Sometimes, people lash out seemingly out of the blue. Making accusations about things that are neither here nor there. It happened to me recently. An incident that happened over 2 years ago was brought up in a conversion as a passive aggressive way to illustrate how I have “alway” disregarded the expert advice from this particular friend. I was upset by the comment at the time, but soon see that there is possibly a bigger issue going on here. I have not had a chance to speak with this person about it yet, but I have come up with a list of things to keep in mind when I do, which I thought I should share with you.
1. Stay calm
Getting all riled up will only escalate the argument.
2. Understand what is really going on
The confrontation may have been triggered by an entirely different underlying issue, so try and find out. Or read between the lines.
3. Do not engage
Do not be dragged into a full-blown argument. It will go nowhere.
4. Validate his point of view
Acknowledge that you understand where he is coming from and how he feels. This will lessen the animosity he feels for you.
5. Provide explanation
Patiently explain your point of view, but do not try to impose it upon him. Also try to address the underlying issue, which is a bigger problem that needs to be resolved.
If you cannot talk it through with him in one sitting, or that he is getting even more upset, it may be best to cut the conversation short and walk away. Let everyone cool off before trying again.
Have you been confronted by difficult people before? How have you handled the situation?