Funny Motivational speaker Amy Dee’s blog,
When someone annoys you, choose your response.
“You are all worthless,” the mother of a patient began her attack. “I’ve asked to talk with his psychiatrist an hour ago, and I’ve not heard a thing.” She continued. This mother was notorious for her complaints about the food, the temperature in her child’s room, the phone privileges, everything. She seemed to enjoy conflict.
It was a lousy way to start a discussion, and I felt like returning fire with fire. I didn’t. Instead, I concentrated on maintaining my calm; I acknowledged her concern, patiently explained the Dr’s rounding schedule and showed her the messages we’d sent to the doctor regarding her request.
My patient and positive response deflated her attempt to create a problem.
The mom walked away, confused that I hadn’t given her the reaction she’d wanted. It was an empowering moment.
Years ago, my ex-husband sneeringly told me I would never lose weight. His comment initially angered me, but later motivated me. Thinking about his nasty comment helped me pass on the chocolate cake. On raining days, when a walk was uncomfortable, reciting his sneering prediction made me bundle up tighter and walk longer. Three months later, I’d lost twenty-five pounds, and I thanked him for his motivation.
Four tips for choosing your response:
1. Feel, but don’t react. When a person says something offensive or challenging, it either hurts or makes us angry. It is OK to have a negative sensation, but your power comes from responding, not from reacting.
2. Investigate why you feel the way you do. Sometimes we dislike comments that have a degree of truth. My ex-husband’s comment bothered me because I was continually dieting to lose the same 20 pounds.
3. Choose your response. What reply will give you the highest power, motivation, or long term satisfaction? Sometimes no answer is best. Other times an affirmative response to a negative comment is best. Losing control and angrily reacting may give you short term relief, but will, most often, create more problems.
4. Can the negative comment become advantageous? I used my ex-husband’s nastiness to spur me onto better health. Remember, the best revenge is doing well.