Here in our neck of the woods, school will be starting on Tuesday.  Holy Crap!  Is it just me or does it seem like school is starting sooner and sooner?! Whether you are like me and frantically doing last minute preparations for the first day of school, or you still have a few glorious weeks of Summer vacay left, one topic that all us Mums should be focusing on with our kids and ourselves, is bullying.

Bullying is a very serious epidemic in our country.  Although there is a lot more outspoken awareness of it (read my own personal experience with it HERE), bullying is still taking place.  So, this week on Mumsy, we will be talking about various aspects of bullying and women alike can stand up to bullies and stop the cycle.

To kick off our anti-bully week, I want to talk about

Dealing with difficult personalities

With two of my favorite women who are eons from being considered difficult!

I think it's safe to say that we have all encountered at least one individual in our lives who is very loud, and brash with how they do/say things.  In that instance, what did you say?  How did you respond?  Did you find yourself wishing you would have done things differently?  

As hard as an encounter with a difficult personality is, I have been fortunate enough to have a few experiences with such people; causing to me to grow and acquire skills that have helped me navigate through future sticky situations and even become friends with some people that I normally wouldn't have wanted to be my lone companion in a zombie apocalypse.

Though I consider myself anything but an expert, and still feel like I have tons to learn, I thought I would share the little nuggets of wisdom that I have learned.  Take what you like, and leave what you don't.  My only hope is that at least a portion of this will help you, acquire the confidence you need to stand on your own two feet and confidently yet kindly interact with difficult people; showing them what R.E.S.P.E.C.T means to you!

1. Give people the benefit of the doubt.
Sometimes, people are just really passionate about certain things; and that passion can come off as rudeness.  Try not to take what they say personally, ]take a step back, and look at what is motivating them to say what they are saying.  It's amazing how just a little bit of optimism can make a bad situation quite the sunny disposition!

2. Don't let things escalate.
When someone comes at you with hurtful accusations, take a deep breath and hear them out.  As hard as this can be, simply choosing to listen first can help diffuse the tension/frustration that individual is exuding.  I know, this is asking a lot, but trust me, you will only make things worse for yourself if you choose to roll around in mud too.

Instead, give this individual the opportunity to say what they need to say.  Then, let them know that you heard what they are saying, immediately address what needs to be discussed, and move on.  Once things have subsided you can go back and discuss how you would like to be addressed the next time this individual may have any issues.

3. Find a way to serve.
I have most often found that when a person comes at me in a very unpleasant manner, there was usually some negative driving force in their personal life that caused them to irrationally act out on me.  In those moments I have chosen to serve.  Whether its through a heart-felt letter, a batch of cookies, helping out with errands, babysitting, etc., I have learned that you are better able to increase your love for that individual and eventually help ease any frustrations that may have existed.

4. Smile.
Often times we think that in order to get our point across, or even stand up for ourselves, we have to do so in a very stern and almost ice like manner.  However, I live my life by the mantra: You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.  Sure, being blunt and stern will get your point across, but it could also cause people to inwardly dis-like you.  Of course, you can't please everyone, but you can please and attract more people when you say things with a smile on your face, rather than a scowl.  Plus, when you smile and say things in a bluntly kind manner, most people find that very confusing and in turn, have a hard time quickly finding anything to fuel their own anger.

As much as we would all like to think every difficult problem can easily be remedied, this is usually not the case.  There have been a few instances in my life where certain individuals simply weren't willing to budge.  Accepting that I truly only had control over myself, I chose to let the hurtful encounters go and move on.  Life is simply beautiful!  However, when we choose to let the actions of others completely consume us, we can miss out on so so much!  And for me, that is much more heart breaking than any rudeness we will ever encounter.  When it comes down to it, I never want to live a life that is riddled with "What Ifs".

So, there you have it Mumsies.  Five ways in which you can always come out on top when dealing with difficult people.  As actor Will Smith so wisely said..."Throughout life, people will make you mad, dis-respect you and treat you bad.  Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too."



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