Quoted in Mumbai Mirror, Ahmadabad , Bangalore and Pune Mirror on Dealing with negative acquaintances in our everyday life..
An acquaintance could be someone you never see again beyond one interaction or someone with whom you never exchange more than mere pleasantries, says Dr Nahid Dave, psychiatrist at Thought Matters. This could be someone you travel in the lift with, meet in a queue or at a restaurant, or share a cab with. Many people behave negatively in these scenarios because they do not fear being judged by you.
Ways to deal with it
1) Benefit of doubt
Understand that the other person may be displacing their frustration on you. At the same time, try to be empathetic — if someone is breaking the queue, don’t presume that they are being selfish. Try to understand what may have motivated that behavior. Telling yourself that (s)he is facing an emergency can take the edge off.
Most people want to talk about issues, but no one wants to listen. If someone is rude to you, instead of replying rudely, ask them if everything is okay. Always talk to them in private, instead of in front of others.
3) Act of kindness
A random act of kindness or a compliment These can often change the tone of the conversation for the better.