Funny motivational speaker
The Sun and the Wind often argued over which of them was most powerful. One day, amidst a heated exchange, the Wind spotted a man walking along the road and proposed a match: whoever could get man’s coat off of him would be the winner. The Sun agreed to the contest. The Wind began blowing enormous gusts at the man. The strong gales caused the man to pull the coat tighter around himself. The Sun, instead, used its rays to warm the man, and he removed his jacket.
This fable illustrates the power of kindness. Kindness is the best weapon for dealing with a difficult person.
Dealing with a difficult person:
- Don’t take rudeness personally because difficult people often have a back story that doesn’t include you.
Parents’ emotions were raw when they admitted their child to our behavioral health inpatient hospital. They were worried about their child, perhaps had financial concerns about the hospital bills, and often questioned their parenting skills. These challenging thoughts added to their stress. I didn’t cause their exasperation.
When dealing with a problematic person, examine the back story, and choose not to take their rudeness personally.
2. Think boomerang.
When you volley nasty comments back and forth, a bad situation gets worse. Don’t volley, boomerang.
Years ago, while swimming at our local recreation center, I’d share the pool with an irritable woman. Rather than ask nicely, she’d bark, “Stay out of my way!” and “I want that lane!” and “Quit making so many waves!” Instead of snapping back at her, I bit my tongue and responded graciously. Eventually, her lousy attitude soften, we started to make small talk, and eventually formed a friendship.
3. Listen, reserving judgment.
Anxiety causes irritability and impatience. Convert distressing interactions into positive communication by active listening. Help lower their stress by making eye contact, nodding your head, re-stating their grievance, so they feel understood and heard.
On one occasion, a patient’s dad started yelling and screaming at us, forcing us to call security. I asked the father about his grievances and wrote down his answers, then read his responses back to him to confirm I’d gotten correctly detailed his complaints. In a short time, he calmed down and apologized for his behavior.
Unhappy people need you to listen.
Bonus: Give grace by recognizing your imperfection.
When frustrated, I’ve been nasty and impatient. Remembering my imperfections allows me to give grace when handling other’s imperfect moments.
“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion,” Dale Carnegie.