A confrontational computer repairman breathes today thanks to my dogs. At least, I’m pretty sure of it. Because the thought occurred to me to crack him good. He seemed to feel the same. Like, from hello.
But woofy wisdom prevailed.
So did I. Here’s what happened and what I observed.
First, the confrontation
Transferring files from my crashed laptop to my rather old Apple Macbook (which I have Photoshop on, so I use it regularly) sounds routine for a computer repair shop. But after I got the Apple back, it didn’t have enough RAM to work. So I called them back to see if the new, large files ate up too much space.
Mr. Charming — the shop’s owner as I learned from a friend because heaven forbid he actually introduce himself — flipped out. “You mean to tell me you can use that machine for anything?” he stormed. “I just can’t believe it. I am shocked and amazed.”
After several minutes implying I’m a liar, he finally grumbled I could bring it back in.
I went back the next day with a jump drive of proof the Apple had worked. In the middle of nicely talking with an IT guy, a stranger, who I figured out was Mr. Charming because he failed to introduce himself again, came storming in. I called him out on being rude and unprofessional, but he didn’t back down, apologize, or even refute he accused me of lying. Of the 20 or so minutes there, 15 was wasted on Mr. Charming’s temper tantrum.
Those 5 truths for dealing with people who suck
I’ll be honest — I wanted to drive my elbow through his face. But the mindfulness training I’ve been doing with my dogs, as chronicled here on Dog and Dojo, paid off.
So here are our five tips for dealing with confrontational people:
- Mr. Charming acted like a bully from the start. And, as I experienced when I bullied one of my dogs with a vibrating collar, bullying comes from personal weakness. His behavior served as a spotlight on his vulnerable underbelly. I won’t pretend I felt compassion, but I did feel responsible for safely getting us to the other side of this conflict.
- Like anyone else, I look back and wish I had said this or that. But everything I did say, I said with conviction from my gut. Speaking with this energy carries power. It’s how I verbally correct my dogs; usually, that’s all it takes.
- Your intention will get you through anything unpleasant. Never lose touch with it. I didn’t go there intending to fight. I intended to fix my computer. Keeping my eye on that goal made it easier to redirect Mr. Charming’s negativity.
- Speaking of redirecting, I once wrote about redirecting a dog’s energy when he’s jumping on you. Ditto for someone spewing hate. How? Root yourself in your intention so your words clearly represent it. Then redirect negative statements by restating them. For example, Mr. Charming said I accused them of rigging my computer, to which I replied, “Did you not hear me when I asked if it had something to do with the size of the files? That has nothing to do with you.”
- Accept what you cannot change. I mean, if Rico accepts he cannot eat a duck at the park, I can accept that Mr. Charming was a textbook bully. Not my job to fix him or calm him down. His self-expression is his choice, completely independent of me.
None of this means I didn’t vent. I still wished things had gone better. I also dreamt of backslapping him.
But I also feel true to myself and a bit closer to spiritual maturity. I feel bigger, even stronger than I did before. I feel more like a warrior. And no one got a police record.
I also got a new computer, which I apparently will be sharing with Whiskey …
I could come up with more truths for handling rude people. I bet you can, too. Please feel free to share any nuggets of wisdom your furry bestie has bestowed upon you.
Thanks for stopping by today!