How to deal with a difficult situation

I don’t know about you, but from time to time I run into a snag. Generally snags are of two orders:  those involving things and those involving people. The objective snags are those such as car problems, computer glitches, internet failure, even a bicycle flat or a broken knob on a chest of drawers. Those problems are annoying and inconvenient but, unless you have to deal with a national internet provider, it is usually possible to make arrangements to get them fixed without huge difficulty.  Granted it may require more than one attendance (a disturbing reminder that most people never check the quality of their work).

As for the “people” problems, that’s a different story!  I get so frustrated trying to understand other people when predicaments arise.  Even if I really do comprehend them it is almost as annoying as not being able to fathom them. Either way, the apparent cause of the friction is galling. This however is where the real genius is required.  Whether one does or doesn’t understand the other person it is important rather to recognize that it doesn’t matter. Whatever the cause that motivates the other person, understanding it will seldom make any difference other than to excuse it, frequently a small compliment.  This will however do absolutely nothing to mitigate the aggravation.

To cut to the quick, the way to resolve people problems is by not trying to resolve them.  Better to rise above it and forget about it.  Any time spent trying to rationalize a course of action to deal with the problem is wasted. Initially it hurts to roll over.  There is such a natural inclination to rebut the offensive behaviour and maybe even to avenge it.  But the effort is doomed. More painful is the likelihood that any vengeful conduct will only backfire. And then you have to feel bad about what you did!  A double whammy!

Of course this brilliant insight only comes to those who have already stepped into the pitfalls and made all the blunders.  This isn’t like reading Confucius in your comfortable leather armchair.  It’s a nasty business and you have to get down and dirty before cleaning yourself up and making yourself presentable.  Hopefully the act of redemption will be a private matter and not one that entails crawling.  This all depends upon how careful you were to restrain yourself.  Confining oneself to a wrestling match within one’s own mind is by far the preferred course of conduct.  Resist the temptation to illustrate one’s thoughts.  The reason is simple:  you cannot win at proving others wrong.  They will always have a retort and the best you can hope for is a crying match.

Distance helps.  Often distance is the very thing required even though neither party to the argument would ever say as much.  Distance can of course mean time.  Whether the measure is spatial or temporal, the objective for the time being is to put as much of it as possible between one another.  This will at least vacate the immediate arena which is  contaminated.