We all have to face grumpy, angry, mean and frustrated people sometimes. I’m sure we can appear to be bad-tempered sometimes too, so we know that they are having a bad day. A common situation would be having to deal with a grumpy person at the cash register at the supermarket, in a shop, on the street or on public transport.
Do not let the behaviour of others affect your inner peace- The Dalai Lama
I have noticed that by using compassion, we can help them feel better and their mood changes a little, whether they are aware of it or not.
Here is what we can do:
Smile at them
in a compassionate way. Although some people will get annoyed at seeing that you are so happy, it will be harder for them to be mean to you if you are kind to them. Also, due to the interconnected network of brain cells known as the mirror neuron system, we tend to mimic facial expressions from others. If you smile, their brain will see your smiling muscles and they will mirror you. So, if you smile, they will smile. It is purely unconscious but it works.
Send them love
Genuinely send them love and compassion from your heart space (a place of love).
Take a deep breath and affirm mentally
‘Only positive energy enters my aura’. This creates a boundary so that their negativity does not enter your energy field.
Give them a compliment
If the lady has a nice pair of earrings, pretty jewellery, interesting clothes or a nice hairstyle, say so. It is, however, better to comment positively on something not material but personal; for example: the person has beautiful eyes. Just listen to your intuition.
Get in touch with yourself
The more you know yourself the less likely you are to react to negative people.
Check your own emotions
What happens within you in such situations? Do not react to them but take the time to observe what is going on with you.
Do not engage in arguments
It takes two to argue and it will deplete your energy. Energy that you could use for more productive and creative stuff. Walk away if you can. It might not solve the problem right away but it will give you a break from the intensity of the situation.
‘Smiling is evolutionary contagious’ says Ron Gutman, watch the TED video below by Run Gutman on why smiling is good for you.
These usually do the trick for me but I am curious to know what works best with you. What are your strategies to deal with grumpy people?