Sunday, July 17, 2016

Uncomfortable Situations: When You Have To Deal With Those Who Don't Like You

This reaches beyond just the LGBT community. This applies to racism, cultural differences and a plethora of situations. 
So you and someone have it out. They let you know just how much they don't like you, in no uncertain terms. And its something you cant change like skin color or sexuality. You handle it well, you don't freak out, you don't kick their butt, you stay calm and collected. But let's say your in a professional environment where you still have to deal with this person. Still remaining professional. Now this can be a challenge. So what do you do?
I'll tell you what I do, I genuinely smile at them. I tell them to have a fantastic day. I ask if there is anything I can do for them. I wish them well and then I try not to let them occupy my mental space. I have to draw a line at perpetuating negativity. They can be negative all they want, but I don't have to. 
This is what separates diplomatic approaches from barbaric approaches. I don't have anything to prove. They already don't like me, what more is there to talk about? What more needs to be said? Just because someone doesn't like you doesn't mean you have to accept that they are your enemy. That's our choice. This obviously excludes them pushing the issue and getting physical or invading your personal boundaries. 
Sometimes we have to stare our haters right square between the eyes and we have to hold our emotions at bay. That's the way it is. We can do it, it is hard to do. But it gets easier with practice. Each time you do, you'll find that things become more like business as usual.. That perhaps the biggest jab you can deliver is to let them know that their opinion of you has zero effect on you. Its not like its anything new. Oh no, someone else who hates gays. Or, someone who's racist still exists...say it isn't so.

No its real, its out there and yes it sucks. Yes it hurts, yes it is unfair and nothing you can do about it. But, you can deliver the last word, its terrifying silence to them to be of no effect on you. Keep your head up and don't let them see you sweat. 

With Love
Jeff Utnage

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