Use Humor to Cope with Difficult People

Thanksgiving is the holiday we set aside to appreciate our blessings and give thanks.

This reminds me of a humor device that comes in handy when dealing with difficult or unreasonable people. When someone agitates you to a dangerous level of stress, you can instantly release your frustration using playful sarcasm. Used “privately,” playful sarcasm is a power tool that enables you to let go of volatile feelings, and not take the situation personally. It protects you from over-reacting and removes the need to make apologies.

When an angry customer tells you off or a co-worker makes a critical comment or someone blurts out a thoughtless remark, instead of bristling, take a deep breath and look for one nice thing about this person. Don’t feel guilty to “think” thoughts like, “I am thankful I don’t have to eat dinner with you tonight. Whew – glad I am not married to you! I wonder who bit you in the rear?” There is no harm done if you don’t say your thoughts out loud.

What I have discovered is that once I defend myself from their attack by privately expressing my own attitude, I feel silly, a giggle is triggered and my tension evaporates. Next, my attention turns to that person and I wonder what is really troubling them. Now I am able to verbally respond in a manner that pleases me. I might be inclined to ask them if they are o.k., inquire what I could do for them or ask God to bless them.

A fully developed sense of humor is a valuable skill and a thankful treasure.

Leave a Comment

Leave the field below empty!