Dealing With Problem People

Unacceptable Behavior

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"Unacceptable Behavior"
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Unacceptable behavior is quite common these days.  You need only to turn on the television or take a stroll on the highway to see the debauchery of our society.   Offensive and objectionable conduct inundates us on an hourly basis.  Not only does behavioral irritation come from outside sources, it also infiltrates the safe confines of our familial arenas.  It seems as though there is no escape from people whose behavior is unacceptable.  The question is how and when to deal with the issue.

When addressing unacceptable behavior issues, it is important to think before you speak.   Our society is a diverse one, filled with many different cultures, views, and backgrounds.  What seems normal to one may be inappropriate to another.  It is wise to search one’s own heart before flippantly reprimanding someone else.  If, after much consideration and soul-searching, you feel that the behavior is too intolerable to dismiss, confrontation is likely necessary.  For many, confrontation is a difficult and frightening undertaking.  Here are a few steps that you can take to help prepare for conflict and ease opposition.

1.    Never approach confrontation with anger.

The old adage of catching more flies with honey than with vinegar proves useful when entering into confrontational situations.  Most people respond better to a person who is calm and understanding.   By assuaging your anger, you are ensuring that your discussion is interpreted as non-threatening.  The goal of confrontation is to verbalize your feelings and beliefs and to induce change in the other party. 

2.  Be Humble.

Never forget that you are human too.  It is possible that others might find YOUR behavior unacceptable.  By understanding that we are all different, it enables you to lower your expectations of others.  This ensures that your confrontation is presented with respect and concern rather than with a self-righteous attitude.

3.  Be Specific.

Don’t generalize your complaint.  Be very exact in what it is that you find unacceptable and give your reasons as to why you feel this way.  This helps the other person to better understand your view.  It is reasonable at this point that you would voice your concerns as well as any consequences that would be related to the unacceptable behavior.

Once you have given your opinion in an honest, caring, and specific way, there is no need to brow beat someone over and over again.  We must always keep in mind that we cannot change anyone or their behavior.  It is up to the person being confronted to take the issue to heart and to determine whether change will ensue. 

More about this author: Ellis Hayford

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