An old Chinese proverb says, “If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.”
The questions, “Anything I can do?” or “I’ve had a similar experience and I can relate to your situation” can help you respond in a difficult situation with sensitivity, rather than with sarcasm and stress.
Even if you are not sure what is behind someone’s aggressive behavior, the few seconds it takes to pause can keep you from saying something you will regret. It will also prevent you from creating a stressful situation for yourself and the other person who is already stressed.
There have always been and always will be difficult people in the world. However, you do not need to allow other people to control you. Impatience is often a byproduct of ignorance. If you are about to snap back at someone, remember that your anger may be prompted by your limited knowledge of the person or the person’s situation.
If you make someone pay for being unpleasant, you are going to be paid right back because of the stress you created for yourself.
Tip: Use an empathy phrase or question to prevent yourself from becoming involved in a no-win conflict.