They’re out there.
The sh*tty people.
Those that pull others down. Act without regard for others. Use and abuse those around them.
They come in almost endless varieties, from the loud insults of the overt jerks to the subtle undermining of the covert abusers. But regardless of their particular guise and preferred delivery, sh*tty people have one trait in common – wherever they go, they spread negativity, leaving the world worse for having encountered them.
At some point, you’re going to meet one. Or maybe even marry one.
And it’s good to know how to deal.
And how not to become one yourself.
Call The Behavior Out
When someone is acting sh*tty, tell them.
For those of us that are conflict-averse, it can be all too easy to bite the tongue and hold it all back in the interest of keeping the peace. When it comes to sh*tty people (as opposed to good people simply having a sh*tty day), keeping your mouth shut is a tacit sign of approval. And if you hold it in too long, you’re only going to allow your own internal pressure to build.
Be clear. Be specific. And be safe. Sh*tty people can react strongly when called out.
Clarify, If Needed
Explain why the behavior is not acceptable. Define the boundaries. Provide examples if asked.
They’ve heard you. You’ve clarified until they understand you. And yet the behaviors continue. That means one of two things:
They know that they are acting sh*tty. They feel badly. And they are struggling with changing.
Or, they know they are acting sh*tty and they don’t care.
In either case, what good can come from continually berating them for their behavior?
Wear a Raincoat or Get Out of the Storm
Do you have to allow this person in your life? If they are continually acting sh*tty without regard for others, sometimes it is best to walk away.
If this person is somebody you have to deal with, figure out how to shield yourself from their assaults. Perhaps you keep your distance or limit the interactions. Don’t worry about being nice in this case, worry about making sure you’re okay.
Don’t Track the Dirt
Just because you’re surrounded by sh*t, doesn’t mean you have to step in it. Don’t allow yourself to become a vector for negative transmission. Make sure you maintain perspective and don’t allow the sh*tty person to convince you that you are worthless or defective. Counteract the negative influence with positivity wherever you can.
Dealing with sh*tty people is never easy. It is never fun. It forces us to take a stand and push back or take a step back and let go. And even though it is an experience that nobody ever wishes to have, it can lead to amazing personal growth as you become stronger and wiser.
After all, isn’t compost really just sh*t?