Wednesday 27 February 2019

6 Nice Things to Say to Mean Rude .

water lilies 
Mean people can sometimes sabotage your entire day.  It has happened to all of us.  You are minding your own business ready to conquer the world and suddenly a toxic, angry person crosses your path.  Because you’re having a fabulous day and you are caught off guard you think of the perfect come back hours later, but by then it’s too late.  Unfortunately many of us end up wasting the rest of the day stewing about the toxic individual who for no reason other than they woke up on the wrong side of the bed decided to tear you down.  You were in the wrong place at the wrong time, happened to cross their path and now your entire day has been turned upside down.

“Don't let negative and toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent and kick them out!” Robert Tew.  

Life is a beautiful journey, one with many valuable lessons along the way.  Perhaps those mean, rude people are put in our path to teach us tolerance and acceptance?  Perhaps they are a gentle reminder to continue to spread love and kindness because anything else is hurtful to everyone around us.  

Below are some helpful suggestions on how to deal with those mean, rude people who cross your path trying to steal your sunshine.

To the angry barista rolling her eyes at Starbucks as you place your order...
I apologize on behalf of the entire human race.  You are already annoyed that you have been waiting online for what seems like hours for an overpriced coffee that you need a special language to order.  The lady in front of you has no idea what she wants and is staring at the menu like she’s learning a new language.  Imagine how it feels to be there all the time, decoding that special language to almost every single customer?  You get to leave, eventually.  The barista does not.  Politely smile and acknowledge that with a kind, “People must be so cranky and rude to you before their caffeine fix.  I’m really, really sorry, in fact I’m apologizing on behalf of the entire human race.”  You might not make that angry barista any nicer, but even just attempting a tiny bit of empathy is proven tactic to improve everyone’s mood.  And besides, for many of us coffee really is life.

To the loudmouth, over opinionated family member with zero boundaries...
“This is making me very uncomfortable and I’m really sensitive can we not discuss this?”  Let’s be realistic this is not the year Uncle Bob is going to refrain from being the family loud mouth. This is also not the year Aunt Carol is going to stop discussing politics at the dinner table getting infuriated if you do not agree with her.  Uncle Bob is also probably not going to enroll in charm school at his age, and Aunt Carol means well, but just lacks boundaries.  As a matter of a fact, Uncle Bob and Aunt Carol are never going to change, they are who they are.  Why aggravate yourself and the entire family.  Why ruin Thanksgiving or whatever occasion you are celebrating. Uncle Bob and Aunt Carol’s lack of filter is not you problem, and chances are you probably only see them at weddings, funerals and holidays.  Try responding with, “I’m sensitive to topics like that, can we please talk about something else?”  The best way to quiet a fool is with silence, even over opinionated Uncle Bob and zero boundaries Aunt Carol.  

To that random toxic, raging, infuriated stranger...
Have a wonderful day!  We live in a world of social media cowboys and road warriors.  Dealing with an angry jerk can be intimidating, exhausting, sometimes dangerous and really just not worth your time and effort.  Always proceed with caution, compassion and kindness.  When someone approaches you out of the blue in public over a parking spot, or whatever is bothering them simply smile and tell them to have a wonderful day.  You will most defiantly stun them for a brief moment giving yourself the opportunity to walk away without unnecessary aggravation.  Chances are their anger has absolutely nothing to do with you and more of you being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Never let anyone steal your sunshine over something as trivial as a parking space or road wars.  Life is too short to be anything but kind.

To the friend that you value but who has an awful tendency to gossip and ends up spreading hurtful lies...
Sadly this is not a genuine friend, and you probably are not going to ever change Chatty Patty.  Real friends understand the value of friendship.  Friends are people with whom you can share all your ideas, thoughts and every personal feeling of them. When that trust is violated it can forever damage the friendship.  Fortunately for you, Patty’s floppy gums are not your problem to fix, but you are allowed to speak up and express yourself by simply saying, “You know what Patty, it hurts me when you repeat our private conversations to others. It leaves me feeling extremely violated. I value our friendship and I trusted you with some very personal information.  I’m really hurt and disappointed by your careless actions.”  Three things may (or may not) occur.  Patty will be stunned that you spoke up, she might apologize and she may even rethink repeating any private conversations you or anyone else may have with her in the future.

To the persistent, pushy person who insists on constantly asking highly personal questions... 
You often walk away from this person feeling as if they have zero regard for your feelings. The person who is constantly asking questions like, “When are you getting married.” Or “When are you having children.” Or that person who insists on constantly giving their unsolicited opinion on every single thing you do. You feel as if you are being interrogated on the most personal aspects of your life. Simply respond with a smile and say, “I’m sure you didn’t mean for that question or comment to be rude, intrusive and inappropriate, but that’s how it sounded to me. If that is too much for you and you prefer to be less confrontational just smile, blink and politely say, “Excuse me?” Then wait a moment. Most people will realize they have offended you, and they will either apologize or try to politely move past their blunder.  

To the angry troll online...
Nothing.  Yes nothing.  Let’s be realistic, when used correctly social media is pretty amazing and has the potential to reach people on the other side of the world, sometimes even transforming lives. But social media can also be a virtual school yard where the bullies run wild with little or no supervision. It has happened to all of us, the keyboard cowboys pound their keyboard with unkind, sometimes cruel comments over a mere difference of opinion. You expressed your opinion and suddenly you are ambushed by a complete stranger hiding behind a screen calling you all sorts of unkind names.  It can be very upsetting, sometimes it can even ruin your entire day. Try to remember this is a complete stranger who is basing their opinion on a few words and perhaps a profile picture. Don’t respond, it’s not worth your time and effort.  

Mean people are all around us.  It is important to remember that their obnoxious, hurtful behaviour says more about them than it does you. The most effective response to meanness is kindness and compassion.  When someone is toxic and mean, it is usually accompanied with a tremendous amount of pain.  Pain in the toxic, unkind person and pain for the person on the receiving end.  Words matter, actions matter.  When we use our words wisely we can change the world.  Send love and well wishes to the bitter, angry people who want to tear us down. When we send love and well wishes to the hurting people who want us to share in their misery, we are able to rise above their toxic behaviour.    


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