), and months of stress can permanently destroy neurons. Stress is a formidable threat to your success — when stress gets out of control, your brain and your performance suffer.

Most sources of stress at work are easy to identify. If your non-profit is working to land a grant that your organization needs to function, you’re bound to feel stress and likely know how to manage it. It’s the unexpected sources of stress that take you by surprise and harm you the most.

Recent research from the Department of Biological and Clinical Psychology at Friedrich Schiller University in Germany found that exposure to stimuli that cause strong negative emotions — the same kind of exposure you get when dealing with difficult people — caused subjects’ brains to have a massive stress response. Whether it’s negativity, cruelty, the victim syndrome or just plain craziness, difficult people drive your brain into a stressed-out state that should be avoided at all costs.

The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90 percent of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control. One of their greatest gifts is the ability to neutralize difficult people. Top performers have well-honed coping strategies that they employ to keep difficult people at bay.

While I’ve run across numerous effective strategies that smart people employ when dealing with difficult people, what follows are some of the best. To deal with difficult people effectively, you need an approach that enables you, across the board, to control what you can and eliminate what you can’t. The important thing to remember is that you are in control of far more than you realize.

1. They set limits.

Complainers and negative people are bad news because they wallow in their problems and fail to focus on solutions. They want people to join their pity party so that they can feel better about themselves. People often feel pressure to listen to complainers because they don’t want to be seen as callous or rude, but there’s a fine line between lending a sympathetic ear and getting sucked into their negative emotional spiral.

You can avoid this only by setting limits and distancing yourself when necessary. Think of it this way: if the complainer were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? You’d distance yourself, and you should do the same with complainers. A great way to set limits is to ask complainers how they intend to fix the problem. They will either quiet down or redirect the conversation in a productive direction.

2. They rise above.

Difficult people drive you crazy because their behavior is so irrational. Make no mistake about it; their behavior truly goes against reason. So why do you allow yourself to respond to them emotionally and get sucked into the mix? The more irrational and off-base someone is, the easier it should be for you to remove yourself from their traps. Quit trying to beat them at their own game. Distance yourself from them emotionally and approach your interactions like they’re a science project (or you’re their shrink, if you prefer the analogy). You don’t need to respond to the emotional chaos — only the facts.

3. They stay aware of their emotions.

Maintaining an emotional distance requires awareness. You can’t stop someone from pushing your buttons if you don’t recognize when it’s happening. Sometimes you’ll find yourself in situations where you’ll need to regroup and choose the best way forward. This is fine and you shouldn’t be afraid to buy yourself some time to do so.

Think of it this way — if a mentally unstable person approaches you on the street and tells you he’s John F. Kennedy, you’re unlikely to set him straight. When you find yourself with a coworker who is engaged in similarly derailed thinking, sometimes it’s best to just smile and nod. If you’re going to have to straighten them out, it’s better to give yourself some time to plan the best way to go about it.

4. They establish boundaries.

This is the area where most people tend to sell themselves short. They feel like because they work or live with someone, they have no way to control the chaos. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Once you’ve found your way to Rise Above a person, you’ll begin to find their behavior more predictable and easier to understand. This will equip you to think rationally about when and where you have to put up with them and when you don’t. For example, even if you work with someone closely on a project team, that doesn’t mean that you need to have the same level of one-on-one interaction with them that you have with other team members.

You can establish a boundary, but you’ll have to do so consciously and proactively. If you let things happen naturally, you are bound to find yourself constantly embroiled in difficult conversations. If you set boundaries and decide when and where you’ll engage a difficult person, you can control much of the chaos. The only trick is to stick to your guns and keep boundaries in place when the person tries to encroach upon them, which they will.

5. They don’t die in the fight.

Smart people know how important it is to live to fight another day, especially when your foe is a toxic individual. In conflict, unchecked emotion makes you dig your heels in and fight the kind of battle that can leave you severely damaged. When you read and respond to your emotions, you’re able to choose your battles wisely and only stand your ground when the time is right.

6. They don’t focus on problems — only solutions.

Where you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you fixate on the problems you’re facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress. When you focus on actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal efficacy that produces positive emotions and reduces stress.

When it comes to toxic people, fixating on how crazy and difficult they are gives them power over you. Quit thinking about how troubling your difficult person is, and focus instead on how you’re going to go about handling them. This makes you more effective by putting you in control, and it will reduce the amount of stress you experience when interacting with them.

7. They don’t forget.

Emotionally intelligent people are quick to forgive, but that doesn’t mean that they forget. Forgiveness requires letting go of what’s happened so that you can move on. It doesn’t mean you’ll give a wrongdoer another chance. Smart people are unwilling to be bogged down unnecessarily by others’ mistakes, so they let them go quickly and are assertive in protecting themselves from future harm.

8. They squash negative self-talk.

Sometimes you absorb the negativity of other people. There’s nothing wrong with feeling bad about how someone is treating you, but your self-talk (the thoughts you have about your feelings) can either intensify the negativity or help you move past it. Negative self-talk is unrealistic, unnecessary and self-defeating. It sends you into a downward emotional spiral that is difficult to pull out of. You should avoid negative self-talk at all costs.

9. They get some sleep.

I’ve beaten this one to death over the years and can’t say enough about the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, so that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your self-control, attention and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough — or the right kind — of sleep. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present. A good night’s sleep makes you more positive, creative and proactive in your approach to toxic people, giving you the perspective you need to deal effectively with them.

10. They use their support system.

It’s tempting, yet entirely ineffective, to attempt tackling everything by yourself. To deal with toxic people, you need to recognize the weaknesses in your approach to them. This means tapping into your support system to gain perspective on a challenging person. Everyone has someone at work and/or outside work who is on their team, rooting for them and ready to help them get the best from a difficult situation. Identify these individuals in your life and make an effort to seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Something as simple as explaining the situation can lead to a new perspective. Most of the time, other people can see a solution that you can’t because they are not as emotionally invested in the situation.

Bringing It All Together!

Before you get this system to work brilliantly, you’re going to have to pass some tests. Most of the time, you will find yourself tested by touchy interactions with problem people. Thankfully, the plasticity of the brain allows it to mold and change as you practice new behaviors, even when you fail. Implementing these healthy, stress-relieving techniques for dealing with difficult people will train your brain to handle stress more effectively and decrease the likelihood of ill effects.

> Source: Entrepreneur.com Published by Travis Bradberry on March 14th, 2017.

10 Online Careers You Can Start With Basically No Money

Online-Jobs-Searching-GuideWith so many new options in today’s working environment, more and more entrepreneurs are evolving and working as independent business owners offering a variety of services and products.  As a business owner for over 14 years, I can attest that, although my ‘calling’ was originally forced due to loss of work at the time, I found a fabulous opportunity as a Virtual Assistant and professional consultant where I’ve applied my years of expertise in so many areas of the corporate world to provide support for small business owners, and even to medium to large companies, as well.  The original investment is minimal and the return is extraordinary with flexibility and opportunity for growth as far as you want to go.  Here is an interesting article that outlines some of the type of businesses you can start up with very little investment which currently are currently in demand.

Does working from home or any remote location of your choice, while dictating your schedule and having complete control over your career sound good?

If so, you should consider starting an online career. It’s a lot easier than you might think — thanks to the internet, it’s actually quite simple, requiring much less startup capital than you might imagine.

With a combination of drive, determination and skill, your online career can start almost immediately. Here are ten that you could literally start today.

1. Virtual assistant.

With so many companies operating these days without a physical office location, it has opened up multiple remote opportunities for virtual assistants to handle a wide range of tasks. These include customer service duties, answering phones, setting appointments and screening emails.

You can start small with a single client and then once you identify your specialty or an area you want to focus on — social media customer service, for example — you can then begin to take on more clients, thus increasing your earning potential.

2. Business coach.

Coaching-300x200If you are an expert in a particular field, leverage your knowledge and become a coach, teaching students form all over the world. The internet allows you to reach anyone that is interested, regardless of their geographical location.

Take fellow Entrepreneur contributor Timothy Sykes for example. He is a very successful penny stock trader that used his knowledge and expertise to create a program that teaches his strategies to students that sign up for his challenge program.

3. Freelance content creator.

Virtually every business is doing some form of content marketing these days — it’s been the buzzword for the past several years, but for good reason — it works. With everyone trying to capture attention, demand for excellent writers is at an all time high.

Anyone can publish content, but very few businesses are creating compelling content that commands attention and converts their audience into revenue. If you are a skilled writer there is plenty of lucrative opportunities waiting for you.

4. eBay store owner.

Gary Vaynerchuk is a huge fan of garage sales, saying, “The garage sale eBay conversion has some of the biggest margins in the world.” The concept is very simple: buy low and sell high.

This is also a very viable option if you’re looking to raise startup funds. It’s a great bridge for those looking to start an online career but don’t want to abandon the security and paycheck of a 9 to 5 job, because you can hit garage sales on the weekend and handle your auction listings in the evening.

5. T-shirt ecommerce store.

With several print on demand solutions available, it makes starting a t-shirt company much more affordable than it was years ago. In the past, you would have to order large quantities of shirts, in multiple colors and sizes, forcing you to guess what was going to sell.

Now, creative designs and the power of social media can get a t-shirt brand up and running — and generating revenue — almost overnight. Chummy Tees is a great example of how you can turn catchy tag-lines and creative designs into a profitable online business.

6. Consultant.

Consulting can prove to be a very lucrative business, granted the person offering their service knows what he or she is talking about. Everyone seems to be a consultant these days, and not only do you have to be able to actually provide value and deliver results, but you need a way to stand out and separate yourself from all of the mediocrity out there.

Over the past year I have transitioned my company from a service provider to a consulting firm. It took over five years of brand building to get to the point we are at now, where companies want to hire us to guide and advise their in-house marketing teams.

7. Affiliate marketer.

There is a wide range of affiliate offers to promote, each paying you for every lead or sale you are responsible for generating. You can promote these offers to an email list that you build, via a blog that you operate or across social media.

This will require more startup capital than the other suggestions on this list, because to really be successful you will need to do a lot of split-testing across multiple paid channels. The really successful affiliates aren’t afraid to spend money on testing and optimization.

8. Social-media influencer.

Yes, this is a real career in 2016. If you have a large and loyal following on social media, you could be earning money promoting products. A lot of money, in fact. Some social media influencers with high engagement are earning thousands of dollars per post, but for good reason: it works. Brands wouldn’t be shelling out that kind of money if they weren’t seeing a return.

9. Vlogger.

article-0-1EB1495B00000578-44_306x192YouTube creators who crush it can make millions of dollars a year in advertising revenue. Now, these are few and far between, but there is also a healthy population of creators that are making a comfortable living vlogging.

You have to have an interesting concept or story — people subscribe to channels that they can relate to. Just like a company needs a unique selling point to push a product, you need a have unique angle if you want to gain traction and attract a vlog following.

10. Graphic designer/web developer.

If you are a graphic designer or know how to write code, then there is a massive audience just waiting to hire you. As a freelancer, you control your hours and you get to pick and choose who you work for. You set your price, pick your projects and end up doing what you love while earning a comfortable living.

> Source: Entrepreneur.com

Welcome Back!

welcome-backIt’s great to see you visiting us again. About 5 years ago my husband and I embarked on a very special and unique personal voyage to Puerto Rico to care for my parents with cancer at the time. Thanks to my virtual capacity to move anywhere we were able to keep some of my clients and have some income at the time.  As life has it, it was a very intense, enlightening and dedicated period of time where we stood still from enhancing or growing our business. But we are back and ready to move forward and get back on track.

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50 Lessons I wish I had learned earlier

life begins at end of your comfort zone

I look back on my life and think about things I wish I knew earlier. It would have made my life so much easier if I knew then what I know now. Here’s my list of things I wish I could turn back the hands of time to tell my younger self. Maybe it’s not too late for you.

  1. You’re stronger than you think you are.
  2. Mistakes teach you important lessons.  Every time you make one, you’re one step closer to your goal.
  3. There is nothing to hold you back except you.
  4. You can press forward long after you can’t.  It’s a matter of wanting it bad enough.
  5. No matter how much progress you make there will always be the people who insist that whatever you’re trying to do is impossible.
  6. You are limited only by your own imagination. Let it fly.
  7. Perception is reality.
  8. Your instincts can be trusted.
  9. There is only one question to ask yourself: “What would you do if you were not afraid?”
  10. It’s often hard to tell just how close you are to success.
  11. The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you’re too scared to make a mistake.
  12. Never let success get to your head, and never let failure get to your heart.
  13. You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life.
  14. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
  15. Do what you love, not what you think you’re supposed to do.
  16. Laughter is the best medicine for stress.  Laugh at yourself often.
  17. If you want to feel rich, just count all the great things you have that money can’t buy.
  18. Forgiving yourself is far more important than getting others to forgive you.
  19. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  20. Be nice to yourself.
  21. For the most part, it doesn’t matter what people think.  Follow your own truth.
  22. No education is wasted. Drink in as many new experiences as you can.
  23. Making one person smile can change the world.
  24. Don’t forget to enjoy your journey!
  25. You never know how strong you really are until being strong is the only choice you have.
  26. Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
  27. You cannot change what you refuse to confront.
  28. Crying doesn’t indicate that you’re weak.  It doesn’t always solve your problems either.
  29. No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.
  30. Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.
  31. You can learn great things from your mistakes when you aren’t busy denying them.
  32. Give up worrying about what others think of you.
  33. When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.
  34. You have to accept that some things will never be yours, and learn to appreciate the things that are only yours.
  35. As Henry Ford put it, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.”
  36. Don’t be afraid to move out of your comfort zone.  Some of your best life experiences and opportunities will transpire only after you dare to lose.
  37. Giving up doesn’t always mean you’re weak, sometimes it means you are strong enough and smart enough to let go.
  38. You’ll rarely be 100% sure it will work.  But you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work.
  39. Don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future for too long.  Right now is life.  Live it.
  40. No matter how cautiously you choose your words, someone will always twist them around and misinterpret what you say.  Just say what you need to say.
  41. Not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of good luck.
  42. If you are passionate about something, pursue it, no matter what anyone else thinks.  That’s how dreams are achieved.
  43. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.
  44. What lies before us and behind us are tiny matters when compared to what lies within us.
  45. Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.
  46. It’s not about getting a chance, it’s about taking a chance.
  47. If it were easy everyone would do it.
  48. Be vulnerable.
  49. A problem is a chance for you to learn.
  50. Regardless of the situation, life goes on.

Life is for the living.It’s for grabbing onto and living on the wild side. Life is not about sitting safely in the harbor, but about casting off the bowlines and heading into the unknown. Live life to the fullest today.


CREDIT: Article by Nancy Sathre-Vogel. Posted on Stumbleupon.com (Nov. 28, 2011).
Office Assistant 2 Go is just sharing this inspiring information.

About Nancy Sathre-Vogel: After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people’s kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family – three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. 

Launching With a Loved One? 5 Lessons From Successful Startup Couples

Picture 47This article caught my attention as it applies very much to my personal life. When I started my virtual business over ten years ago, I did it on own as my husband still had a job and independent projects of his own. Later one, as the economy and personal circumstances came upon us, we were both thrown into the business together in order to make it through. I can see the cons on this type of “association” but if your personal relationship is strong and you both have common goals for financial, personal and professional growth it is really a great opportunity. Ours has given us the opportunity to become closer, share many more quality moments together, flexibility to attend to family matters when necessary as ours is a virtual mobile business that we can take with us anywhere. We have even had the opportunity to travel for extended periods of time and still maintain our clientele and business afloat. First of all, analyze your personal status as a couple and then plunge into whatever brings you both happiness doing. Good luck and SUCCESS!

A wise individual once said: “Being in a relationship is like putting miracle-grow on your defects.” Throw a business into the mix, and you may find yourself riding an express train on a hell-bound bean stock.

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How to get your Loved Ones to Love your Business…

Hi there.  It is funny that I stumbled on this article for the issue of family involvement, understanding, acceptance, and support of our business choices is paramount to our success and stress levels. As a VA (Virtual Assistant) for over 12 years now working from my own home office and sometimes on the go during small trips or vacations, it was very important that my family understood the requirements of my new working lifestyle.  Although I had lots of flexibility and somewhat freedom, in reality it required periods of time where I needed to work remotely, even when visiting or ‘relaxing’.

From the beginning I made it fun, exciting, and challenging so that everyone felt the same ‘vibe’ of my new business and working structure.  I involved some of my family members, like my daughters (already in their 20’s) to help with some of the work, my husband is currently my business partner and helps with lots of tasks related to my clients and prospects,   All in all it’s been a win-win situation and I’ve been able to take care of my family in Puerto Rico, come back to Florida, and travel to visit my children and grandchildren without skipping a beat on my work.  I’ve expanded and have new and exciting ideas to develop for the new year and all is possible due to the support that I have from my close ones.

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7 Things That Kill Your Productivity

Man with the symbol of the percentage

When we work from our home office, or independently as a solopreneur, it’s very difficult to concentrate and strive on the productive side of business or work. Here is an article published on “WorkShifting” that addresses these issues highlighting important things that may affect our concentration and creates distraction, and some interesting tips to follow for successfully overcoming them.

Read it here: http://bit.ly/JzTuEQ

First Quarter Gone for 2012, where are we so far?

Wow, seems like yesterday we were finishing our list of goals and resolutions for the New Year and we just completed the first and hardest quarter of the year for most people.  The year end closing and tax time, uff!  After many hectic weeks and endless number crunching, reviews, budgeting, re-branding, creating, and never ending flow of ideas for the new year  we finally have a clear view of our performance last year and where we stand so far.  As small business owners and solopreneurs we really need to concentrate in what we set to do at the start of the year and how far we ‘ve gone, what we missed or never got to even touch because we were too busy in the day-to-day activities that we didn’t look at that list we created to guide us through this new year.

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Love is in the air… Really?

As the New Year moves on forward, we now await for the LOVE date – Valentines.  So we freely speak about love and go on the frenzy to find the perfect, special, gift to give our loved ones during this time of the year.

I, on the other hand, believe love is an everyday affair and the first person I need to love is ME.  With the hectic lifestyles we are managing, we need to concentrate a little bit in our own wellbeing and start loving every aspect of ourselves, before we share it, and expect to receive it.  As an individual, I have the source of power, love, attraction, skills, and much more to offer to the world.  Love is the most powerful tool that we can really count on to help us move to accomplish goals, to continue looking for the things we want, to maintain the faith that all is going to be good, and to attract all the things that we like.

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What’s New for 2012!

With the new year already in progress, many colleagues and clients are going crazy developing new ideas, services, branding and rebranding, as they say, “THE WORKS’!   In my case, before going crazy moving forward, I’ve really done a bit of research to make sure that anything new I do (which I’ve already started with my WordPress site) is really something that fits my business, my personality and my goals.

For some time I’ve been reading about all the new tips and ideas coming out for this year from all angles, small business, entrepreneurs, social media, and more.  Most of them are great, lots of insight, new techniques, organizational skills, but, with lengthy ‘To Do Lists’ which in most cases is overwhelming when you want to manage them.  I’ve decided to create my own “To Do Lists” in small but attainable tasks and divide them in quarters throughout the year.  This will provide the time, learning skills (if necessary), and implementation of any new ideas and tasks I may develop.

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Success!!!

A new year has started and we’ve all had our new or revised list of goals for this coming year, but, maybe as the weeks go by it will be put inside a drawer and totally forgotten, like many times before.  Oftentimes we set ourselves for  a challenging, out of the box, goal that we don’t think we can accomplish or do, yet, it is there on our ‘To Do List” forever.

Last week I read something from a fellow VA that mentioned that you should start this year by doing something new, different, out of the box, challenging and simply dive into it.  JUST DO IT!  Well, I did it!  For some time now I’ve been subscribed to numerous blogs from many Virtual Assistants, professionals in the social media marketing, Real Estate, and many more.  I see these wonderful pages, blogs, and I kept saying…’I need to change my static website to a blog with WordPress.”  Now, that sounds easy, but I don’t know anything about WordPress but the basics that I hear everyone talking about.   Nevertheless, I decided to start this year with the very challenging task, for me.  My friend and colleague, Karmen Olmo, gave me a class to basically walk through the process of creating my page.  During the class, a one on one, I found everything pretty easy to manage, so I felt very positive and good about the project.

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Wishing All a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Captura de pantalla 2015-07-09 a la(s) 16.19.02

Throughout this almost finished 2011, I want to thank all of you who, one way or another, have made it a spectacular and wonderful lived year.  It is important to consider that whether you work for yourself or you are employed by someone, your accomplishments as an individual belong to you, because you gave the energy, the effort, the love to make it happen.  Along the way you definitely have had some help from family, friends, co-workers, clients, collaborators and associates, and the list can go on.

Most of the time I hear people exclaim exhausted indicating how hard the year has been, how little they’ve accomplished, how difficult life is and so on.  We should concentrate in how great we had life and health this year, how wonderful we were able to enjoy new and challenging experiences that have led us to become better people and how great we still have a job or business.

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Cuando Deseamos Convertirnos en Empresarias Sabias

Recientemente participé en una charla de una de mis mentoras, a quien considero una gran amiga, la Dra. Carmen Delia Ortiz, de Sabia Partners (http://empresariasabia.ning.com) y en la discusión se mencionaron algunos puntos bien importantes, que ya hace muchos años había aprendido, para ayudarnos a  alcanzar nuestras metas y convertirnos en empresarias independientes, exitosas y satisfechas.

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