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How to deal with rude people? 20 diplomatic survival tips

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I was visiting a friend of mine R and witnessed how rude her dishonest employee talked to her.
The employee often gave R condescending look, used swearing words while talking to R, never said sorry after spoiling things.
R is kind, gentle and soft-spoken.
That’s possibly why she has been taken advantage of.
Fortunately, based on my observations, most people whom R encounters in life are kind & respectful to her.

I could understand R’s feeling, she has to spend her hard-earned $ to hire the employee and yet receive such kind of treatment.

R is a positive woman, she confessed to me that her encounter with the rude has made her appreciate her kind, polite, understanding friends (including me!) and family even much more.

However, once in a while, we may encounter rude people.

Rude person abuses others verbally and emotionally.
So, how to deal with rude people (applicable to rude co-workers, associates, customers, employees, managers, bosses)?

1. Do not expect everyone to be nice and friendly;

do not expect rude people to change,
yet we do our best to be nice / polite / kind to everyone. This is the same principle as the gratitude law / principle: we are to express our gratitude in life yet do not expect gratitude from others. Ingratitude is common and when someone expresses gratitude to us, the person really adds rainbow to our life.

2. Do not ask "Why do bad things happen to good people?", instead ask more empowering / better questions, e.g. "How to deal with adversities / overcome challenges (e.g. rude people)?"

3. Reframe our perspectives / perceptions / beliefs.
Do not feel / declare yourself as a victim because you do not want to worsen your pain.

4. Give the rude person kindness, sympathy, empathy.
Note:
Being kind does not mean that you tolerate one abuse after another.
Being kind simply means that you respond to the other person politely.
Being empathic is nice, but being over-empathic is not. Everything in excess disturbs harmony / equilibrium.

5. Understand that irrationality is a human quality.
A person can be rude and channel their frustrations to you for no rational reason.
R’s employee was rude to R probably due to R being too kind, gentle, much younger, more talented, more loved & likable.

6. Understand that prejudice / bias is also sadly a human quality. The rude person may have some prejudice about our age, gender, race, occupation and so on; especially if the rude person behaves differently to others.

The rude person may also judge you for something else that you’ve done.
It is not easy to shift / change other people & their judgment.
Release our need to change the rude person / to improve them.
Practice the art of detachment.
It is better to leap / focus yourself for GREATER PURPOSEs in life.

7. Seek POSITIVE MEANINGs from the unhappy encounter like what my friend R did, she realizes how wonderful her friends and family are.

Many things in life are relative,
if we have never experience bad things in life,
we may take our blessings for granted.

8. Focus on your GREATER PURPOSEs / things in which we can contribute more values to our lives, our loved ones and others.

9. Align / seek help from the more powerful / wise people who can help us. If necessary (e.g. in the case that you cannot immediately employ any exit strategy), humbly request the more powerful / wise to be a mediator.
Observe how others (especially the more powerful / wise) handle the rude person.

10. The art of endurance enables you to endure injustice / insult / pain / stress.
Be resilient.
吃得苦中苦方为人上人
Use thick face & Love yourself.
Never let the words of others hurt you.
Do not take it personally / seriously.
Don’t Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. … the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. ~Don Miguel Ruiz

11. Raise your consciousness.
Decide that you are not going to get dragged down into the rude person’s drama; be above the fray.
To quote Rene Descartes, "Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it."
Imagine yourself as any of these:
deeply grounded oak tree that no storm can shake my inmost calm.
bamboo that bend but do not break upon encountering rude treatment.
super filter that listen to only kind words and quick to filter out rude words by others.
shielding bubble that protects you from the rude people, the harmful effects will never hurt you.

12. See the encounter as a learning opportunity.
My friend R told me that she has learned things that she will not do (especially subconsciously) to other people from her rude employee (based on what the employee did to her and the hurtful effects on R).

13. Silent treatment. The saying goes that silence is golden.
A study showed that people who completely ignore those deemed rude and offensive were more mentally healthy than those who engage with the rude.
However, this tips works for the rude person we encounter once in a while, but not the persistently rude (e.g. direct bosses / employees / regular customers).
For the rude person that we may have to deal more often at particular time and location in our lives:
Consider looking at the rude person directly in the eye and don’t say a thing (neither disagree nor agree with them).

14. Master our emotion. Do not express fear, anger, pride, to prevent uttering wrong words that can exacerbate the situation.

15. Understand the sources of our negative emotions (e.g. fear, anger) caused by the rude person, then practice the art of detachment.

16. Do not react immediately. Practice Siberian North Rail Road technique (Stop Breath Notice Reflect Respond).
Then you will have more time to choose your response.
Dearest reader, I know that this can be difficult to do, because you might want to fight back in the heat of the moment,
but with practice, like everything else, you will get better.
You can also consult / reflect on what your mentors / guru / jedi will do if they encounter similar situations,
and then make a firm decision on how to respond.

17. Do not confront / burn the bridge if you have little / no bargaining power, e.g. rude bosses, unless you have nothing to lose, e.g. you have secured a better job.
Know when to stand up for yourself. Choose your battle carefully, if the battle does not worth the fight, just use the exit strategies.
How to stand up for ourselves?
Draw our boundaries. Be clear on what we will tolerate and what we will not tolerate.

18. Do not retaliate using threats to prevent agitating the rude person.
Let the universe judge injustice.

19. Beware of analysis paralysis. Do not over think / over-analyze your behavior or the rude person, your history of interactions.

"Someone who is so hurtful towards you does not deserve any more of your energy."

20. EXIT strategies.
For example, my friend can choose not to continue hiring the rude employee.
Minimize contacts / ignore the rude person.
Stay away from any rude stranger.
Keep the rude person out of sight, out of mind.
Leave / avoid the rude person when there is no reason to stay, e.g. just leave / avoid obnoxious drivers. There is no use to talk to them.

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Written by blueroselady

April 17, 2013 at 6:05 am

Posted in psychology

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Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School by Sir Richard Branson: 18 take-home messages

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“The Virgin Group is a constantly evolving aggregation of companies operating in over 30 countries, totaling more than 50,000 employees and serving millions of customers every month.”

There is a RICH in the name of Sir RICHard Branson, but being financially super rich apart, I view that he has other aspects of wealth that worth understanding & learning.


Seeing the video filmed by the London Business Forum in Westminster Central Hall reminds me on many useful talks that inspired me in UK.

Here are the take-home messages:
@~@ Branson focuses on high-quality services.
@~@ Branson praises his employees, creates a sense of fun + reward / appreciation + belongings in his company.
“A company where the staff overuse the word ‘they’ is a company with problems.”
@~@ Empower / treat your employees well and they will do the same to your customers.
@~@ Branson highlights that his employees “should never feel like hired hands but fellow entrepreneurs”

@~@ Fun is a serious business tool. I view that if your personality is not funny, do not try to be so funny; but you can get a fun-spreader as your team mate.
@~@ Focus on your strength, not limitations. Branson never lets his early dyslexia deter him.

@~@ Business is not only about $, but about creating things; this view sounds like inventors / engineers to me.
@~@ Branson carries a little notebook with him. I think carrying notebook alone is insufficient, what Branson infers is that one needs to record ideas / inspirations for action.

@~@ Branson is interested in people, spends a lot of time talking to people, listens to people (e.g. Virgin customers).
@~@ Simple & clear communication. “Try using a Twitter-like template to refine the essence of your concept into just 140 characters.”
@~@ Branson encourages discussion / debates / dialogues.
@~@ Branson & his team tests out new ideas.
@~@ Branson has a stunning personality, a reviewer wrote “charismatic irreverence”. My friend J shared with me that she admires Branson’s combination of bad & good guy personality, he seems to have a deep understanding of people.

@~@ luck; yet I view that luck favors the prepared.
@~@ “If death and taxes are the only sure-fire things in life, then the only certainty in business is that one day things will go wrong. One of your priorities has got to be emergency planning.” Plan & preparation are critical.

@~@ Branson views his entrepeneurship as a vocation, he has no plan to retire. I always encourage my team mates to pursue their passion, not only a job, a career, but a life-long pursuit of excellence.
@~@ Branson concludes that “My story is a very personal one; my strategy will not work for everyone.”
I would like to elaborate that different (sometimes opposite) strategies work for particular people, at particular timing and location. The spatiotemporal context matters.

@~@ Branson gives hope to my dream of space travel, which I believe is also the dream of many of yours. To quote Jules Verne from his Around the World in Eighty Days, “Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real.” I look forward to a book / movie / song entitled “Around the Space in [insert a stunning number here] Days.”

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Focus on strengths more, fix weaknesses less

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We have been conditioned (trained / taught) to focus about our weaknesses.
For example,
1. parents scan the report cards of their children to focus on subjects their children need improvement, the failing grades are written in red, screaming for attention. Fortunately, my parents did not bother to look at my report cards.
2. teachers mark our homeworks, assignments, and exam papers with red inks. They do nothing on the correct answers, but our errors are marked with crosses.
3. bossses discuss on our weaknessess at annual performance review.
4. media loves to report stories of people who overcome their weaknesses to achieve great things.

Have we ever stopped to realize that focusing our strengths is more productive than improving our weaknesses?
Both Tim Ferriss and Chu Chin-Ning (whose books I read in autumn 2012) advocate us to focus on our strengths.

Yes, we can improve our weaknesses, but at slower pace.
The end results may be slight improvement, yet still mediocre.

Types of strength:
achiever / has stamina to work long hours
intellect / thinking
strategic / intuitive
futuristic / what can one does
relater / can relate with people
belief / has strong core values that one wil not compromise / stubborn

Note that a strength can also be a weakness, depending on the situations.

Remember that:
1. the key to success is to work with the way God designed us, focus on our strengths.
2. combine our strengths to create synergy and achieve greatness.
Many people may share the same individual strength as ours, but a combination of strengths shapes our uniqueness and identity, makes us outstanding if we can unleash the synergistic effects.
3. There are always abundance of opportunities for our particular combination of strengths. Jobs that do not make use of our strengths, require things that we are not strong in, are exhausting. If we have tried our best and still do not see desirable results, perhaps it is time to change jobs / career.
4. Every knife requires sharpening, similarly we must hone our strengths with knowledge, skills, and practice.

Written by blueroselady

October 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm

How to be an expert in a month?

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In my current profession, people have spent years, even decades, to become an expert.
Even among the experts, there can be opposing opinions on particular topic(s).

This post is inspired by what Tim Ferriss wrote in his book The 4-hour workweek (selling at US$ 22), page 170 (automation section), on how to be an expert in 4 weeks.
Tim’s strategies made me think twice to believe that someone when s/he claims that he is an expert.
Often, those who are PERCEIVED as experts tend to be better sellers than those who are really experts.
Note: there can be an overlap between perceived and real experts. Think of Venn diagram.
To be very successful, one has lie in the overlap region in the Venn diagram.

How to recognize PERCEIVED experts (that sell)?
1. affiliations
2. client lists
3. credentials (have given talks, written articles)
4. media coverage / features

Tim’s strategies will not work on fields like medicine or law, in which one needs to have M.D. or J.D. respectively.
However, his strategies can work on many fields, e.g. relationship, business, management.

Here, I combine his strategies with few ideas of mine:
1. AFFILIATIONS.
Join 2 / 3 related trade / professional organizations.
Quick, online, use credit cards.
2. SELECTIVE READING and SIMPLIFY.
Read 3 top-selling books on my topic.
Search historical New York Times bestseller lists online.
Like an hourglass, simplify / summarize each book on 1 page, so that I can elaborate them later (up to hours).
3. TALK.
3a. Give 1 free 1-to-3 hour talk at top universities.
Use posters / mass emails / social media (e.g. facebook, twitter) / viral marketing to advertise.
3b. Give free talk to (a min of 2) top companies.
Tell the companies that I have done steps 1 and 3a.
Companies may prefer speakers who do not (hard) sell products / services.
Appeal to the companies through my reason to get additional non-academic speaking experience.
3c. Give popular talks, e.g. TED talks.
4. WRITE and PUBLISH.
Write 1 or 2 articles on my topics for magazines / newspapers.
To be credible, cite my accomplishment in steps 1-3.
Alternatively, offer to interview a known expert and write the article.
5. join ProfNet
Must do research (e.g. online) to respond to journalist queries.
To be credible, cite my accomplishment in steps 1-4.

More on step 2:
People may read and just acquire information (which they may later forget), without converting them into knowledge and wisdom, and more importantly, into action.
When we read to summarize, we think on the important points, hence transforming the information into our own knowledge and wisdom.

See also my schedule entry 20121018 for more ideas.

How not to listen to non-constructive criticism?

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This article is inspired by John Gurdon’s experience on criticism. He received Nobel prize in 2012. Though I have never met him, I counted a blessing that in a period of my life, I walked / cycled passed the Gurdon Institute (named after him) regularly.

An Eton teacher of John Gurdon wrote that the then 15-year-old John Gurdon wouldn’t listen, couldn’t learn simple biological facts and, horror of horrors, "insisted on doing work in his own way". In one test, Gurdon scored a miserable two out of 50.

The report made John Gurdon disheartened, but fortunately one of John Gurdon’s early decision on not to listen to non-constructive criticism indeed played an important role in his subsequent research work, including the discovery that mature cells can be converted to stem cells (and ended up winning a Nobel prize).

How not to listen to non-constructive criticism?

1. Be prepared that in life, no matter what we do (including noble actions), some people will criticize us. To protect ourselves against these peace robbers, we can
# enhance our inner strength by reminding / focusing ourselves on our strength
# have a thick face

2. Be aware of the reasons why people give non-constructive criticism

# jealousy and justification attempt. They are jealous of our achievements and attempt to gain self-importance by criticizing us. They justify themselves at the expense of us. Do not fear those who criticize us because of their jealousy. Perhaps, those who criticize us suffer from low self-esteem and meet their need of having self-importance by criticizing, instead we can be kind by giving them empathy and sympathy.

# ignorance and inexperience. For example, you want to attempt a new venture and you seek advices from people around you. Those who never start up a company or those who have failed will project their fear and criticize you. Do not listen to these naysayers. Instead, consult those who have successfully achieved what you want to achieve.

3. Be mindful of your perspective (mind), emotions, and body

# Must be able to see the BIG PICTURE
When I was a primary and junior high school student, I accept the fact that teachers are role models. I did not question their authorities. They were the grown-ups with more knowledge and wisdom than me who was only a fledgling individual. I did not realize that teachers are also human beings, subjected to human conditions (both positive and negative attributes). Few of my teachers had ego and misused their authorities. They criticized students who refused to follow them, e.g. if a student refused to learn bad words, he would be labeled as self-righteous. Fortunately, I moved to a better school and I learned a lot from my kind teachers – those who teach for the passion of teaching and nurturing the next generation more than for earning an income (of course everyone has to earn a living). Looking back, those teachers who criticized things I thought as right, did no longer matter.

Then, when I started my study in a famous place, an unhappy professor told me that the only reason I went there was because of the fame. Well, while that reason honestly contributed to my decision, I had bigger reasons why I fought all my ways to gain admission there. At that time, when such a professor with his authority / power and perceived superiority (in knowledge, ability, etc) said such things to students, the impact could be huge. However, I did not listen to him. I shifted my focus to my purpose (FOCUS ON YOUR PURPOSES). I managed to work with more successful (and more generous and kinder) professors, produced results, and graduated. My mentor CNC loves to say that success is always the sweetest revenge (without harming our past offenders).

My learning journey then brought me to meet inspiring entrepreneurs. In some aspects, I look up to entrepreneurs who create jobs for many people and excellent products / services with great values, more than to professors who care only about their tenure, publications, and self-importance in their fields (of course, there are always kind professors, I was fortunate to meet and work with few of them). My experience with the entrepreneurs unleash an inner desire of me: to be an entrepreneur. That is why I am working everyday to prepare myself for my venture, to provide values to my customers. I believe that I will be invited to teach / give talks at universities because of my expertise, instead of having to apply and fight for limited faculty positions.

To summarize, I have met more people and seen the world, my perspectives have changed. When you climb a mountain, your standpoint / perspective has elevated, you can see wider and hence the bigger picture.

# Must be able to be the master of our emotion
Often, when one is criticized, one will end up feeling sad, shameful, worried (worry is a kind of fear), or angry. All these emotions are of lower consciousness.
Be aware of your emotion, then you can shift those of lower consciousness to those of higher consciousness (e.g. courage, patience).
For example, you can manage your anger through techniques such as loving yourself, Siberian North Rail Road, and detachment.

# Learn to relax our body
Criticisms from people whose matter to us (e.g. parents, teachers, bosses, co-workers, or even peers) can result in racing heart, sweating, shaking, flushing face.
When you are aware of these physical reactions of your body, use relaxation to calm down. Breath deeply. Visualize / imagine serene places that you remember from your travel. Recall prayers that you have said countless times.

"Let nothing disturb you,
nothing frighten you,
all things are passing.
God is unchanging.
Patience gains all;
nothing is lacking to those who have God:
God alone is sufficient."
St Teresa of Avilla

Related:
How to Handle Criticism and Nonconstructive Feedback by Nicole Wolfe
*Davidson_not_hopeless* (in my ref folder)

More readings:
http://www.economist.com/node/21564525
http://www.talentsmart.com/articles/

Thick face, black heart

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Normally, we do not want to be perceived as a person with thick face or black heart.
However, when Chu Chin-Ning cites Mahatma Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln as the highest level practionists of thick face and black heart, I am curious to find out what thick face and black heart really mean according to the book entitled Thick face, black heart.

According to Mahatma Gandhi, nonviolence is an extremely active force.
It has no room for cowardice or even weakness.
Not to be coward means one needs thick face.
Not to be weak means one needs black heart.

The author argues that when you want to be kind, you must also have black heart (a protective shield) / be ruthless.
Have you ever felt that it is easier to be compassionate to the nameless and faceless needy people (think of donating to charity, disaster victims) than to those who are special to us?
Through experience, our kindness / compassion / generosity is often abused.
They act as if we owe them.
The more we give, the more we should give.
It is human nature to abuse those who support and love us most.
For example, children abuses their parents or vice versa, husband abuses wife.
A proposed solution is to be kind / compassionate with a protective shield.

See also my mind map.

Written by blueroselady

October 9, 2012 at 3:34 pm

How to deal with con artists?

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A mentor of mine CNC admitted that she has met many con men and women in her life.

I am using the law of repulsion, which is the opposite of the law of attraction. I pray that I am having Divine Protection whenever and wherever I am. Though there are bad people in the world, please do not allow me to be in the same time and place as they are. If I have to be in the same time and place as they are, please let them do not have any malicious intention towards me.

Besides using the law of repulsion , here are useful tips on how to deal with con artists.

What are the characteristics of con artists?
1. CREATIVE in both designing their schemes and carrying the cons.
2. DISCIPLINED. They systematically work toward their objective.
3. PERSISTENT. They never think about giving up.
4. ENTHUSIASTIC. They do not lie in bed and feel sorry for themselves. They are trying to get absolutely everything out of life that they can.
5. POSITIVE. They do not doubt that their plan will work.
6. OPPORTUNISTIC. They seize the moment.
7. HARD WORKERS. They are always "ON".
8. COOL under pressure. If you ask a con artist, "Are you conning me?" he or she will look you in the eyes and say, "How could you think that after all we have been through together?"
9. SYMPATHETIC. It is comforting to know that someone in the world "really understand you"
10. EMPATHETIC. They seem to take on your problems as their own.

Many of the characteristics are also shared by good friends, acquaintances, colleagues, mentors, and admirable role models. It is not easy to really know what is inside the heart of a person.

Who are con artists prey on? People with the following …
1. eternal optimism. People with open eyes, but do not see anything negative — or potentially negative — in anyone. Do not be too trusting, this makes you vulnerable. A simple guide is to use the 70:30 trusting ratio that MR told me.
2. greed. People who want to get something for nothing. There is no free lunch! Do not expect something for nothing. No one can con us if we want nothing from him / her.
3. insecurity. Please release the need to have others’ approval. Con artists are happy to butter up and tell insecure people how wonderful they are. Beware of those who praise / compliment us too much.
4. neediness (in emotional comfort). Con artists are sympathetic and empathetic. Is the person sympathetic and empathetic by nature, or only when s/he has something to gain from you?
5. power. Be careful when you have accomplishment. The higher we climb, the stronger the wind that blows us.
6. hunger for advancement. Con artists may take advantage of your ambition.

How to protect yourself from con artists?
1. self-understanding: understand our characters and circumstances. Do we have eternal optimism, greed, insecurity, neediness, power, or hunger for advancement?
2. use both LOGIC + GUT FEELINGS.
3. exhaust the con artist. Let them sing, dance, and give their entire bag of tricks, but we must be more persistent than they are. Do not give in.
4. avoid / stay away.

It is always good to be careful and the good news is many people are honest and good.

More: The art of war for Women

Written by blueroselady

October 1, 2012 at 2:44 pm