Rise Above

Photo from Mavis

If you have a job, there’s a good chance you work with people. Most of humanity is polite, considerate, and friendly – but we’ve all had an interaction with the kind of individual that makes you appreciate everyone else.

What to do when you’re dealing with an insufferable nincompoop? Rise above.

1. Kill Them With Kindness

Try to make the situation better by being your usual sweet self. Don’t get drawn into the negativity – try to influence the situation with your positive charm. I tried this approach once, when a customer asked me in a condescending tone whether I had “ever had the pleasure of making a cappucino before”, because the one I had provided him with wasn’t up to his usual standards. I happily offered to make him a new drink (according to his exact specifications). He returned the next day to apologize for his behaviour. Success! (Not every situation will be this easy, but it doesn’t hurt to try.)

2. Use Your Head

It was Eleanor Roosevelt that said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Even if you can’t embody the wisdom of her words during the moment, it’s ok. Having them in mind might help you take a mental step back and separate yourself from the situation.  It doesn’t have to affect you unless you let it.

3. Let It Go

Even the most cool-headed of people can get a little riled up if the right buttons are pushed. What will define you is how long you hang on to negative emotions once the interaction has finished. Don’t let it ruin your day, and don’t dwell on it. It’s over. Move on. Do better next time. Even the worst moments can be learning experiences, if you look at them the right way.


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