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17. Rudyard Kipling on dealing with difficult people January 28, 2010

Posted by Lisa in All, Assessments, Learning points, Motivation.
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I wrote an entire post about my experience with Little Ms. Faux Fur Diva Wannabe at the airport yesterday, but I’ve decided not to post it.  It was a vignette on her bad behavior and attempts to bait me into anger, and my thoughts on dealing with difficult people through the lens of Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “If.”

But while the airport drama isn’t relevant, the message is.

The Readers’ Digest Condensed Version: As I was about to hand my boarding pass to the gate agent, Faux Fur Diva cut in front of me, and then in the crowded jet way, demanded to know what row I was in, and proceeded to explain to me (in front of everyone) why she was entitled to board first.  And that actually *I* had cut in front of *her*.

While part of me wanted to respond in kind, I didn’t take the bait.  Which stirred her pot even more.  It ended well because I just stopped responding to her. (Actually, I turned around in the crowded jet way and let her vent at my backpack instead.)

But to why Rudyard Kipling and “If” popped into my head.  I’d had to memorize the poem and recite it in 6th grade, and I still remember much of it.  The first few lines are keepers:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you

You can rattle off a few of the obvious morals to this story.   As poet John Dryden said,

Better to shun the bait, than struggle in the snare.

Compass Point – When dealing with difficult people, recognize that while you may not be the cause, you’re often in the trail of debris.

17 down, 343 to go.

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