How to cope when disrespect hurts

How to cope when disrespect hurts

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Dec 01, 2009

Sometimes it's the right time to confront a disrespectful superior or colleague. When it's not—such as the times you don't think you can deal emotionally—consider these coping mechanisms from Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member Sheila Grosdidier, BS, RVT, a partner with VMC Inc. in Evergreen, Colo.

Ask yourself if it's worth it. You feel your co-worker or boss disrespected you. Is it worth it to deal with it right now, maybe making the rest of your day miserable? "Getting worked up about disrespect you can't control can ruin your health, well-being, and happiness," Grosdidier says. Consider also that what you may see as disrespect isn't intended that way. "Go confront them if it's worth it," she says. "If it bothers you that much, something needs to be said."

If it's not, let it go. Sometimes thoughtless or disrespectful comments or gestures are played as a game to make you angry, sad, or demoralized—if you let them. Don't lose the game by allowing them to affect you.

Focus on the positives. Stop and think of three things you did well today or yesterday, and let the negative comments go. Close your eyes, think of a wonderful place you've been, and breathe deeply and calmly for a minute. "You'll condition yourself to ignore disrespect," Grosdidier says. "You're going to your happy place. Your happy place wins the game."

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