Being Rude And Disrespectful
There have never been more ways to be rude to someone than there are today. In the past, the only ways you could be rude to someone was either in person, writing about them in the newspaper or gossiping about them to mutual friends.
Nowadays, with the benefits of technology, there are many avenues to be directly or indirectly rude with phones, e-mail and social media - and fewer obstacles to prevent us from quickly reacting to it. That is a big issue because incivility breeds incivility, and quick reactions and retorts more often than not increase tension and awkwardness, making life more stressful. In order to avoid escalating conflict, here are the best responses to rudeness and disrespect:
The first thing you need to do is take a deep breath. It is important to pause and take a moment to consider your actions before reacting because it can often be unproductive and ultimately unsatisfying to retaliate, despite feeling triumphant at the time. Take a moment, pause and take a few deep breaths before you decide to respond. Ask yourself these questions: Is it worth engaging this person? Is it productive? Is there an outcome for the greater good that makes a confrontation worth the effort? Are you tired, hungry or grumpy? These factors can all impact how you respond - if you take a moment to consider your state of mind and breathe, you will have a more calibrated and considered reaction.
Let It Go.
This is almost always the best alternative. Chances are the rudeness is not personal, and unless it was particularly egregious or offensive, it is not worth your time or energy to retaliate. Reciprocating poor treatment will only escalate the situation and it could take a turn you cannot reverse if you decide to engage this person in an argument. If it is not a big deal, let it go. You are busy, move on with your day. Use your time and energy for a more productive purpose.
If there is a situation when it is for the greater good for you to speak to someone, you can calmly and as a matter-of-fact speak to someone. If someone is talking in the quiet car, or taking up two seats on the train, you can say simply say, "Excuse me, this is the quiet car could you please take your conversation outside? Thank you." Or "Hello, I'd like to sit here, thank you." There is nothing wrong with politely asking people to be courteous and to follow the rules. Just make sure you are kind and considerate when speaking with them so you do not escalate the conflict.
If a colleague, friend or family member is egregiously rude then it is wise not to respond in the moment. Step away and try and work off your frustration with your preferred form of exercise. It will help clear your mind and work of the additional energy it takes to be frustrated and upset. Once you work off the extra energy, you will have a calmer, more focused mindset to consider your response. If someone you have to see and interact with regularly has not treated you well, you need to be thoughtful in how you respond. It is not right for them to treat you poorly but it is not smart to antagonize them either, that will only make your life more difficult. So let off some steam and exercise, and decide whether you will let it go or find a way to speak to them in a civil manner.
When in doubt, always be kind and let it go. Chances are the reason a person was rude or disrespectful, especially if they are a stranger, has nothing to do with you. Also, if you notice the person is stressed or frustrated, kindness usually relaxes their emotional state and chances are they will relax and reciprocate the kind treatment. You will never regret taking the high road as difficult and frustrating as it is in the moment. Usually, the best course of action is to diffuse a situation, and being kind eases tension quickly and remedies any hard feelings.
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