Showdown or Slow Down? When Someone Upsets You

Friday, November 30, 2012

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Sometimes, the people you are closest to might say and do things that hurt, anger, or just rub you the wrong way. If someone upsets you, it can be tricky to figure out when and how to talk to them about it, without making things worse. Before you confront the person who upset you, try to take a few minutes to think about ways to express your feelings in a positive, productive way.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

Take a time out.
Maybe you were having a bad day and were feeling especially sensitive. Maybe your friend was having a bad day and was being especially insensitive. Let some time go by before you talk to your friend about how you felt. Waiting for the dust to settle might give each of you a new perspective.

Give the benefit of the doubt.
Your friend or family member might have no idea they have done something to upset you. Even if they do know, they probably haven’t tried to hurt you on purpose.

Write it down.
Jot down your thoughts and feelings. Once you see them written out, you might decide that you weren’t so bothered after all. But if you’re still upset, you now have some thoughts handy to start a conversation with the person who upset you. Calmly and clearly letting that person know how you’re feeling can be the beginning of a stronger relationship.

Remember the Golden Rule.
If someone has hurt or upset you, you might be tempted to hurt them back. Put yourself in that person’s place. Think about how you’d want to be treated if the tables were turned.

Hear their side.
Once you get talking, the other person might want to air some feelings about you. For instance, you might have offended them without realizing it. Try to hear them out without becoming defensive. Keeping an open mind is a great way to learn something more about your friend and potentially improve your relationship. Plus, you might learn something new about yourself.

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