Archive for ‘Dealing with life difficulties’

April 24, 2011

From overwhelmed to calm

by Dandy

We are all powerful people.  But powerful people have their limits.  How is your power being weakened throughout the days, weeks, months as we lead our professional, home, and personal lives?  There are aspects of our lives that can be creative, happy, and engaging in the right setting, but all too frequently we find ourselves overwhelmed and doubting our abilities.

We certainly all know the feelings of being overwhelmed and over extended.  Of having to put our time and energy into the frustrations of life.  In a state of being over extended we may find that our personal relationships are suffering.  We may find ourselves uninspired to connect in meaningful ways with our loved ones.  For some of us may find our jobs have become our primary relationship and our job has become an unforgiving taskmaster.

Health can suffer.  We may find ourselves unable to fall asleep or stay asleep with the nagging worries we have.  Unhealthy eating or not eating enough, our bodies become lethargic and weakened.  Purposeful exercise feels like it would be a luxury.  We are in a state of overwhelm when…

*Our shoulders feel the weight of the world on them.

* We wake up in the middle of the night with racing thoughts of worry.

*  We don’t look forward to doing what once brought us great happiness.

*  We find ourselves thinking if we only worked harder or did better than we could make it all work out.

Different choices need to be made when we are overwhelmed.  The following strategy will be able to help identify and get out of the over extendedness and prevent it from happing again.

  Know Your Limits

We must be able to recognize when we are over extended.  So many of us have been fighting and pushing for so long that we see it as normal.  Everyone of us has signs that let us know we’ve hit our limit and those signs are present before we are overwhelmed.  This is the line between being happily busy and productive to being overwhelmed.  To discover our limits we need to think back to a time to when we were happily busy and productive…functioning, not stressed.  What were we doing?  How were we doing it?  Discovering our limits requires an inner journey to discover how we want the rhythm of our life to happen.  By knowing our limits we can avoid or notice it more quickly and be able to correct it sooner.

  Change Priorities

When in the state of overwhelm there is a different way of prioritizing  that supports us, it is a mindset of crisis intervention, so to speak.  Rather than looking at the most important items and plugging away, look to complete the easiest.  So the project that can be done the fastest and easiest.

  Focus On the Inner Journey

Being overwhelmed is a state of mind.  Thoughts such as, “how am I going to get all of this done?” and “I don’t have any time for me anymore.”  Feelings of anxiety, frustration, and fatigue are telling us that we are running on fumes.  We must be mindful of filling ourselves up, with creativity, positivity, joy, and vitality.  This is our fuel.  When we recognize that our positive emotions are depleting, we must give ourselves the time and attention necessary to bring balance back into our lives.

  Restful Days

Just as our bodies need recharging, so do our minds.  This requires rest on a regular basis.  This means taking a day out of every week where the focus is on rest.  The rest of our days are already filled up with work, school, laundry, and grocery shopping.  A day of rest requires a different sort of energy… one of calmness, recharging, relaxing, and fun.  By taking this one day a week for ourselves, we are supported in keeping our creativity high and the ability to meet whatever presents itself to us in a positive manner.

Make the choice to choose a strategy that will have you transforming feelings of being over extended into feelings of calmness.  Know that you deserve it.

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April 18, 2011

The benefits of a good therapist

by Dandy

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now than you’ve probably figured out that I’m a strong advocate for counseling and therapy.  I have benefited greatly from psychotherapy.  It has changed my life profoundly in so many ways.  I sought out therapy for depression and anxiety, as well as the need to know myself better and be aware of my own needs and emotions.

The overall benefit of therapy is to have a safe and secure place to talk with another person without the fear of judgement.  Having a sounding board releases an incredible amount of pressure and stress, which allows the person to be happier and more centered; this goes for all people, and doubly so for anxiety sufferers.

Another benefit of therapy is it places a high value on the worth of the individual.  A good therapist will praise and encourage their client to seek help.  A therapist can help to determine which kind of therapy the person will benefit from, whether it be cognitive behavioral therapy, Pastoral, Humanistic, Gestalt, Interpersonal, Transpersonal, or Positive Psychology.  Therapists may present other techniques to the client, but the client has the ultimate say of which technique, he or she feels works best for them.  The client works with the therapist to establish goals that the client wants to obtain from therapy.  Therapy is all about the client, while the therapist does their best to help the client seek and reach those goals.  For many, being in the position to make significant choices over their own well-being is a new experience.  This can be intimidating to some, but again this is what the therapist is for.  Working through this can be incredibly empowering.

Therapy is a gentle process.  Therapist are trained to be very emotionally gentle because they realize that if they make even slight comments or mistakes that are perceived as threatening, or judgemental, that they have begun to jeopardize the therapeutic relationship.  Clients who feel judged withhold information, which impedes progress.  Going through therapy isn’t always easy.  When one is willing to make changes in their lives it can be very distressful.  Therapists help to reduce transitional stress so that they can aid their clients to lead the healthy and happy lives they want to live.

Some important things to know when seeking out a good therapist…

*  Ask your general practitioner for a referral, or ask your religious community if they can recommend someone.

*  Interview the therapist.  Ask them their area of expertise and how they’ve helped people with your presenting concern.  If it is important to you, ask if they will respect your Spiritual views.

*  Listen to your inner voice or instincts.  Not every therapist will click with a potential client. 

*  Go with experience over degrees.  Not everyone with multiple doctorates can be helpful.  But make sure they are licensed to practise.

*  You do not have to tell anyone you are seeing a therapist.  This is a very personal decision.  It is entirely up to you who you tell.  unfortunately, there is still a stigma over mental illness and it is a profound shame.  If someone you know thinks that only, “sickos go to head shrinks,”  then it may not be in your best interest to let them know your personal business.  But this must be discussed with your therapist.

*  If after a few sessions you find that you are not comfortable with this therapist than it is ok to seek another one.  I’ve had this experience and was so glad I kept looking for a therapist that could really help me.  I’ve never regretted it.

If you know of someone who may need help encourage them to seek therapy.  Let them know there is no shame in it at all.  Refer them to my website.  Let them know they aren’t alone and that they can lead a happy life.  Ok, now que the soundtrack to Good Will Hunting:)

April 11, 2011

Spring cleaning for the soul

by Dandy

“To change skins, evolve into new cycles, I feel one has to learn to discard. If one changes internally, one should not continue to live with the same objects. They reflect one’s mind and the psyche of yesterday. I throw away what has no dynamic, living use.”
~Anaïs Nin~

It’s Spring!  For most of the U.S. this has been a very long and snowy Winter.  People are in need of the warmth of the sun and the chirping of birds to awaken the soul.  Nature is stepping out from her slumber and into the abundance of budding trees and sun reaching flowers.    These cues from nature are beautiful invitations to help us in identifying, releasing, and letting go of the excess, of the things that are perhaps weighing us down in our lives.

On an inner level we must “clean house” every now and then and take inventory of what we are holding onto.

Sometimes we find ourselves holding onto habits, resentments, limiting beliefs, fears and certain ways of being, because they feel safe and comfortable since we’ve been holding onto them for so long.  Yet if we were to take a closer look, we can start to see that these things no longer serve us and in fact we are standing in our own way of moving forward.

Imagine the old tree metaphor – what would happen if a tree never lost its leaves?  It would never look bare.  It would always be full and abundant.  Yet if trees never shed itself of their leaves there would never be the space or opportunity to grow new leafs, new ideas, new ways of thinking, new opportunities.  So how do we begin to identify and let go of the things that we are ready to release?

First we must claim some special time for ourselves.  We’ll need to go outside to a place that is special to us, a river, a park, an old hiking trail, a place that feels safe and sacred.  Bring a notebook and pen.

Second, center ourselves.  Feel the ground, take in deep breaths of the Spring air and the energy of release and letting go.  Next, answer these questions…

1.  What is wasting your time and energy?

2.  What feels like a burden to you?

3.  What habits or patterns leave you feeling tired, overwhelmed, or bored?

4.  What are you most fearful right now?

Analyse your answers and compose a list of 5 things you are ready to let go of.  These things should be what we know in our hearts that no longer serve us, even though  they may feel comfortable.

Next take 5 stones.  Each one of these stones represents the one thing we need to release, surrender, and let go.  Make it clear what each stone represents.  Take a moment as you pick each stone from the ground, take a breath, feel it in your hand as you say aloud, “this stone represents my resentment of _________”.  Or “this stone represents my relationship with ________”.  Allow each stone to take on the energy of the thing you need to release.

Then take a walk with your stones.  Make a note of how these stones burden you and weigh you down.  Note how they’ve gotten in your way of peace and contentment.  Then as you are ready, drop them to the ground, one by one.  Feel the symbolism of letting each one go.  If you are near water, toss them into it, listen to the splash, visualize it sinking and disappearing.

Notice how it feels in your body.  Where do you feel it the most?  Is it in your throat, your chest, your head, your shoulders?  Breathe.

The last step is for us to write down an action step for each of the items.  What will you do in replacement of what you have released?  Keep this list where you will always see it.

What do you need to let go of?  What beliefs have been holding you back?

April 4, 2011

Women and anger

by Dandy

The past couple of weeks I’ve received a few emails from women concerning my post on Boundary Lessons.  This has created some lively discussion on women’s issues, anger, betrayal, forgiveness, expression.  So I’ve been asked to write about this topic some more. 

There was a rough patch in my life awhile ago that caused me to have some serious anger issues.  I didn’t like experiencing  that emotion and sought out counseling and read many, many books about the subject.  I would like to share some of the tools I’ve learned. 

Know your triggers

For most women, our triggers are around issues of power, justice, and responsibility.  We  become angry when we cannot meet our own expectations, when we cannot change frustrating circumstances from work or home, and being treated unfairly or disrespectfully.

The self-esteem factor

Venting anger is even more harmful than keeping it in.  Labels like bitch, shrew, ball-buster mean to undermine self-esteem.   To enhance self-esteem people need to feel loveable, and competent, and venting anger does neither of these.  Having low-self esteem makes people more likely to be easily provoked and to express their anger in volatile ways.  When we are angered we  tend to regard innocent acts and words as personal affronts, further undermining self-esteem. 

Another counterproductive response to anger (this one was so me) is a tendency to ruminate and brood about the precipitating event, construing it as unfair and deliberately provoking said rumination only worsened angry feelings.

When we have high self-esteem we have fewer anger symptoms and are much less likely to brood about the events that provoke anger.  We also have a less propensity to become angry or to keep anger in, or to vent it. 

Rather than suppressing anger or negatively expressing it, women with high self-esteem tend to discuss their anger in a problem solving way, either with a confidante, or with the person who provoked it, or both.

Women with high self-esteem also do not have to busy themselves with protecting a fragile sense of self, but can identify the salient aspects of the anger producing situation and approach it from a problem solving stance.

Women who suppress their anger also suffer from low self-esteem, because they’d allowed themselves to be treated as doormats or punching bags.  Occasionally after prolonged suppression, their anger would erupt in a way that was out of proportion to the triggering event, making  them feel guilty and worthless, further lowering self-esteem( this was me too).

 

The difference between venting and expressing

*Analyse what makes you angry with out walking around it.  Without blaming or reaching for complaints.  Recognize it.  Validate it by writing it down. 

*Admit your anger, feel it out.  Exercise, yell into a pillow.  Go running.  Tear apart old phone books. Depending on the intensity of the emotion this may not always be necessary, some may prefer to draw, paint, or write in a journal.  Expressing anger in this way is so positive and healthy, and it is not venting out, hurting people.  Regardless of whether or not they make sense our feelings are an essential part of who we are – no longer allow repression.  With expression there is no room for it!

* Understand the deeper meaning.  Once you’ve allowed yourself to really feel it and you are aware of where or who it has been directed to.  There is almost always another feeling behind anger. 

* Set boundaries!  Plan ahead.  Say what you want.  Hold yourself responsible for your own happiness.

* Know your limits.  Recognize those triggers.  Find the roots of them.

* Value yourself and forgive.  Forgive others for not always getting it right.  Forgive yourself.

On a side note, any emails sent to me will absolutely, positively be private.  I do not share emails or names, and do not discuss private conversation with anyone, ever.  Privacy is a huge issue for me!  If there is anything you would like to discuss or comment on in private please email me at thereflectiveself@hotmail.com

March 28, 2011

Five Powerful Ways to Respond to Criticism

by Dandy

I’d like you all to give a warm welcome to my guest blogger, M. Farouk Radwan.  He is the creator and author of the incrediable website 2knowmyself.com  I encourage you all to take a look at his large selection of articles that offer smart, confident, and thought provoking articles.  I love this article he wrote on criticism and I’m thrilled to have it on The Reflective Self. 

Five powerful ways to respond to criticism

Criticism whether its constructive or destructive can changes our moods and make us feel down for few days. Since many people criticize others harshly these days learning how to deal and respond with criticism has became an essential life skill that everyone is in need of.

In this post I will tell you about five powerful ways that can help you handle criticism.

How to handle criticism:

1)     Never reply right away: If someone criticized you through an Email , a blog comment or any other method that gave you the choice when to respond then don’t reply right away because: I) by replying quickly you show the person how he managed to stir up your emotions and disturb your balance II) because emotional responses will always be wrong as your mind wont be in a clear mental state.

Instead wait some time and allow yourself to do the rest of the these points before you take actions.

2)     Understand the intention behind the critical comment: If your parent criticized you then most probably he wants to see you a better person but what about people who criticize you because they are feeling jealous? What about others who were criticized as children thus grew up having a negative voice that lets them criticize everyone.  Certainly replying to these different categories of people the same way is a wrong thing to do.  That’s why you must first take your time to analyze the intention before you respond back to the person

3)     Never be defensive: One you turn to the defensive side you are I) admitting what the person said and II) you are allowing him to attack you even more.  Instead you should politely shift the focus on the person himself.  For example if you got a message such as “Your blog is worthless”  (apparently that’s someone with bad intention) you could reply saying “don’t let jealousy motivate you to attack people who never harmed you”

While your reply was very polite it will shock the other person because I) it will let him think about himself instead of attacking you further II) it will frighten him as it will show him that you understand the dynamics of his behavior.

4)     Smile :  Again if the person has bad intentions just smiling back to him will show him that you are confident enough and that you aren’t giving any weight to what he said about you.

5)     Ask yourself, what if the person is right: What if the one who criticized you was a good person who wanted your best? What if you were really wrong or if you needed to change something about yourself? Don’t let your ego stop you from first analyzing the comment and finding it whether its really true or weather it makes no sense. One final point to put into consideration is that even constructive criticism that is given in a harsh way is a sign of envy, jealousy or even hatred so treat it as if you treat non constructive criticism.

Written by M.Farouk Radwan

Founder of http://www.2knowmyself.com, The ultimate source for understanding yourself and others

March 14, 2011

How to Survive Adversity and Yes, Even Thrive!

by Dandy

Hello wonderful blog friends!  Today I’d like to introduce you to Debbie Bills.  She is the creator and author of the fantastic blog Happy Maker Now.   I love Debbie’s no-nonsense advice and her tell it like it is approach.  Her life experience makes her a pro when it comes to giving advice on how to live a happier life.  Please check out her blog at www.happymakernow.com as soon as you can and subscribe!  So please welcome my guest author, Debbie Bills!

 

How to Survive Adversity and Yes, Even Thrive!

“If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be”

 by John Heywood.

 

Have you ever wished for a world with no problems, no worries, everything just went on day after day with nothing new happening?

Have you every stopped to think the only way that is going to happen is if you are dead?  Dead people don’t have any more problems, worries or adversity in their lives.  So before your start wishing for something you need to stop and think, ‘Is this really what I want.”

Life is a play ground if you look at it from the positive side.  I know you’re saying, “Lady you have no idea how bad it can get.  Yes I do know how bad it can get.  Let me make a list of things that can go wrong and have gone wrong for me.

  1. Growing up my parents didn’t have much money.  Lived from pay check to pay check. (One pair of shoes at a time)
  2. Lived in a house with no running water until I was in the 7th grade.
  3. Was engaged to a man that dumped me without any explain. (He was in the Navy)
  4. Married a child molester, only for 1 ½ years.  (That’s another blog post.)
  5. Remarried someone that was described to me as a husband and wife lying on a slap in a mortuary.
  6. While married the second time, my house was sold right before it was to be foreclosed on.
  7. File bankruptcy also in that marriage.
  8. Divorced with an ex that thought he didn’t need to pay child support for 3 children.  He went 4 years without a job.
  9. Supported and raised 3 children on my own.

There is more I could add, but I don’t want to bore you.  Yes, I do know what adversity is, you do get through it with the right attitude.  Learn to bend in the wind like a tree!

 We all have this in common. That is…at some point in our life, we all face adversity. It’s not a matter of “if”, but “when”. The difference between success and failure comes down to choice. When adversity strikes, it’s not what happens that will determine our destiny; it’s how we react to what happens.

 If you drew a picture of your day, you would find that some days the line is pretty straight with few hills and curves in it.  Then there are those days and sometimes weeks where all you have is curves, hills and very low valleys. 

Now if you take a look at a dead person’s day, it is just one straight line all the time.  Day after day, night after night.  Not a good alternative.

How I overcome adversity?

  1.  Prayed a lot.  My heart does go out to you if you aren’t a believer, because I do not believe I would have survived without knowing that God was and still is on my side.
  2. Being raise with little, I did know how to make do.
  3. As for making wrong choice when it came to marriage, that was on my shoulders to figure out what I was doing wrong.  Why all the bad choice.  And I am here to tell you I finally figured it out and I am now very happily married to the right guy for the right reasons.
  4. I learned that you are what you think you are.  If you think you have troubles and problems they are going to come and probably pick up speed as they come.
  5. Regardless of what is going on the sun is going to come up in the morning, so don’t let it go to waste; you can always find a way to have some fun.
  6. Take time out to act like a kid and laugh, because hard times will pass.
  7. Take it one day at a time and at the end of that day, just be thankful for all the little things and you survived with a roof over your head, clothes on your back and food in your tummy.
  8. Never give up, remember life is a class room and you are always learning new things.
  9. Learn what is really important, like the people you love and love you.
  10. This too shall end and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Take those adversities and see life as a challenge and meet them head on.  Be grateful for those crooked lines in your life it means you are alive and still in the ball game.  Think of an Alzheimer patient, they are not in any pain and have no problems. Isn’t it much better to be aware with pain, than be mindless!

Are you handling the adversities in your life or are you struggling to stay in the ball game of life?

Here are your 3 choices:  1. Give up and be dead.

                                          2. Pray for Alzheimer’s.

                                           3. Except the adversity and learn from it.

Love to know which one of the 3 choice’s you pick.  Just insert it in the comment box.  Thank you and have wonderful life!

Debbie

November 17, 2010

Accept and be free

by Dandy

There is so much stress coming at us from all directions.  Some of it is avoidable, some is not.  Sometimes we bring it upon ourselves by trying to fix people or wishing they would change.  Learning to accept things and people for what and who they are means stepping out of the self-imposed stress and letting go.

There are people we look at and see what they are doing wrong and the various ways they could improve themselves and their lives.  That is judgement.   We are all guilty of it.  Sometimes that judgement can cause us anguish and heavy amounts of stress.  When we are wrapped up tightly around people who have qualities we disapprove of it affects us in profoundly negative ways. 

People are who they are.  Just because we see room for improvement in their lives doesn’t mean they’ll change.  People won’t change because we want them to be happier, better, or different.  No matter how many times we kiss a frog it will still be a frog.

Start by choosing to accept yourself.  We all pick ourselves apart at times.  Women especially are notorious for this.  When we feel we aren’t good enough we either have high expectations of our partners, or have none at all.  Just because we feel a person should be a certain way doesn’t mean they will feel obligated to meet those expectations.  Nobody is obligated to adopt or adhere to our belief system.  Do not speak or think the words, “ought to”, “should”, or ,”why can’t she”.  If you are profoundly unhappy with someone, move on and away from them if possible.  If the someone is someone you can’t say toodles to, strictly limit your time with them.  Look after your own well-being.

That’s the wonderful benefit of learning to accept others for who they are…it frees you from having to problem solve, giving unwanted help, and unsolicited advice.  It frees you from all the energy it takes to try to change someone.  Take all that precious energy and put it into your precious self. 

Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the anacceptable. – Denis Waitley

What are the things you need to stop judging yourself on?  Who have you been trying to change?  Can you wish them well on their journey and let go?

October 18, 2010

Are you being sabotaged?

by Dandy

In my post Self-sabotage, I wrote about the little and big things we do to sabotage our best efforts.  The negative self-talk, the excuses, the self-doubt all besiege our interests in bettering our lives.  We often work against ourselves and don’t realize it.  I received many thoughtful replies to that post and while writing it I realized that sometimes it’s not just ourselves that sabotage.  Sometimes it’s others.  It can even come from people who love and care about us.

It may or may not be intentional, but our friends and family might be disrupting our attempts to better ourselves.  Common tactics are complaining, temptation, and passing judgement.  For example, if you are wanting to get fit, they may complain that the gym  is taking up too much of your time.  Or you may be trying to get ahead at work and taking college classes for advancement, your friends may tempt you by asking you to go out with them instead of going to class.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that your loved ones may not realize their comments and behaviors are upsetting to you.  Also they may have insecurities about their own life issues and they don’t like the pressure this puts on them to take a closer look at those issues. There is also the possibility that they fear they’ll be left behind while you are making these positive changes.  They may feel the relationship is threatened.

They may also fail to understand why these changes you are making are so important to you.  It is to your benefit and theirs if you explain that you fear for your health, which is why you’re hitting the gym.  You can explain that you are unhappy with the lack of responsibility and low wages at your job, hence the dedication to achieving more education.  Your loved ones may not appreciate your reasons if they are unable to relate.

Their negative behaviors can certainly hurt and cause you distress especially if you are stumbling down the road to self-improvement.  Of course you cannot control the behaviors of others, but you can control your own.  So how do you neutralize this sabotage?

It’s important to be honest with your loved ones.  Tell them why you are unhappy with your life and how much it means to you to try to do something about it.  Ask them for their help.  If you involve them in this mission for self-improvement they will be more apt to see your point of view.  If you have support you are more likely than not to succeed.  Ask your friends to exercise with you.  Ask them to take a brisk walk with you while you catch up on the latest.  Then reward yourselves by resting at the local coffee shop over skinny lattes.  Ask a loved one to help you study, or ask if it would be ok to call them the night before a big exam to receive a dose of “you can do it” for your shaky nerves.

If your on the tail end of their passing judgement, tell yourself it’s not about you.  That it is a mere reflection of their own personal issues.  Your life is your own.  They can’t live it for you.

It’s also good to be prepared ahead of time if you know you’ll meet up with those that have trouble with you life changes.  For the person who isn’t comfortable with your health efforts by offering you a huge slab of cake, tell them, “it looks delicious and you might have some later.”  But for anyone who keeps persisting with temptations simply say, “I’m trying to make a positive change for myself and I would love and appreciate your support.”

Our journeys are our own responsibilities and you are accountable for your choices.  For those who really do want what’s best for you, their actions will speak louder than words, by helping you achieve your dreams and goals.  Only you can decide what is best for you.   The reigns are all yours!

October 12, 2010

How rude!!!

by Dandy

 No matter who you are or where you live we all have one thing in common…at one point or another we encounter impolite, rude, tactless, uncouth people.  There are varying degrees of rudeness.  Some can be easily overlooked and forgotten, and sometimes the offense is startling and cruel.

It’s not easy to deal with rudeness especially if this is a person you encounter everyday, such as a co-worker, neighbor, or relative.  However, there are strategies you can take that make dealing with such people easier for you.

The most important thing for you to do is to never, ever react with rudeness in return.  Forget it.  You may want to reply with a witty, sharp comment, but this doesn’t resolve the problem.  It only encourages the banter of tactlessness (I think that’s a word).  It also reflects poorly on you.

You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.  Make it difficult for them to be rude to you by being sweet as maple syrup.  Kill the rudeness with kindness.  It’s not fun being rude to a person who is really nice and polite.

Try to look past the outward behavior.  Remember there is a reason for everything.  I was once at a second-hand clothing store, standing in a long check out line.  The cashier was frenzied and fumbling in her stress.  She was curt and short to every person who checked out their items ahead of me.  When it was my turn to check out I smiled at the cashier, made eye contact, said a bright,” hello”.  Then I complimented her on her pretty accent.  She told me where she was from and it was a place I’ve always wanted to travel to.  By this brief chit-chat her entire countenance changed.  She even laughed!  As I left, she cheerfully told me to have a great day.  I’ve been back to this store a few more times and she always remembers me, and greets me with a smile.  I’d like to give the credit to my charm, but really it was just genuine kindness.  I gave the poor, frenzied cashier some slack.  We all need a break now and then.  Treat people like a friend.  Talk politely.  Smile. Watch them change.

Another thing to know when it comes to dealing with rude people is to be honest.  If this rudeness is a reoccurring thing, tell them their behavior and/or comments are not appreciated and they shouldn’t expect you to accept it any longer.  In many cases, the rude person doesn’t know their actions hurt others.  But bringing it to their attention will cause them to take a look at their behavior.  Stand up for yourself, but do so in a positive manner.

Assess the behavior.  Sometimes a person just doesn’t have social graces or may have some mild social anxiety.  This is very different from a blatantly rude individual whose comments are said with purposeful intention.  Assertive communication is needed for hurtful, cutting comments not someone who is socially awkward.

Remain detached.  If you are not only dealing with a rude individual, but a profoundly negative one, smile and don’t say anything.  Don’t get involved.  This type of person is seeking a reaction, a negative one.  It’s what they feed on.  Try observing and then tell yourself, “what a shame this person is so negative.  This unhappiness has nothing to do with me.”

If nothing else say goodbye.  If ignoring, confronting, detaching doesn’t work, it may be in your best interest to move on.  This can be particularly difficult if the person who is making the rude comments is a close friend.  For example, if  a friend is persistently making disparaging comments about your weight, or relationship, or parenting style and it is tearing you up, then it may be time to move on and away from this person.  Wish them well and say goodbye.

It’s hard not to take rude comments personally.  We do not have to respond to every thoughtless comment.  You won’t be any less of a person if you choose to walk away from the rude person.

“Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it”.  Rene Descartes

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