4 Ways of Dealing with
Challenging People

30 May 2017 Bangalore, India

When someone does something wrong or misbehaves with us, what do we do?

In our day-to-day lives, we come across challenging situations or exchanges with people where we aren’t sure what the right approach to deal with the situation is. The following four techniques, in this particular order, have been prescribed by the Ancient Seers to deal with challenging people.

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#1 Saam – Gentle Persuasion

When someone is making a mistake, the first step is to gently make them understand where they are going wrong. Many people commit mistakes unknowingly. Most of them will not repeat it the next time once they understand that they are making a mistake. Therefore, the first step is gentle communication. If you start off with a stick, it is not right. You cannot blame someone for a mistake that they have made unknowingly. So Saam means to explain to the other person the mistake he or she has committed and to make them aware of it.

#2 Daan – Earnest Request

Now, even after explaining a mistake, if a person goes on repeating it, the next approach would be to forgive them and request them not to do it again. This is Daan.

So, at first, you make them aware without making them feel like a culprit. If they repeat it, then you make them feel responsible for the mistake, and forgive them.

You should never make a person feel like a culprit if they are committing a mistake unknowingly for the first time. See, if you create guilt within them by blaming them at the very first instance, then they will not improve their ways. They will never be able to gain awareness and overcome their wrong ways. So, the first approach is Saam and then comes Daan.

#3 Bheda – Indifference

Suppose even after doing all this, they continue to repeat their mistakes, then you need to adopt the approach of Bheda – having an attitude of indifference towards that person.
Then you tell them, “Okay, since you continue to repeat this mistake even after my telling you so many times, I am not going to behave the same way with you anymore.”

This will make them feel a pinch of guilt about what they have done, and they will understand their mistake.

#4 Danda – Punishment

Danda is the last measure one needs to adopt. When someone does not listen even after doing everything else, then you need to pick up a stick to make them understand. Someone who does not improve their ways even after explaining, requesting, and being treated indifferently, will only understand through punishment.

You must first take the harmonious path, then give a chance, then discriminate, and finally when nothing works then take firm action. These are the four skillful ways to handle any situation.

If none of these four works, then pray for wisdom to dawn on that person!


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