I know why you are angry?
I was recently asked by a close friend how to deal with difficult,
irrational, and at times abusive person.
A person who was in position of authority and who had some degree
of control over their life?
Well truth be told, I have never met a perfectly rational human being.
Sure we all have the ability to store and process information.
But when it comes to our emotions it’s a different story.
Years ago I read the book "Emotional Intelligence" by Daniel Goleman.
In it he describes people who are diagnosed with "alexathemia",
which is a condition whereby people either don’t feel emotions or
are completely out of touch with them.
You’d think such people would be hyper-rational, but they aren’t.
These types have a difficult time functioning in society.
They have no emotional context for deciding what’s important to them.
So how do I deal with difficult or irrational people…
I certainly haven’t been sheltered from such people,
with lengthy careers in the military, government Fortune 500's.
These types are everywhere!
You probably have also had similar experiences with irrational,
or abusive people in business deals, with landlords, angry motorists etc.
But such people rarely get to me because of how I have learned to deal with them.
I read a story about a verbally abusive man had come to see the Buddha,
and as soon as he arrived he started hurling insults.
The Buddha just sat there and stared back at the man very silent and calm.
Finally the man exasperated from the non -response asked the Buddha,
"Why do you fail to respond to my insults and abuse?"
The Buddha replied, “If someone offers you a gift, and you decline to accept it,
to whom does the gift belong to?”
It brings me to the advice on how I handle such people…
if someone is being irrational or abusive to me,
I look right through them.
I say a quick prayer - for them.
Then I continue to breathe and mentally I decline to accept “their gift.”
Yes their gift.
A gift that I do not accept, because its their "gift,"
I allow that person to keep their anger and their insanity.
Secondly I don’t let it affect me personally,
I mean its uncomfortable and even incomprehensible.
But with practice you can visualize the anger as a ball of energy,
that will bounce off your protective shield and return to its source.
Sort of amusing to imagine them get engulfed in their own red hot energy.
While the assault is going on I also send my subconscious mind,
gentle acknowledgments that the anger belongs completely to the other person.
This enables me to deflect the other person’s tirade on my emotional state.
I never, ever lose my cool.. unless I need to inject a strong response to the situation.
I have had to one more than one occasion, had to respond to an angry
person with the same intensity and passion of my own making.
Then as soon as I get their attention (believe me my military,
and martial arts background is a powerful force multiplier to back-up my bark up)..
I then slowly de-escalate the situation and bring them to rationality.
Bottom line, I see them as miserable, self loathing individuals.
People that probably are lacking a certain level of love and happiness in their life,
and that is a main reason that causes them to behave as they do.
Human behavior is purposeful - draw a line in the sand and sit back.
If the willful misconduct continues you have three options..
1. You can confront the abuser,
2. Go to someone higher,
3. Move on.
Today, I will make it a great dia!