We have all had that awkward experience of meeting a person who is completely unreasonable or obscenely rude. It can throw you off when you are suddenly thrust into the company of a person like this. Their manner is usually accompanied by an arrogant aura that permeates the air, creating a thick fog of gloom. If it is a family member or friend who has suddenly changed into this happiness eating monster, then you may be in luck. You are familiar enough with this person to sit them down and gently tell them you hate them…just joshing! In all seriousness though, having a heart to heart with them may help them resolve their behaviour for the good of the ones they love.
But what if it is a stranger who is acting this way and you have no choice but to be in their company? It could be a friends’ new partner, someone at a party or even where you work, so it is worth figuring out a way to find common ground and establish a civilised relationship.
First of all, tread carefully. Do not voice your feelings about this person to anyone for you are the one to lead by example. Unreasonable and/or rude people are dealing with a conflict with their inner child. In some way shape or form they are not getting what they want and it is piercing their self-worth. That right there is a good enough reason not to immediately reject and berate them. Such action will only result in a lost opportunity for peace and they may get on the defensive or offensive train.
Rule number two is let them believe they have some sort of authority or contribution in a positive way. The thought of doing this may repulse you when the time comes but inhale courage and breathe out frustration. You could say something like ‘I was told you were the best person to deal with this’. This will make the person feel valued without them having to fight for it. I suppose in a sense it is being fake, however, the intent is to help them, so do not feel too bad about it. If all goes well and you were a Hollywood actor in your performance, then their mood will shift ever so slightly. If you are looking for it, you will see it in their body language. The shoulders will loosen and the face will relax as they feel a rush of gratitude at your positive words…even though you did not say much!
I cannot say hand on heart that this is a fool proof method. It may take further attempts and if they are severely at war with themselves then maybe never. Nonetheless you are showing them a kindness and that is a positive reflection on you whatever the result. Bear in mind when you do come across these people that you do not know the full extent of their lives. We are all quick to judge and yet we cannot entirely accept the judgement of others. People have all sorts of circumstances they are dealing with and their anger and behaviour is not a personal attack at you, even though you may feel like it is.
The final word of caution is…caution! If you do manage to form a positive rapport with someone like this then it will have to be maintained for the peace of humanity. The danger zone is when you inadvertently start befriending them. Your words alone will not completely heal them…you have just changed the way they act towards you. By becoming too friendly you are at risk of being sucked into their negative social circle. They may want you to side with them over other people, give you unreasonable ultimatums because your ‘friends’ and why would you not do what they say? So the final word is caution and the final action is ‘arms-length’. You never know you could overhaul their outlook on life with your positive attitude and then further association with them could be considered…but still…be wary!