How to Respond to Nastiness with Dignity
For the most part, dealing with rude people is indeed challenging. We have this strong feeling of wishing to avoid them as much as we can. However, there are times when there’s no option for us left but to deal with them as best we can. For example, if the person is a customer, a colleague at work, an immediate superior, or even a relative.
So, the real question is, how can we deal with people like them apart from avoidance? How can we deal with them without compromising our composure and dignity?
Here is some insight into dealing with difficult people.
It’s Not Bad To Ask
Sometimes, people are rude due to personal reasons. Probably, they’re having a lot of negative things going on through their mind, or they’re having a rough day, and they tend to forget proper manners. They are so fixated with their own issues that they don’t realize how rude they’ve been. You will never know any of these possibilities unless you ask, in a caring and non-probing manner. Just don’t forget to stay calm and composed.
Be Objective and Determine The Cause Of Nastiness
So somebody is nasty towards you. What is the person even saying or doing? Is it something worth reciprocating by being nasty as well? At this point, it is important to view the situation objectively. By doing so, you’ll often realize that most of this spite is nonsensical, and it will be better for you to simply ignore it.
If you do determine that there’s a deeper reason behind the spiteful behavior, you will be in a better position to deal with it effectively, than if you have obscured the situation by your own nasty response.
Don’t Fuel The Fire
Don’t amplify the situation by yelling or cursing at people who are nasty to you. Just don’t. Whether you’re dealing with someone who’s into drama and is being intentionally rude, or perhaps someone who’s inconsiderate enough to be spiteful, remember to keep your dignity and your cool intact. Don’t let nasty behavior trigger you into a flare-up of your own.
Address the Issue By Engaging In a “Calm” Conversation
If someone is consistently nasty towards you, it’s time to call the person out. Engage in a calm conversation to address the issue. Ask the person if they realize the rude things they have said, and the effect it has on you.
The person may have been unaware that their behavior is considered inappropriate. If the person really cares, they will adjust their conduct. In case they don’t, then it may be time for you to move on and avoid this person.
Kindness Can Be Offered
This idea may sound challenging, or even impossible to do if the nastiness of the person is way more than you can handle. However, if you are able to set a proper example, there is a huge possibility that the person will follow your lead.
Also, don’t rely on this entirely, but it is definitely worth a shot if you have no choice but to be around the person. Many business and work relationships had started abrasively, but become enduring when one person was magnanimous enough to de-escalate the situation and associated feelings.
If Possible, Avoid The Nasty Person
Where you can, this is possibly the best response. Simply ignore and walk away in case the nasty person keeps on saying bad things or is acting out impolitely. If the spiteful behavior is a habit, they may now realize it’s now time for them to change.
Avoid Giving Airtime To Someone That Is Nasty
Giving airtime is generally discussing the person’s behavior to others. Most likely, there will be no changes resulting from what you say; rather, this may even end up being construed as gossiping which is rude as well.
Feeling as though you have someone who understands may help fortify your emotions, but be circumspect. Openly discussing the behavior of that person with other people may possibly make the situation worse.
However, when someone’s nastiness goes overboard and becomes habitual harassment or bullying, make sure to be proactive enough to inform the proper people, as opposed to gossiping and complaining to those who can’t help. There are times where being consistently polite is not an adequate response to impolite treatment.
You may also want to read How Do You Deal with Toxic or Difficult People?