Thursday, October 8, 2009

Message to a Young Woman

“How do you deal with difficult people?” A young woman asked me as we chatted.

“It isn’t easy,” I told her. “You can choose to ignore the behavior that is annoying. Keep in mind that some remarks are not worth arguing over. Remember the saying, “Pick your fights.

“You can address the behavior in a decent manner in which you acknowledge the person’s ill-chosen words and yet show that you don’t appreciate them and will not tolerate them in the future. That is the tricky part because some folks don’t understand diplomatic language. And they never will.”

“Have you had problems you didn’t know how to handle?”

“Have I ever! I have blundered my way through life, fallen, scraped myself, arose and started anew. And one of the best things I learned is to forgive. Some folks are mean because that is all they know. They were treated like that and that is how they learned to cope. It is not a good idea to join that group. Instead, associate with honest, cheerful and positive people.

“Then look at your friends because your good friends are the best mirror you can find which tells you about yourself. (old Spanish proverb) In other words you associate with those folks who are most like you. So look and select your friends carefully.”

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