METRO PLUS

How to deal with a nasty person

SOME PEOPLE are just plain unpleasant. They're probably like this with everyone, not just you.

Or they may be having a difficult day, have just had some bad news or be feeling unwell. So don't take their nastiness personally. Sometimes we can shrug our shoulders and walk away. Sometimes we can't. We need to stick it out and deal with them. When this happens, here's what to do:

Erect an imaginary filter.

Place it between you so it can strain out what you don't want — negative emotions, personal jibes and bad vibes — and let in what you do want — facts and other useful information.

Let them have their full say. Don't interrupt, even if you disagree or believe they're wrong. As you listen, separate the facts from feelings, opinions and hearsay. Try to listen with, not against, them.

When they've finished speaking, summarise what they've said to show you've heard and understood their point. Only then will they be ready to listen to you.

Try it. Put up a filter as you breathe deeply and switch to listening mode. Filter out their hastiness and concentrate on the facts and important information.

KRIS COLE