How to deal with whingers, angry people and chronic complainers

Just about everyone has to deal with, or even work with, with whingers, angry people and chronic complainers. Sometimes you can shrug your shoulders and walk away. Sometimes you can’t–you need to stick it out and deal with them. When that happens, try this:

First, don’t take it personally. That’s just the way some people are and they’re probably the same with everyone, not just you. Or maybe they’re having a difficult day; they might have just had some bad news or be feeling unwell. So don’t take their whinging, anger or moaning personally.

Instead, take a deep breath. This delivers oxygen to the thinking part of your brain so that you can think more clearly and keep your cool. While you’re taking that deep breath (or three!) remind yourself that this poor person is probably doing the best they can. They just lack the skills to behave or communicate more effectively.

Next, put your filters up. Imagine a big screen between you and this person, filtering out their nastiness, their emotionalism, or whatever it is that’s making them difficult to deal with. This big screen is only letting through the facts and the important information you need. You can make your screen any colour you like–mine is gold!

With your bug screen up between you, you can safely let them have their full say. Try to listen with them, not against them. And don’t interrupt, even when you disagree or believe they’re wrong.

When they finish, recap what they’ve said to let them know you’ve heard them and understood their point. At the very least, they may stop repeating it and allow the conversation to progress sensibly.

Just one more thing to think about: sometimes people who annoy us are really holding up a mirror; what we’re seeing or experiencing is really a reflection of ourself and nothing to do with the person we’re dealing with.

Ahhhhh–that makes you think, doesn’t it?!

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