Sometimes the things people say and do absolutely astound me. Human behavior is wild, isn’t it? We’re able to speak to and about each other in ways that are harmful, derogatory, and downright mean.
It’s like we totally forget we’re all human and facing the same challenges and all we see are the differences that set us apart.
In these moments, when you think to yourself, “I can’t handle people anymore,” you have a few options. You could: Yell, scream, fight back, say something equally mean, etc. Or, you could…
1. Walk away
I know it sounds silly, but sometimes we forget the simplest option: walking away. Choosing not to engage. Ending the conversation and moving on with your day. Taking your power back and not allowing someone else to impact your mood.
You may feel like you’ve missed a chance to say something insightful, stand up for yourself, or ignite change. However, let me assure you that in these moments, the person who’s driving you insane is not in a place where they’d be receptive to feedback,so let it go and walk away.
2. Be firm
If the topic at hand is something you feel passionately about—enough to the point you’re unwilling to walk away—you have every right to stand firm. Say what you need to say. Back it up with facts. Be respectful and kind. Make sure while you’re stating your point, you’re not hurting anyone else (intentionally).
My warning is this: Like I previously mentioned, people typically are not in a place where they’re willing to listen and learn. They HEAR you, but they’re not seeking to UNDERSTAND you. Make sure you’re emotionally in a place where you can move forward positively in your life when you don’t receive the response you’re looking for.
3. Recognize their pain
Hurt people hurt people—it’s a fact. When someone feels pain inside, they often look for ways to redirect that pain. Unfortunately, that usually results in placing it on someone else through nasty words and actions.
Next time you’re on the receiving end, take a minute to think about what they may be feeling inside that’s causing them to act this way. Then say something along the lines of, “I’m sorry you feel that way. It sounds like you’re facing some inner demons and I hope you’re able to find peace.”
Then walk away. Because your job here is done.
At the end of the day, you can’t change anyone.
And unfortunately, there’s a lot of change needed in this world. A lot of hatred needing to disappear. A lot of misinformation needing to be eradicated. A lot of pain needing to heal.
Make sure you’re focusing first on healing and protecting yourself before choosing to fight larger battles.
And even when it’s hard, recognize that everyone’s individual backgrounds, education level, family situation, and experiences shape their current thoughts and beliefs. You don’t know what someone else is going through, and not everyone is at a place in life where they’re able to evolve, learn, and grow. That’s okay—you are. Focus on that.