Communicating When You Don’t Want To

The world is full of people who can bring about positive change in our lives .. people who can fill our days with new and rewarding experiences.

Unfortunately, from time to time, we encounter people who are a little more difficult to interact with. Enter The Grumpy One. Their negative comments or actions bring about stress, annoyance, anger or worse. Whether family member, co-worker, client or friend, it can be exhausting to keep up appearances. Worse than that, it can be a strain to constantly keep your temper under control. It’s no secret that I have a short fuse so trust me, I get it.

Short term solutions like avoidance aren’t always sustainable and usually just cause more feelings of anxiety and stress. There may come a time when confrontation is the only next step, and no other solution presents itself. Before initiating any confrontation, consider what you would like to say to that person. Try to be objective rather than defensive and avoid any judgmental language. Don’t try and play the part of the victim, just be honest and straightforward.

Most importantly, calm yourself before you start any conversation. Personally, I need to re-read that three or four times. These issues should not be addressed when you’re angry, or things will escalate. If the person you’re confronting happens to get angry, don’t let their emotions or actions affect you – always try to keep yourself in control. Express yourself assertively and always be direct, but never mistake that with being rude.

It’s important to clearly explain to the other person how their actions directly affect you. It’s equally as important to understand the motivation behind their actions. Ask them to explain why they’re saying and doing these negative things and try to understand their point of view. Try to help them see your point of view. Asking them lots of questions may help to shift their perspective or encourage them to find a more positive way of expressing themselves.

If they’re open to your opinion and want to come to a compromise consider that a great first step towards a more healthy relationship. On the other hand, if there is no forward movement or resolution, gracefully let the situation go and move onward with your life. Don’t let a negative person take positive energy away from you, or damage your well-being.

A lot of positive change can happen when people take the time to listen and come to a compromise. Just remember that not every situation will end with a positive outcome and it’s important to know when to walk away.

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