© 2014 Kebba Buckley Button. World Rights Reserved.
The techniques of Upbeat Living lift people into the most joy and satisfaction, best relationships, and improved health and least aging. Unfortunately, we all must deal with nasty and rude people from time to time. Difficult people are a very common source of stress. They can totally suck your energy and leave you exhausted and frustrated– if you let them. And that is what they want! Some are insecure and trying to bring others down to their level. Some see your light shining and are jealous, so they want to dim your light, if they can. Some simply enjoy others’ pain, and they hope to hurt you, especially in front of others.
Secret #1: If they do it in front of others, you actually have the advantage! Now you can show your gracious strength in front of an audience. The way you respond to public rudeness will win you fans for a lifetime and leave the nasty person revealed as an emotional predator.
Secret #2: A person who walks up and says something rude to you is trying to get a rise from you. We often have the illusion that telling them how exactly they have offended or hurt us will somehow cause them to change. Remember “assertiveness”, circa 1985? That’s a waste of time with someone who is trying to hurt you. Telling them how you feel will only satisfy them and bring them back soon. They feed off your hurt!
Secret #3: There are ways to deal with them, and you can learn! So if you want to feel good instead of hurt, distracted, and tired, here are UpBeat Living’s top tips to beat rudeness.
- For a quick insult or nasty comment, don’t react at all. Assume they will never change, or at least that changing them is not your personal mission. Observe your blood pressure rising and your stomach and other muscles tightening while you are around this person. This stress reaction, in turn, can erode the integrity of your kidney valves and enlarge your heart.
Does this person have the right to do that to you? No. What will work best for managing your energy? Try simply turning away. And no cheating with a derisive expression—look neutral, as though the person never spoke. Don’t give them energy. Now you have triumphed, and they will look for a victim who is more easily hurt.
Be thankful for the difficult people. They have shown you
exactly who you don’t want to be.
- For a verbal sting, with a cheerful smile on your face, say something extremely short and globally pleasant, such as, “Well, bless your heart!” Then keep walking with a pleasant smile still on your face. Again, don’t give them energy. Pretend they have just been “so cute”.
Sometimes, God uses difficult people, like sandpaper,
to rub the rough edges off of us.
- If the person has just made you the butt of a joke in front of others, such as giving you a gag award for talking too much, with a cheerful smile on your face, and possibly a little laugh, say, “Isn’t it wonderful we all have such a great sense of humor!” Then quietly walk away. No flouncing! No making faces other than pleasant neutrality. If you think they were trying to humiliate you, they were. If you can pretend you found the humiliating circumstance funny, do that, laugh, and again, walk away, because you are very busy and need to get to your next meeting/deadline/appointment. If it was at a company party, never go again. You are so busy, you can’t think what your calendar holds for that day, when they ask you to the next company party.
If you laugh with the person, they get no satisfaction. They may act like you are clueless and failed to get the put-down. In this case, they will say, “Oh (Name)! You’re so funny!” Then your best line is one of non-resistance: “I know! I’m a very funny wo/man!” At this point, if you are a very good actress/actor, you can really drive your attacker—and that is what the person is—crazy by continuing to stand with the group for another minute or two, smiling and being apparently perfectly comfortable. Again, do not give them energy.
I once went 6 rounds with a man who was trying to say I was so wrong that I was “wrong in the head”. I told him cheerfully, “[T]hat’s right! I had a concussion years ago and haven’t been right since!” He tried again, and I told him, “[Y]ou’re right! I’m a head case!” He began to frown and literally foam at the mouth, getting angrier and angrier that I was not giving him the satisfaction of becoming wounded! A well-known nasty person, he has never tried his routines on me again. This makes me smile and think, “ha HA!”
- If you must see this person regularly, at work, at your social organization, at family events, or at school/training, keep it light, cheerful, and brief with them whenever you must cross paths. Don’t initiate with them and don’t give them energy. Others are dealing with the same issues with this person, so you have silent support. If it’s an instructor, switch to another section or take the class at another campus. Consider reporting the instructor anonymously. Eventually, his/her classes will be so small that he/she will no longer be hired as an instructor there.
A fractured Latin phrase advises: Nil Illegitimi Carborundum: Don’t let the bastards wear you down. Don’t give them energy, or they win. You have a right to lead a healthy and happy life. Be brief in dealing with anything negative. Soon, you will notice your stamina rising and your happiness taking over. Why not go for it? Now that’s Upbeat Living!
● Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert. She is the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br), plus the 2013 book, Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core, Second Edition (http://tinyurl.com/mqg3uvc). She also has a natural healing practice and is an ordained minister.
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