What is the best way to approach someone who drives you up the wall with their inappropriate / offensive / immature or otherwise upsetting behavior?

Say this:

“I know you don’t mean to, but you come across as…..”

(…bossy…angry…negative…defensive…uncomfortable…snobby…elitist…whichever word fits)

This works because you get to maintain your status as a “nice” person and still say what you want to say.  You also give them an “out” because if their behavior was intentional they can pretend to be surprised.  If they did not know they were acting that way / sending those messages, they will be genuinely sorry.

Either way, you have confronted them without confrontation.

If you want to make this sentence even more effective, mention something specific they did.  Preferably something you personally observed, not something you heard about.

The new script goes like this: “I know you didn’t mean to, but when you (insert upsetting behavior here), it came across as (insert adjective here)”.

Hopefully this will work for you.

Maybe it will change them for the better.  Maybe it won’t.

A true, pure jerkface of the highest order might even look you straight in the eye and say “Yeah…..so?”

If you encounter this level of jerk, just smile and say “Just thought I would let you know” and walk away.

Then go wash your hands thoroughly as to avoid getting their cooties.

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