Alright, kids. Here’s the story…
There are people out there who you’re just going to have to deal with in your life. Right? There are the teachers, bosses, coworkers, and even family members who you just can’t get around dealing with completely.
Hey, it’s good to know that going into this post…
Even though we can’t get around dealing with difficult people entirely, there are certain ways we can, say, minimize the crazy in our lives.
Just recently, I had to diffuse a situation with someone I worked with at a gym. This guy is a very sweet person, but totally high-strung. When I told him I couldn’t do what he was asking due to scheduling issues, he blew a fuse. He started accusing me of many things I had no idea he had a problem with. He blew things out of context and blamed me for things I had no control over. Then, he wanted to charge me extra for not abiding by his schedule! What?!
Though inside I was doing a mini-panic, outside I kept calm and open.
Luckily, I was able to calm him down and explain my situation a little more clearly to him so that he understood that it wasn’t personal. He apologized and we speak now, even though I’m a little bit afraid to ever talk to him again for fear of another freak out…
When you just can’t get around dealing with the difficult ones, what do you do? I get asked a lot about this subject due to my post on firing your friends.
Well, folks, I’m going to cover that issue as much as I can by drawing from my experience. I hope it can help you, too!
First off, cut the unnecessary crazy
Wherever you can, cut the crazy. Crazy fuels crazy, and if you don’t want that in your life, get as far away from it as you can!
Here are some ideas to cut down on the crazy without looking like a meanie yourself:
- Spend less time at the proverbial water cooler
- Wear headphones while you work
- Eat lunch somewhere else or *gasp* bring your own
- Don’t answer your phone every time they call
- Set boundaries (nicely and respectfully for best results)
Try to understand
We’ve all been there; we blow up on someone close to us because we know deep down inside that they can handle it. …Some people just think that everyone can handle it.
Even this guy at the gym who went off the handle wasn’t “crazy” per se; I really do understand where he was coming from. We all blow fuses sometimes when we’re under a ton of stress. Maintaining that understanding saves me a lot of anger toward him.
Stay open-minded. Try to understand where this person is coming from.
Maybe you were raised not to act like him, but what if he just doesn’t know better? Have you thought about what his life must be like outside of work/school?
Have compassion for the human condition, even if it isn’t your human condition.
Kill ‘em with kindness n’ calmness
One of the tactics that helped me diffuse the situation at the gym so effectively was acting from a place of love and kindness. Half of that will come from trying to understand their situation as explained above, and the other half will be an effort to stay calm, collected, and kind.
Even if you feel like screaming their ear off in retort, there is a way to stick up for yourself without setting them off further and worsening the situation.
What would you want to hear if you were in one of your fuse-blowing episodes? What kindness would make you feel betterDo you have it in you to give them that response?
Just as important as acting from kindness is acting with calmness.
No matter how kind you are, they won’t interpret it as such if you yell it at them. Take some deep breaths and consider what you say before you say it. Take the high road here and hopefully they’ll realize that they need to step up…
Ooh, something shiny!
There are those people who create drama just to get attention. I know. I was one of them.
If you just don’t want that drama in your life, but don’t want to deal with the confrontation, deflect, deflect, deflect!
The more you do this and the less attention you give them, the more they’ll realize that their crazy tactics don’t produce what they want from you (attention).
- Direct their attention to someone else.
- Start talking about something else entirely.
- Leave the room.
- Pretend you’re on the phone.
Seriously, anything you can do to show them that they can’t get any drama out of you, do it.
Call It Quits
If you reach the point at which you’ve done everything you can, and their negative energy poison is still just too much to handle, you have to call in reinforcements or leave the situation entirely.
Even those people you think you can’t ditch entirely can in fact be cut out of your life. It just might require a drastic life change on your part as well.
If this person is someone you deal with at work, either go to upper management or HR and file a complaint or even a request to change positions. It may even come down to leaving the company entirely if they refuse to change. If this person is causing you stress outside of the work environment, it’s definitely something to consider.
If this person is a family member, you’re probably more used to their craziness. If it hurts you, however, there’s no need to stand for it. Settle for seeing them at family occasions (unless you just don’t feel like going), and other than that, severely limit contact. Just because you’re blood doesn’t mean you have to take on their drama!
I know I can write all of this advice and hope that it speaks to you, but executing this process is more complicated than simply reading it.
The most important thing for you to remember is that you are worth a drama-free, happy life. Anyone who interjects their nonsense into it does not deserve your time.
Even after all is said and done with crazy gym guy, I’m glad I stood up for myself. Every time I do, I’m proving to myself that I won’t allow someone else to control my mental state.
How about you? Are you standing up for yourself and just saying “no” to crazy?
For this week’s challenge, I’d like to push you to cut the crazy in your life.
In the comments below:
If you’re down for cutting unnecessary stress and drama from your own life, write “I’m in” below with the action you plan on taking to get free of the nonsense.
Here’s to you and your drama-free life. :)
Stay strong, guys,