When is the last time you had to deal with someone who never seemed to learn the meaning of respect?
You know who I’m talking about. They insult without remorse. They’re oppressive and cut people down. They lie as if no one sees. They cut corners to get ahead, ignorant to the damage they’re causing.
Every time this happens we make a choice
Either we can let it fester inside us, daydreaming about putting them in their place and making them feel pain, or we can deal with it head-on and grow as people. As leaders.
Easier said than done, right?
Yes, but we have to learn how to do it.
Because if we don’t, each offense will pile up into a heap of emotional and intellectual baggage. Dealing with this mountain of junk is painful. And it get’s worse the longer we wait.
Here are three ways we can deal with offenses head-on:
1. Forgive and move on
The key here is to forgive. It’s not enough to try to ignore or bury it because it will come back to haunt you. Say “I forgive Person Q for xyz” out loud if you have to. Invite your spouse or someone who cares about you to witness you say it.
Most situations probably deserve this treatment. Everyone makes mistakes and each person in our lives will let us down at some point. We can’t let the little stuff get under our skin and ruin our days, weeks or years. When we hold grudges we’re only hurting ourselves.
2. Be courageous and confront the offender
If an offense is big enough or if you recognize a pattern of destructive behavior, it may be best to discuss it with the offender. Be respectful but courageous. Do it in private. Give them time to process and respond. Listen. Don’t let it turn into an argument. Sometimes we have to agree to disagree, but at least they will understand how their actions impact others.
If he or she is a person who cares about others they’ll want the feedback. And conflict addressed head-on usually leads to growth for everyone.
3. Remove yourself from the situation
If you’ve confronted someone several times and things haven’t changed, then maybe it’s time to remove yourself. We can’t let others hold us back or bring out the worst in us. And of course it’s probably best to walk away from illegal or unethical situations.
It’s up to us what we do in these situations. We can choose to let them accumulate and be miserable, or we can learn how to deal with them head-on and grow in the process.
Question: How else can we deal with offenses? Please share your thoughts below.