#362: Shaking Off Others' Bad Moods
Monday, June 28, 2010
Occasionally we come into contact with people who are in bad moods. Most of the time we will not be privy to the reasons for their grumpiness and need to stay strong and not allow their dark moods to affect us.
How do we do so?
For me, I mentally step back and remind myself that I do not know what precipitated the person's attitude Then I remind myself that their mood is not reflective of something I did or said.
Of course, if there is some way I can help cheer up someone, I'm happy to give it a try. Sometimes, though, in a brief encounter that is not possible. But, sometimes it is.
Today was a good example. I stopped in a business and had been told to talk to a specific man. At first he wasn't there but a moment later he came flying into the office. We were introduced and I reminded him of my business with him. "I don't need this right now," he said, in a frustrated tone. "If this is not a comfortable time," I said, "I'll understand if you want me to reschedule. It sounds as if you're having a heck of a day."
By distancing myself mentally, I didn't take it his initial rejection personally and by telling him I understood frustrating days, I was relating to his apparent irritation. It worked. He shook his head and said, "It hasn't been a heck of a day, it has been a hell of a day. Come on in and let's get this thing done."
I walked out a moment later after shaking his hand and wishing him a more blessed day. He smiled and said thanks.
Not all situations will work out in such a pleasant manner. But if we let ourselves become bothered by someone's mood, nothing of value is likely to be accomplished.
Mentally distancing, trying to empathize and trying to cheer someone up often works for me when I encounter someone who's mood is not the most pleasant.
What works for you?