During a trip to the dentist for some work on a crown, I was sitting comfortably in the chair. As my dentist got to work, she said “OK, I am going to start now; don’t swallow the crunchy stuff”. It occurs to me this could be good advice when confronted with challenging and perhaps even adversarial people. As a dialogue develops, things can escalate. Feelings can get hurt. It is often easy to get away from the issues at hand and, instead, get worked up over the personal violation we feel.
I suggest to you “don’t swallow the crunchy stuff”. Do not accept threats, name calling, and other trigger words that can set off bad feelings. Stay focused on the task or matter at hand. Do not let another person suck you into a battle of words over ideas or comments that should not be in the discussion.