How to Not Rub Someone the Wrong Way

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We all encounter people who rub us up the wrong way sometimes. It is a fact of life that many people will just be our cup of tea, so to speak. Something a person does can upset us or cause us to get irritated. At those times, most people simply walk away, while some may ignore it while still feeling angry or respond using inappropriate behavior. There are some steps you can take to prevent rubbing people the wrong way.

  • Use a little judgment when you talk to people. If your friends or acquaintances have pointed out to you that you have a tendency to say things that people take offense to, try to temper your speech to a more appropriate tone. Saying the wrong thing at the wrong time can cause serious offense to some people.

  • Put yourself in the other person's shoes for a moment before you speak. If you have an understanding of that person’s situation, you might learn to think twice about something you were going to say. This helps prevent you from offending them or causing them pain. It also is important to think about how another person might feel about a subject being discussed. For example, you may not be a dog lover, but if you say something bad about dogs, someone whose dog may have died recently will probably be upset. Think first.

  • Keep your composure if someone says something to you that does not sit right. Retaliation with nasty words can cause aggression, so try to remain calm and do not respond with harsh words.

  • Pay attention when people speak to you. Give them your full attention to let them know that you are interested in what they are saying and that you are concentrating on them. Straying your eyes around the room and looking about you gives the impression that you are not listening or interested in what the person has to say, and this can rub people the wrong way.

  • Do not laugh at inappropriate moments. This can be very annoying if a person is telling a serious story and you find something hilarious in it to laugh about. Keep a straight face and remain composed, even if they say something that tickles you.

  • Do not project your anger or emotions onto other people. If you feel certain emotions coming to the surface during a conversation or interaction, keep your emotions in check and do not respond unnecessarily to someone who might not understand how you feel. Saying something in retaliation to them only provokes a possible confrontation.

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