Handling problems

Here is something I read on Facebook.

Handling problems

by Zach Whitsel

I was biking down a hill this afternoon on a road I had only been on once before when I noticed two dogs laying in the grass up ahead on the right. I didn’t think much of it; I encounter dogs very regularly while riding. As I approached this yard, though, one of the dogs jumped up. He bared his teeth, began growling, and sprinted toward me at a rate which made it very clear that he intended to take me down. He was a purebred Rottweiler, and he weighed about 120 pounds. Thankfully, I was going down a long hill so I just sped up. as I hit 20 mph, the sounds of his growling and the sounds of his toenails digging into the asphalt were gaining on me! He ran me for about a 10th of a mile before he called it quits. I really thought he was going to kill me. My top speed on my Bike GPS app never reads more than 30 mph when I finish a ride but today it read 35. I know exactly where it happened, too, lol.

When I got to my truck, I drove back to where it happened and found the dog’s owner. I had a serious problem with how this man was managing his dog and I needed him to know about it. We can’t go through life without having problems with people. However, how we handle those problems is what determines the outcomes. “I went up there and told that guy what I thought about him,” is fun to say to your friends but you have to remember something: actions cause reactions. You don’t want to invoke a person’s pride when you’re confronting them. We make that mistake when we lay out ultimatums. “If you don’t ________ then I’m gonna _______!” Ultimatums say “I think you’re an idiot so I’m gonna boss you around like a child.” That’s a good way to convince them that they need to prove to you how smart they are, and people usually do that through all sorts of crafty, spiteful actions. Sound like fun? The problem needs to be addressed but the other party’s intelligence can’t be brought into question. The route I took with this man was “your dog viciously chased me and I feared for my life. I’m afraid he’s going to get you into trouble one day. What do you think you could do to keep that from happening?” I conveyed three things to him.

1. There is a serious problem.
2. I care about how this problem may affect you.
3. I know you’re smart enough to solve this problem.

The man tied the dog up and assured me that he wouldn’t be unleashed unsupervised like that again. I was that man’s friend when I pulled into his yard and he was my friend when I pulled out of his yard, and the problem still got solved. Don’t punish yourself with how you handle your problems with people. Respect the person and focus on a real solution, and you’ll enjoy a lot more peace in your life.

Posted on January 28, 2020, in Facebook and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. This is a good strategy that can be used in all kinds of situations.
    As a teacher I remember some parent-teacher conferences where I needed to address a “problem” with a child. The best strategy was for the parent and teacher to get together and figure out how to help each other help the child, using the same approach at home and at school, not “Your child_____!” “MY child couldn’t have ___!” (It probably helped that I had kids of my own who weren’t perfect, either. 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

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