A blog post written by motivational speaker, Marilyn Sherman
They are everywhere, aren't they? People who are snappy, short-tempered, rude, and just plain mean. In a perfect world, everyone would be nice, kind, patient, and good listeners. But, we obviously don't live in a perfect world. So, how do you handle the mean ones? Before I give you some suggestions on how to handle the mean people out there, let me share with you one thing that my brilliant husband told me about mean people. Yves doesn't have a mean bone in his body, so I loved his answer on this topic. He said that mean people are in pain. When I remember that one point, I can handle the mean people of the world much better. With that, here are three ideas that work for me.
1. Stop. Don't react. Don't feed into their meanness with retaliation, revenge, or fighting words. Just stop. For one second, imagine that they are not like this all the time – maybe something horrible has just happened to them and you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
2. Respond with love. I know, I know, this one is so positive-Polly. But, it's a universal truth that love can concur so much more than hate. So, respond with love. Maybe it's an understanding nod, a warm comment, a silent prayer that their day gets better. Even an acknowledgement could be in order here – 'Wow – you must be having a pretty rough day'. Sometimes, a loving word or comment can get the meanest person to melt their frozen heart. I can't guarantee it works every time, but try it!
3. Make something up about their childhood. I know this one sounds crazy, but it works. When I speak on conflict-resolution and dealing with difficult people, I offer to my audiences that when all else fails, and people are still difficult, then make something up! The more crazy and horrific, the better. That way, you don't have to go toe-to-toe with the mean person, you can just silently feel sorry for the horrible way they were raised and suddenly you feel so grateful that you have class, manners, and hope for more kindness in the world.
Then, walk away.
Want Marilyn Sherman to have the same effect to your group? To learn more, check out Marilyn's website: www.marilynsherman.com. To hear more about Marilyn's customized presentations, check her availability or fees - contact Sarah at Standard Ovation: firstname.lastname@example.org or 913.498.9775 or you can contact us through the web. Thank you!