Quit Taking It Personal. Great advice when it comes to responding to people and situations. Not everything is a slam at you, your character, your gender, your appearance, your ethnicity, your intelligence, your authority, etc. Have you noticed how some people are ready to explode on anyone who crosses them? It seems as everything and everyone offends them.
Flip the script. If you find yourself being offended constantly, try this:
- Start with empathy. Try looking at life through the eyes of those that offend you. As the lyrics of the song goes: “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen. Nobody knows but Jesus.” We need to learn to see people through the eyes of Jesus. It takes conscious effort, but it can dramatically change the outcomes when you learn to love those who offend you.
- Be willing to apologize when you make a mistake. Apologies go a long way in letting people know you are human and no offence was intended. This is vitally important in maintaining healthy relationships and is particularly critical in relationships with kids.
- Try not to drive when you are upset. Road rage incidents don’t typically start on the highway…they tend to begin at home or on the job.
There are three negative responses to a conflict:
- Fight – verbal or physical confrontation ensues. This is dangerous and potentially fatal.
- Flight – passive / aggressive behavior which solves nothing. Running away from a conflict never makes it go away and may in fact escalate the situation when you return. You may need to get away to calm down, but don’t let that time away be spent fuming and plotting revenge.
- Freeze – doing nothing. The deer in the headlights syndrome is not healthy…especially for the deer.
Learn to RSVP. We would do ourselves a huge favor if we would expect conflicts and be prepared in advance on how to respond. Take the chip off your shoulder and do what Otis Redding recommended: “Try a Little Tenderness.”
Life is tough for most people. Remember to Q Tip.