If you live and work in modern society, the likelihood is that you will have to deal with people having problems with you at least every once in a while. Life introduces you to some people for a short time and some for a long time and sometimes you will have issues with them and they will have issues with you.

As a child, the one thing that I really struggled to deal with was people ignoring me or giving me the silent treatment. That was worse than them screaming and shouting, worse than them cursing me or even hitting me. It hit me harder than anything. Now, as an adult, it can happen from time to time. In fact, I often get asked about how to deal with it when I am in the corporate arena. So what is the best thing to do when people have a problem with you? 

The key is to ask yourself whether you did anything wrong. If you did, apologise and try to talk it out or try and fix the situation. If they do not accept this there is nothing that you can do. If you did not do anything wrong, then you can still apologise that they feel the way they do and explain that you want to move past it.

After you have taken this step, you need to do the toughest thing of all: accept the situation. People have all sorts of shit going on in their head that you do not know about. They can distort the facts, misremember the situation and create fantasies in their head that keep them thinking whatever they do.

Even though every part of you might want to talk it out and solve things, some people just do not like solving things. For whatever reason, they like to hold onto their anger or fear or whatever it is. You need to accept it is their stuff and instead of getting angry because you are being ignored you need to let go of it and be yourself and know you did all that you could. Sometimes the silent treatment can feel like bullying but it only becomes that if you let it. If you have to go to work day in day out and see this person, keep your door open but expect theirs to be closed.

Whenever this happens to me, although it initially can be challenging, my focus is on accepting they are going through whatever they are going through and whatever bad feelings they have about you they own them. They aren’t about you more than likely but the thoughts they are creating about you. It is their stuff. So, there is no need to be angry at them or hate them or speak badly about them. Mentally wish them the best and move on.

Keep focused on remembering that it is not about you. It is about what is going on for them. That will keep you sane!


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