Thursday, September 4, 2008

The art of the response

It's important to think ahead of time when in difficult situations, as to how you are going to re-act (or if you are going to "re-act"). Here are some things for us all to consider when responding to rudeness:

Don't automatically take it personally- Sometimes the offender has had a very bad day, or going through something difficult, or is simply in a bad mood. Give them the benefit of the doubt by imagining what he might be going through (it's called compassion or sympathy)- the sting of the recent confrontation with someone, a family problem, trouble at work, the illness of a loved one.

Size up your annoyances- Sometimes it's best to let things go. Will making a point to the person who's using her credit card with a to-big-to-miss sign over the cash register saying "Cash Only" accomplish anything, or will it be a waste of your emotional energy?

Take responsibility for your actions- We've talked about humility, which can be hard to find these days...ask yourself if you did something to provoke the treatment. If you speak sharply to a bank teller because you have had an awful day at work, it's no wonder that you won't get the best service.

Mentally count to ten- Whenever someone else's behavior makes you angry, forget about them and focus on yourself or something else for a few seconds. Take a few deep breathes and ask yourself, "Is it really worth blowing my stack over this?"

Use humor- Countering a friend's comment that "you look terrible", with a sarcastic retort like "how kind of you to say so!" is preferable to "Well, you look pretty bad yourself." Another tactic is to laugh it off-literally. Just chuckle and change the subject or just smile then change the subject.

Now let me make my disclaimer- I have done many things in my life that have been rude. I have to constantly smack myself in the face and wake up to reality and remember how I would want to be treated. I think if you are on the "offending" end, you must learn to apologize, and that if you are on the "receiving end" you must learn to forgive...otherwise, we're all on a path to misery..I don't know about you but it takes a lot of my energy to hold a grudge!

1 comment:

Penelope said...

Love your blog today. I just wanted to add something that I use since my job involves customer service on a daily basis. When I receive a call, and most are unhappy people, I pretend that it's one of my daughters or sons on the other end and how would I want someone to treat them......I can't tell you how that helps. Your ideas are great and something we can all use on a daily basis.