Dealing with mean people: 7 smart things you could do
Imagine living in a world where everyone is genuinely nice, and no one has hidden cruel intentions towards anyone. What a wonderful world that would be. Well, unfortunately, that’s not the case.
In today’s day and age, you can never be sure whom to trust, whom you can call a friend, and who is ruthlessly lying to your face. Besides, you are constantly surrounded by grumpy, unhappy, rude people, which makes the task much harder. But how can you deal with mean people without becoming one? How can you save yourself from becoming just another miserable human being who believes everyone else owes them?
Handling such difficult individuals can be quite tricky. The goal is not to drop to their level. While preparing for a potential confrontation, you need to make sure your attitude is not as low as theirs. In the best-case scenario, you will be able to exit the situation gracefully and with dignity. Just take a deep breath and trust yourself you can do it.
Here are 7 smart actions you could take while dealing with mean people:
1. Get off on the right foot.
In the first few seconds of the conversation, you need to set the right tone. If you want a positive outcome, you should be as kind and open-hearted as possible. Starting off with anger will only make the situation worse.
2. Mind your body language.
Keep both your mind and your body open. Don’s slump your shoulders, fold your arms or cross your legs. These are signs of negative body language, which will be instantly interpreted by the mean person as an act of silent aggression.
3. Follow the Golden Rule.
“Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” Following this mindful rule will increase your empathy levels and will help you understand why the other person behaves in such a negative manner.
4. Do not take vengeance into consideration.
Don’t respond to hatred with more hatred. Learn how to control your emotions. Instead of letting your anger take over, remember that you are a sympathetic person and respond to the meanness with kindness. This way, you will assert that you are the bigger person and the mean comments about you cannot hurt you.
5. Practice active listening.
Many people can talk for hours, but only a few know how to listen. We often forget that if we simply let others say what bothers them, we will be able to understand their issues and help them and ourselves deal with whatever comes in our way. The same goes for handling mean individuals.
6. Speak carefully.
Never forget that you may be one of the few good listeners, but the person you’re talking to may have troubles in that area. Mean people usually don’t have the patience and empathy to hear you out, so when interacting with one, you need to speak clearly, calmly, and very carefully.
7. Seek help.
Some extreme circumstances require someone else’s help. A third party can be incredibly useful in times when you are simply unable to handle the mean person on your own. Besides, they will give you an entirely different point of view, which may provide much-needed clarity to the situation.