Do you encounter many difficult people in your life? So what do you do when you are dealing with difficult people or a difficult person and it is causing you stress?
This afternoon I took my son, Mac, to the community playground. As I was chatting with another parent, I looked over and saw Mac’s eyes welling up with tears. I ran over to him and asked what was wrong, but all he could do at that moment was quiver his bottom lip. So I turned to a young teenage girl swinging on the swings and asked her to tell me what happened. She explained that two bullies had been teasing Mac and calling him names for the past few minutes. “I told them to stop,” she said. “But they kept calling him smelly and telling all the other little kids that he pooped in his pants. And then all the other little kids stopped playing with him. Those bullies are so mean!”
I felt my heart aching and racing at the same time. “Where are those bullies now?” I asked.
Mac suddenly spoke up. “They ran away when I started crying,” he said through his tears.
I thanked the teenage girl, picked Mac up, and carried him to a nearby picnic table. Initially, even though I was fuming inside, I just wanted to cheer Mac up. So I quickly told him a few of my favorite kid-friendly jokes until, thankfully, I was able to get a genuine giggle out of him. Then I pulled two dark chocolate bars out of my pocket, handed one to him, and said, “Cheers!” He smiled and gave me a huge hug. And I relaxed a bit, knowing that he was sincerely feeling better.