Conflict Resolution Series: Staying Level Headed When Someone is Unkind
There you are, going about your day doing the right thing and boom, someone says or does something unkind. In that moment, two choices plop down in front of you.
Let their unkindness ruin your day
Let their unkindness roll off your back
It really is that simple.
Dealing with unkind people doesn’t have to be hard. The easiest thing to do is tell yourself that no one else’s opinion of you matters. Just like no one else’s rudeness matters in regards to your mood.
Keeping a level head when someone is unkind is more than just ignoring them. It is the actual process of taking in their rudeness and swirling it around your brain to wash it clean. Keeping a level head includes:
Acknowledging what they said or did
Looking for clues for their unkindness
Assessing the realities in the moment
Making a decision about their rudeness
Releasing their intentions out of your head
This process washes clean the unkind words or deeds and intellectualizes them rather that attaching emotions to what has happened. Here’s how:
Take in what they said
Depending on what was said or did, acknowledge it in your mind and accept how it made you feel. Did it piss you off? Hurt your feelings? Feel the feelings. Don’t stuff them down.
Look for clues
Why might this person be rude? Is there something going on to cause them to be short, flippant, or unkind? Look for clues that indicate why they are unable to be kind and use that information to offer them grace.
Assess what’s going on
Is it raining and someone cut you off? Maybe they can’t see very well in the poor weather. Is someone dismissing you when you are trying to connect with them? Maybe they are distracted by an emergency or other issue. Assessing what is going on helps determine why people may be rude or unkind.
Make a decision about their behavior
Whether the reason seems to be bad karma or bad manners, make a decision about their behavior. Decide to forgive and forget. Decide to ‘bless their heart’ or decide to shake it off. Making the decision to disallow their unkind behavior puts the power where it belongs - with you.
Release their intentions and be free
It might sound airy-fairy but releasing their negative vibes and deflecting them back from you helps keep a level head. Refusing to allow someone else’s unkind ways affect your joy, peace, or overall good vibes is a mature thing to do.
You can keep a level head when people are unkind. Process their rudeness through your mind and keep the emotions out of it. Being able to intellectualize what they have done makes it possible to quickly analyze the situation. Let it go and move on with your day.
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