How can we get less bothered by people who behave in a rude and disrespectful manner?
Firstly, we can remind ourselves we have a choice. In fact, it isn’t the other person that is winding us up. It is our thoughts about the other person that is creating the upset. In fact, with people we know well, we sometimes acknowledge their behaviour but at the same time decide to overlook it or give them the benefit of the doubt. Or we might say, “Well, we know what they are like” and move on. We literally decide not to get in a stew about their behaviour. Look at bothersome people as offering you an invitation. You don’t have to accept every invitation to get bothered by them!
Secondly, it is also worth reminding ourselves that, In fact, nearly everyone thinks of themselves as a ‘good guy’. No-one gets up in the morning wanting to upset people. Whatever they do will make sense from within their world-view. And their world-view is very different from our world-view. We are under an illusion when we think that our view of the world is correct, or ‘the truth’, and that people who don’t agree with our perspective are misguided or just plain ‘wrong’. Of course, some people’s world-view doesn’t put much of a premium on being respectful to people who get in their way. It is regrettable and unfortunate. But we don’t have to take it personally.
A really useful question to ask ourselves is, “Why would any reasonable, rational person behave in this way?” Sometimes our brain will resist looking for answers but it is worth persevering. It isn’t about condoning or putting up with bad behaviour; but it can be a way of getting less bothered by it.
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