How To Deal With Grumpy People During Busy Times

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, isn’t it?

Lots of parties, and gifts…

Lots of treats and goodies and surprises…

Lots of traffic…

and lines…

…and “doorbusters”

…and “flash sales”

…and “limited stock” items

…and tired, grumpy people ready to go home and take a load off… but who have packed their schedules so full that they can’t.

Ah…  the holiday season… full of grumpy people and many Mr. Ebeneezer Scrooge personalities come out of the woodwork.

I know, kid… I know. It makes me sad, too.

Grumpy, unhappy, and impatient people can really squeeze the joy out of any happy time in our lives.

There’s a way around it, though.

An easy answer to this is from last week’s blog.

It’s about mindfulness.

Mindfulness helps you be fully present in the present moment without judgment.

I’ve practiced mindfulness to get in the habit of not judging myself… and now it helps me not judge others around me either.

If you missed it, here’s a quick link.

I’m not going to leave you hanging with some simple mindfulness instructions on this one, though.

If you’re not in the regular habit of practicing those mindful skills, employing them to overcome Ebeneezer Scrooge may be nearly impossible.

Fuel For a Grumpy Person

To understand how to deal with grumpy people, it’s important to know what’s gotten their knickers in a twist, to begin with.

Are they pushing anger out at the universe because they’re nervous? anxious? disappointed? insecure?

Take a moment to emotionally step back from the situation and determine what the person is out to get.

If he or she is spewing insults or simply being disagreeable in demands, that means insecurity.

People who are extremely impatient and unforgiving are usually suffering from overload and lack of organization.

Sometimes it’s difficult to mentally or emotionally put ourselves in another person’s spot; however, it’ll help you if you can swing it.

What you’re looking for here is what the person really wants… what is fueling them.

When someone is treating you poorly it is a sign that there is something wrong with that person – experimenting to figure out what’s broken can help you get past it by either understanding and moving on or by delivering a solution with kindness.

The Best Kind of Wrapping Paper

Ask any of my clients what I tell them to do when delivering a message to a difficult person.

“Gift wrap it.”

What does this mean?

It means that you approach everything with kindness and from a solution-based mindset.

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it 1,000 times…

Mindset is everything.

Gift wrap your message by determining what you want and then presenting it in a way that the recipient will interpret as a favor to him or her.

No tape or paper cuts involved!

Take a Breather… Literally

It’s perfectly fine to tell someone you need a few minutes alone.

It doesn’t matter why… you may need a bathroom break or just want to go scream into a pillow so you don’t punch them in the face… they don’t need to know why.

Just take a breather.

Regardless of the weather, get some fresh (outside) air and then take 1-2 minutes to take a mental bath in gratitude for the moment of serenity.

Deep breathing will help slow your heart rate and reduce the flood of stress hormones in your body; in turn, you’ll think more clearly and will be less likely to do or say something you regret.

Refuse To Accept Their “Gift”

Just as you are encouraged to “gift wrap” your messages, every message and sentiment that comes your way is also a gift.

It may not be one you want, but it is something being offered to you by someone else.

It’s up to you whether you take it or not.

When someone hurls nastiness at you, there is a mental choice there:

  • take it
  • refuse it

Even if the nasty person is your boss or holds some other position of authority over you, there is only one master of your mindset.

That’s you.

You are the master of your mindset.

As the master of your mindset, you can decide whether you take on that person’s negative energy.

It sounds simple because it is.

I once worked with a woman who was wound up in a whole load of nastiness, and she brought it to the office with her every single day.

She was negative.

She was aggressive.

She was very talented as well so she wasn’t going to be dismissed for her disruptive behavior.

That meant that everyone in that office had to learn to deal with it.

When she would frown and say something negative or unpleasant to me, I’d just smile at her and give a quick & agreeable appropriate response such as:

  • Thanks for letting me know!
  • Interesting; I didn’t know that.
  • Got it. Thanks!

All of those statements were delivered with a pleasant tone.

I responded to her nastiness with kindness.

Eventually, it broke her.

It took several years… but she realized she could not break my positivity.


Because I’m a WARRIOR for my own mindset and I’m not going to let you impact it unless I decide your influence would be positive.


You Never Know What Someone Is Dealing With.

There’s a full blog post here about not comparing yourself to anyone else.

That’s because you don’t know what really is going on in someone’s life.

This goes the other way, too – don’t judge others without full information.

We’re all guilty of it, and by “all” I mean that I am guilty as well.

Because we never know what someone else is dealing with, it’s in our best interest (and theirs) for us to approach every situation with kindness.

Easier said than done in some cases, but I have a tool for this.


The person I referenced above – the person who was a nasty co-worker – had been through a terrible personal trial of loss.

The loss consumed her, and the ugliness she was spewing was simply the pain that was too great for her to contain… like an over-filled balloon.

I visualized her in a full-body cast – total traction.

Whenever she was nasty to me or my co-workers, I thought of her suspended in the air in that full-body cast and from that standpoint it made perfect sense why she was so unpleasant.

The reason I could remain positive where she was concerned is because of that visualization.

I was responding with as much compassion and gentility as I would as if she were actually in traction.

Worked like a charm.

It always does.

She’s the second person I’ve used the “full-body traction” trick on.

I used that during my days in the news business… there are some *interesting* characters in that line of work, I’ll tell ya!

Our next two blog editions are planned to help you on this journey of positivity:

  • How to use the Law of Attraction to avoid unpleasant people
  • Prioritizing Self Care during busy and stressful times

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If you’re serious about exploring coaching for yourself, set up a time to connect with me for a complimentary breakthrough session.

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