The single greatest piece of advice I’ve ever received (and not always followed) is this:
“Conduct yourself in a way that when you look back, you have no regrets.”
Easy enough to follow when cooler heads prevail, but that’s not always the case, is it?
When we feel slighted, cornered, outmaneuvered or downright taken advantage of, the natural inclination is to come out swinging.
And that always ends well, right?
Only after I’ve stepped in it big time have I been able to somewhat put into practice those sage words shared with me so long ago.
Passive-aggressive barbs only work if you play along too. Don’t take the bait.
Whether it’s a dinner conversation that wanders into sensitive territory, a business transaction that hits a sour note, or an ugly email, don’t engage.
I believe that deep down, most folks are reasonable. Folks who as many times have felt disappointed by others, have disappointed their fair share too (in my case, many times over).
Making this my default position, the option of firing off an anger-filled retort of my own becomes a much less attractive option.
Neutralizing the vitriol with a dose of reason, on the other hand?