We all have ‘those days’ when everything seems to be off–-we wake up cranky, the traffic is a mess, our work load is overwhelming, and we just can’t seem to catch a break. We’re on edge and feel like the only way to survive the day is to turn on grumpy mode and scowl at anyone who comes our way. But days like those are few and far between –-at least they should be.

A week ago, I phoned a woman in attempt to pleasantly resolve an error that was made on her behalf. Before I could get a word in, she snapped and started to take swings at me with her words. My eyes widened and my jaw literally dropped. I was taken aback by her arrogance which was not only appalling; it was 100 percent unprofessional and uncalled for. I took a deep breath and waited a few seconds before responding to her, then ended the conversation saying, “Thank you, and do have a good day.”

The situation baffled me and I kept trying to wrap my head around her unwarranted attitude. The only possible reason I came up with, was that she was perhaps having one of ‘those days’, so I decided to let it go and move on.

Yesterday however, my friend phoned me after speaking with the same woman about an unrelated matter.

“What is that woman’s problem?”  she burst out in disbelief.

I snickered, knowing exactly who she was referring to.

“I’m guessing she was mean to you too?”

“Yes! What the hell!”

From the looks of it, the woman was not having one of ‘those days’; actually there’s a very high possibility that’s her everyday attitude. I try my best to have compassion for such people because I know no one was born angry at the world. I empathise with her that perhaps “circumstances made her what she is”. But is that famous line a plausible justification or a poor excuse for having a bad attitude?

My question to you is: what is your tolerance level for people with bad attitudes? And, how do you respond to situations like mine?

Comment below and let me know what you think.



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31 Replies to “Was It Just a Bad Day or a Bad Attitude?”

  1. Awesome read.Thoroughly enjoyed it. People with attitude have a lot of pain within and don’t know how to let it out. They think venting anger on others is a way out. But in doing so, the same grooves are formed in their subconscious mind and it becomes a habit very challenging to alter or get rid off.

  2. I’m assuming this person is someone you’re required to interact with. If not, I would likely choose to keep my distance. The toxicity can be too much and I try to spend time with people who make me happy and share my outlook.

    1. Yep, it’s someone who works in the same organisation as me. Luckily, I don’t have to interact with them frequently because like you, I try to only interact and be around people with good, positive vibes.

  3. Something I’ve been trying to do is be more compassionate with them. I try to understand where they are coming from because I always take things so personally and it sometimes would effect my day. It’s a work in progress though 😊very good article. I can totally relate

    1. Thanks so much Shelby.

      It does take a lot of effort to understand and be compassionate. It could get even harder when you’re also having a bad day and encounter someone like that.

      But I think it takes a very mature, wise and level headed person to show that kind of compassion. I’m happy to hear it’s coming along for you. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  4. Being told the situation first hand by the author, I was equally appalled, this woman’s response was unheard of in all my years in a professional environment. I think that like most things in this world, it’s a cause and effect scenario, you behave badly with people and you attract unsavory things into your life, the opposite is also true, be good to yourself and others and good will come to you. I would treat her pleasantly, not because of her, but because I know it will have a positive impact on my life. Nice post btw babe!

    1. That’s a really good point. Thanks for sharing that. You know it took a lot out of me to handle that situation the way I did, but I’m happy I didn’t respond in a negative way. You’re right, what you give is what you get. Thanks love xoxo

  5. If I encounter people like this, I try first to engage my curiosity: What might be happening in their life now, or in their past, to make them so angry and so frightened? What must it feel like to live in their head and feel scared and angry all the time? I’ve found that if I first employ curiosity it prevents me from responding in kind to their incivility (which might have been my first reaction). I also try to be genuinely kind to them in hopes that the kindness might break through that shell they’ve built around themselves. And I try not to let their anger and negativity influence my own mood or resolve. Notice that I use the word “try” for each intention. I’m not always successful, but I’m finding that it gets easier with practice. I think most people want to be kind, but they fear it shows weakness, or they don’t know how, or they’ve been hurt so badly they behave in ways that distance other people from them. Thanks for a thought-provoking post!

    1. Thanks for sharing that Donna. I think now that you put it that way–to employ curiosity–it might be easier for me to have compassion.

      I actually had another experience where someone was being really grumpy and I responded by being really kind, and as you said the kindness changed their mood (at least in that moment).

      Funny you should speak about kindness and weakness–I was writing another piece about that today.

      Thanks for sharing your valuable thoughts 🙂

  6. All depends on my own mood how I respond 😉 I’d like to say I am always compassionate when I encounter an angry rude person. But, that’s not the case! The hard part is to let it go and not let it influence the next human interaction in my life. Stopping the “galloping grumps,” as Pooh says, is hard to do. Great post!

  7. Interesting read!
    In a professional environment and role where a person has twice shown such an attitude, it is inexcusable. If it was a non-professional environment, I would be more lenient and find out what’s wrong. Working is different because it’s in your contract to demonstrate professional behaviour.

  8. I’ve had to learn the hard way, but as the saying goes, I try to ‘kill them with kindness” because I always believe that underneath that shitty, negative exterior, there lies a decent, kind human being. I believe a bad attitude stems from a person’s own insecurities about themselves and unfortunately it makes them inadvertently feel better when they put someone else down with their negative attitude. But as long as you stay true to yourself and never sink to their level, you will always be the better person.

    In terms of my level of tolerance, I can be kind but I’m not stupid.. if a person is disturbing my peace by their negativity, then I will just distance myself from them. No one needs to be around anyone that will bring them down.

    1. You hit the nail on the head there Sarah. I’m learning more and more everyday how to not stoop to low levels and to be the bigger person. I end up feeling better about it afterwards.

      Thanks for sharing such a valuable insight 🙂

  9. For me I would probably calm them down and let them know how I will resolve the situation.
    But I do know some people with a bad attitude who just seem to snap. Completely uncalled for. I tend to usually get shocked and really down about how these people behave sometimes.
    I told a friend once and he told me to ignore it, some people just get a kick out of being that way. He told me to think of the bigger picture.

    1. Ignoring it is best, but sometimes even that is just so hard to do.
      I guess your friend is right, we have to think of the bigger picture and not sweat the small stuff.
      Thanks for sharing that 🙂

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