My friend Diana has a personal guru named Lois. Lois has had decades of experience with difficult people, as an elementary school administrator. She’s learned some people skills in this capacity, and adult people often present the greatest challenges. Listen to Lois: “The only way to disarm someone dangerous is to validate their feelings, make them feel important and needed.”
Diana explains, “We try to love the anger out of people.”
Bristle if you will, concoct schemes of vengeance in your mind, but the next time a human unexploded bomb confronts you, try setting your rising dark emotions aside and ask instead, How can I be of greatest help to this person? What will help them to disarm?
Make a list. Honestly, it’s fun. Get creative. Run behind enemy lines awhile.
Your foe can’t see how to solve their own problem, they’re stuck in the muck up to the ankles, behaving miserably. How can you, an outside observer, lend your creative insight to their plight? Practical is good. A few practical ideas wrapped in kind intent, delivered anonymously—those are your hands touching gray metal.
Someone has to stop the explosions.
Take one for the team.