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8 Clever Ways to Deal With Shameless People

8 Clever Ways to Deal With Shameless People

If you’ve ever had to deal with a completely shameless person in your life, you know it can be a pain. They walk over, run through, embarrass, and shame those around them, without seeming to bat an eye. So how do you deal with such a person? Here are 8 clever ways to cope.

1. Keep your cool.

Shameless people are usually doing boisterous things to get attention. By not engaging in their drama, you take their power away and remove the wind from their sails. But if you fall into the trap of whatever catastrophe they’re trying to create, you’ll end up the embarrassed one. By not engaging, you separate yourself from the consequences as well as the emotional turmoil.

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2. Avoid shaming them.

According to an article in Psychology Today, shameless people are usually full of deep shame, and their “I don’t care” attitude is how they’re coping with it. What that means to you, is that if you shame them deeper, you’re likely to cause them to act out in a greater way. So return to step one, and keep your cool. You don’t want to set off a chain of events that are targeted at you.

3. Get some sleep.

This may seem entirely unrelated to dealing with shameless people, but not getting enough sleep makes everything and everyone harder to deal with. Sleep recharges your brain, shuffling and discarding memories while you slumber (dreams), so you can wake up refreshed and clear-headed. Your memory, self-control, and attention span are reduced when you’re tired, and sleep deprivation raises hormones causing stress even without an aggravator. So if you are facing an obnoxious over-sharer, or an inappropriately dressed co-worker, you’re going to be much more irritated than you would have been if you’d slept well.

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4. Don’t forget what they’ve done.

I’m all for forgiving people for stupid things they’ve done, because harboring toxic feelings inside is a recipe for disaster. But to forgive, does not mean to forget. If you forget that they have no problem yelling loudly inappropriate phrases in public, then you’ll be the one stuck with egg on your face when everyone in the nice restaurant you’re eating lunch at, is staring in shock. You can make peace without making friends. People don’t change as often as we’d like to think.

5. Set boundaries.

It’s okay to tell people what you find acceptable and what you will not stand for. If you have a co-worker who makes sexual comments, or is a little more “hands on” than you’re comfortable with, it’s perfectly okay to tell them not to treat you that way. Be specific, articulate, and clear. You don’t want there to be any room for interpretation. “I’m not comfortable with physical touch of any kind, or with you referencing my body in any way.” When you set clear boundaries, you will be more capable of taking action against the shameless person, should they cross the line.

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6. Sort out the facts from the drama.

Shameless people are often perpetual liars who boldly and authoritatively spew lie after lie to draw attention to themselves. And they get away with it because no one wants to confront or embarrass them. This can be frustrating, and even confusing at times. But the more ridiculous it is, the easier it will be to sort through it all to find the facts. When you ignore the added drama, and address only the hard facts, it takes away the power of the lies, and discourages that kind of behavior. It shows them that they’ll get attention for being truthful, and so they’ll want to steer more in that direction. And even if they don’t, it will help you to feel more in control.

7. Stay aware.

Getting caught off guard can suck you right into the trap of a shameless person. Before you know what’s happening, you’re angry and arguing, when you could have kept your cool. You can’t stop someone from pushing your buttons, if you don’t see it coming. If you’re alert, you can remove yourself from the situation and take a moment to regroup. While you’re alone, come up with a plan to deal with the situation, and attack it head on. In this way, you’ll focus more on the solution than the problem, which will help you to alleviate some of the frustration and anger that can arise when the problem is all you can see.

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8. Maintain a great support system.

Some shameless people are more work than any individual can take on alone, and maintaining a great support system of rational people, can help you to keep a clear perspective. When someone is ranting loudly at you about their biased thinking all day long, it can start making you feel like you’re the cray one, but if you have friends or coworkers that are rational, they’ll set the record straight. They may even be able to laugh about it with you, which will alleviate some of the stress it’s causing.

Featured photo credit: Ryan Mcguire via gratisography.com

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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