When someone comes to us with negative behavior, often they are expecting negative, escalating behavior in turn from us. Some may even thrive on it, as that’s what they’ve known – it’s a common way to operate in this world. We can change that dynamic by not responding with escalating behavior. Often, people behave based on how they expect others to behave – so if you don’t return their behavior with that escalation, it frequently changes the way they behave to you. You don’t have to coddle them or give them the chance to harm you. You don’t have to put up with bad behavior. But you can respond with compassion and firmness instead of reverting to be another hurt and helpless animal. Additionally, if you get the opportunity to help them see that you are someone they can trust and like, they will potentially listen to your messages more easily over time and with effort.
When we expect the worst in others