Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone were nice? The plain truth is there are some people who are hard to deal with. They can look at the world through a darker lens than you and tend to see things as black or white, and all or nothing. Trying to talk can seem like going 9 rounds in a boxing ring over pretty much any topic. “It’s a beautiful day today!” you say innocently, “Oh, really, did you forget about the starving children in Africa?”. Or “I love what you did with your hair.” “Ya, thanks, you should, it cost me about a month's rent, what a scam!”. Ok, then, you might be thinking, I have had enough of this @#*!, I don’t need this attitude! And that’s fair. But, maybe you don’t have the option of just moseying off in the other direction. What if this is your spouse, or your child, or your boss? You might want to figure out how to improve the #communication and #relationship. Here are some tips for you to do just that:
Be yourself. Just because the other person is unfriendly or abrasive that is no reason to change who you are. You might be triggered by their tone of voice, or their look, words, or actions. That is understandable. That doesn’t mean you have to REACT to it. You get to #choosehowyouthink, feel, and behave if you have practiced being in control of your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Be ready. So, be ready ahead of time for life’s difficult days by practicing #mindfulness, #meditation, concentration, self-care, and #selfcompassion on a regular basis. When you are standing in front of someone who has pushed all of your buttons is not the time to go into your toolbox and start digging around wildly. You have about 3 seconds from when you are triggered to when you get hijacked by your fight/flight/freeze reactions. You might become just as “jerky” as them unless you are ready to STOP, BREATHE, and use a tool that works for you. Perhaps use a mantra such as “peace starts with me” while touching your thumb to each of your fingers: peace….starts….with….me….
Be realistic. This is not about you. Remember this person is not being negative because of you. They are just being negative. It is who they know how to be. It is possible they can learn another way and yet right now this is who they are and how they are behaving. It is not about you. It is not personal so don’t make it your issue. Their behaviour is about themselves and not you.
Be clear. What was the reason for your interaction in the first place? If this is just a random encounter then you can wish them well and be on your way. If you need to #achieveagoal, then stay focused on what the goal is. Keep yourself calm and clear with mindful breathing. Stay on track and don’t get diverted by a desire to defend or get drawn into an explanation. Keep your agenda very simple and concise and continue to state the facts and what you need. The less you engage, the less satisfaction they gain from being unpleasant, and the more likely you are to achieve your goal.
Be grateful. There is always something to be #grateful for. Without dark, there is no light. When we experience the negativity of others we can appreciate the positive energy, experiences, people, light, love, view, world, universe, etc. that we are fortunate enough to have. But for the Grace of God go I. Most of us have had dark days, I know I have. Years ago, before I found my light and love within, the negative person might have been me. I might have been the one who was difficult to endure: expecting perfection in myself and others, demanding others fill me up, blaming, grasping, avoiding, etc. I am grateful for reminders of how much joy I am able to bring into my life now by doing my inner work.
Be compassionate. Take a step back and look at them with some #compassion. How lonely it must be, how unpleasant it must feel with all that unpleasantness inside. You are seeing just the tip of the iceberg. What they are expressing on the outside is only a glimpse of the darkness they are experiencing on the inside. If you have not felt that way yourself, then imagine what it must be like to feel so angry, jealous, bitter, resentful, hurt, sad, disappointed, or cynical. They may feel very alone in the world. With compassion comes patience and kindness. You don’t need to tolerate disrespect. So, model respectfulness, be compassionate and kind in your encounter as you #stayconfident and true to yourself and your goal.