Difficult people are part of life. Whether you are at work, at home, or simply out in life, there is always that person who annoys you. How do you take the high road and avoid conflict? Why get involved with someone who lives for the fight? Here are three tips to help you take the high road:
1. Remind yourself that it is NOT about you! We all tend to personalize our experiences in life. Take that coworker who walks past your desk every morning and never seems to acknowledge you, smile, say hello, or start a conversation. It is easy to assume this person is deliberately ignoring you and to take their affront personally. We will question why they say hello to one person and not to you and assume they are ignoring you deliberately.
They likely aren’t ignoring you. They are probably a million miles inside their heads and aren’t thinking about you, aren’t thinking that you are taking this personally, and aren’t trying to be rude either. They just are thinking about something else.
When you default to taking things personally, take a time-out and ask if there is possibly another explanation that has nothing to do with you. Take the high road, and don’t assume that their behavior is a personal attack. It likely isn’t.
2. Learn to bite your tongue. It is tempting to say what comes to mind in the heat of the situation, but it will cause tensions to rise rather than dissipate.
Biting your tongue is an example of taking the high road. Don’t say what is on the tip of your tongue. While it can be satisfying to snap back with a smart retort, it may be something you regret.
3. Respond vs. React. When we react, we get caught up in the emotions of the situation. When we respond, we have thought through what we are going to say, why we are going to say it, and how we will say it. By taking that pause, we can avoid a situation that causes regret.
There are times when we do need to say things, but by choosing to wait, you can take the time to respond professionally and not emotionally. If you are going to have a conversation, give yourself a 24 hour wait time before saying what you want to say. Your emotions will be calmer; you will be more professional, you will be taking the high road.
Taking the high road, being graceful, professional, and classy, is not accidental. It’s intentional. Intentionally think about what you’re going to say. Intentionally think about when you’re going to say it. Intentionally remove yourself from personal feelings of what’s going on. Intentionally be careful about what you’re doing. Take that high road.
Source: Dealing with Difficult People
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