People are fragile, it’s best to treat them with as much caution as possible. So here is a list of what to and not to do when handling these unstable beings in a less than ideal situation:
- Don’t say anything to them as whatever you say will most definitely cause offence. Topics best avoided are – gender, race, sexuality, equality, strength of tea, politics, religion, health, Brexit, culture, language, ethnicity, veganism etc
- So basically don’t have an opinion on anything (if you do, don’t voice it.)
- Apologise if they have symptoms of the anger emotion, regardless of what you thought you did.
- When that doesn’t work and they rattle off a long list of things you have done wrong, accept it.
- You can disagree with them, of course, just do it discretely. Apologise, then state your point of view – this makes it look like you’re actually sorry, but in reality you are looking at/hearing what they just said in disbelief and annoyance.
- Don’t retaliate. Don’t tell the person your take on things all at once, unless you want to witness the pissed emotion (not pleasant) – drip feed it into the conversation.
- Do remember to screenshot your conversation/ secretly record it and show all of your friends later or along the way. Or, unless you’re Kim and Kanye, you could broadcast it to the world.
- Don’t raise your voice, don’t shout. This allows you to seem unfazed about what’s going on, aggravating the other person, and making them blow their shit.
- Soon after that they will storm off in dramatic fashion. Don’t follow, don’t mock them, leave it and walk the other way. Or, if you are having a texting war, close that tab and don’t return to it.
- Once the damage is done you should get an outsiders opinion. They will either explain the person’s perspective to you or they will completely disagree with them and join your force (make sure you tweak and exaggerate the conversation).
- Oh, and for safety reasons the outsider has to be someone that you trust.
- Do calm down. After speaking to people you are just beginning to comprehend your feelings. Please don’t use social media to express your views/ make yourself look stupid.
- Once your heart rate has died down again, look at the other person’s “side” again. Is there anything you didn’t really understand before? Was what they said all utter tripe? Chances are, it wasn’t.
- Talk to them again, with your, theirs and everyone else’s view in mind. Apologising if necessary. This should be done at least 24 hours after the conversation finished.
- If they are still angry, give them more time and/or space. They probably haven’t read this blog post, or have any sense of empathy at all, and so they won’t have seen your side of the argument. (You should also send this to them, because why not?)
- Done that and it’s still not working? Forget about it. Accept that your opinions aren’t alike and move on from the situation. (Whether that’s a mutual agreement or the termination of the friendship.) They aren’t worth your time and fantastic empathy skills.
This post is slightly hypocritical as I usually can’t reach number 11 #sorrynotsorry. So I hope that this helps you more than it helps me!