When you’ve about had it with people who irritate you, it can be easy to lose your cool. But we’re not just talking about the clueless ones who don’t know the difference between right and wrong. We’re also talking about the ones who lack the decency to act like a proper human being. But you don’t want to meet them at their level. Like Michelle Obama said, “When they go low, you go high.” So how do you take the high road when you just want to knock some sense into them?
Take a few hearty breaths to decrease your stress levels
Folks without common sense can get our heart rates pumping. Rather than acting out of impulse, go inward when you feel like you’re about to fall out of control. Practice deep belly breathing. It will calm your mind down and hold you back from saying something you might end up regretting.
Try to see how limited they really are
Rather than immediately judging them for their way of thinking, it may help to understand where they’re coming from. Their upbringing may have a lot to do with the way they think and what they consider important. As Stephen Covey simply (but brilliantly) put it in his book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People“, “Seek first to understand and then to be understood.”
Protect your energy
Remember that you have the power to detach yourself from the situation. You can train yourself to become emotionally immune to their words by refusing to take what they say personally. When you truly understand and accept this, you won’t let the thoughts and actions of others hurt or frustrate you as much.
Kill them with kindness
What these people can’t stand is knowing that their words can’t faze you. Treat them like you would the people you love. We’re not encouraging two-faced behavior, but it doesn’t make sense to waste your time or energy. They’ll get the picture and move on to the next person who they can bother.
If you can, remove yourself
Though this may not always be so simple if you need to interact with them on a daily basis (family members, coworkers, etc.), keep your distance. You’ll save yourself added stress and second-hand embarrassment. Associate with those who will inspire and stimulate you.