Communication is key to understand, but when it is one-sided, it must be dealt with appropriately.
Rumor has it we can please some people some of the time, some people all of the time, all people some of the time, but never all people all of the time. There is about to be someone upset about something. The question is, how do we deal with all of this negativity - especially when we feel it simply is not warranted, appropriate, or relevant?
One article on Entrepreneur says when dealing with an angry customer, to seek to understand, confront it without getting emotionally involved, and work towards a resolution. The same can be true for dealing with trolls - those that post negative comments on everything you post. Only address what needs to be addressed, but do so without becoming emotionally involved and “firing back”. Respond, but politely and diplomatically.
But what if you are dealing with someone or a group that is simply inconsolable, or worse - a special interest group whose sole purpose is to aggressively challenge you at every turn? This is a completely different animal. In most cases, these extremists are set in their opinion (including the most ethical way of expressing that opinion) and there is no changing it. They wish to make their point at any cost. The biggest take away from this article might be to simply to address what the group is saying without acknowledging the group themselves. This disarms them without becoming emotionally involved.
In any of these dealings, stay the course, keep focused on your purpose and value, and don’t become distracted by trying to fix what cannot be fixed. The serenity prayer says “Lord, give me the grace to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.
Applying this to our personal lives, it means give respect to others in allowing them to be who they are and don’t take it personal if they do not think like you do, act like you do, and have the same values as you do. If you are compelled to set boundaries, personally or professionally, do so without becoming emotionally involved. I read somewhere that “Assertiveness is a form of calm, clear communication, not a verbal assault.” It goes on to say that the effective respectful way to set a boundary is to “alert the offender of the issue, state (calmly) why you are upset, sell the benefits of better behavior of both sides, and agree on how best to move forward”.
If they do not want to listen, the last resort is to simply walk away for the sake of your own sanity. Let go, and let God.
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