The person who just cut you off in line, the driver with road rage, the guy with the snarky tone – you’re ready to put them in their place. I know, people can be such jerks! But when triggered by rudeness, that’s your moment to put in place the 3 Ps that will give you power. What do I mean?
Pause: It takes tremendous skill to stop, breathe, and NOTICE all the reactions that are coming up for you – but every time you do it, you’ll get better at it. A bit of pause is magic, especially when you feel like you’re about to explode. Take 3 to 5 seconds – breathe and make a choice – don’t give in and be rude back.
Pretend: Be like an actor – you’re the person in the scene who manages to be above it all. Your lines don’t include snapping back at them, raising your voice, or correcting them with all the sarcasm you can muster. It may sound silly, but *pretend* you’re not in the presence of their drama – and “pretend” that you’re not triggered and annoyed, at least for a moment.
Perceive: Remember that your perception isn’t always aligned with reality. I was once seated near a “rude” man on a 5-hour flight, with his constantly beeping device going off every time he pressed a button. I had to say something, so I walked over and asked him to turn the volume down. He fixed it, but the whole interaction felt so awkward, and I wondered if I had offended him. But then in baggage claim, he made a beeline over to me, and said: “Thank you for letting me know my device was making noise, I’m a little hard of hearing, I had no idea.” I had been sitting there perceiving him as “rude” – but he was just unaware! You have the power to alter your perception – and leave room for the possibility that they might not be directing their “rudeness” at you at all.
It’s time to play around and adjust how you respond to “rude” people. You’ll find yourself calmer, happier, and more in control of your experience. You’ll be an example for others, and you’ll get to keep your good mood. Simply Pause, pretend, and reset how you perceive – and life will be 10x easier.