Whether it happens in your business or in your everyday life, it is inevitable that you will encounter opposition from time to time. Often, the opposition will merely be a challenge to overcome. At times, however, the opposition may take the form of a personal attack. When someone launches an attack on you and does you wrong, how do you respond?

In my new book Women Under Construction, I describe how I have learned to cope with difficult people. Because of daily conflicts and personalities clashing on the construction site, I had to discover...
 “the art of dealing with disappointments and overcoming discouragement.”

Your best response to the hostility of others is to take the high road and remain above reproach. You can do this by staying true to your values and refusing to say or do anything that would compromise those values. Instead, you can choose to maintain your integrity even if doing so becomes costly. Restraining your desire for revenge will be worth it in the long run, as you will give others no basis for criticizing you or accusing you of any wrongdoing.

This can be easier said than done, especially when you believe you have been treated wrongly. No one likes to feel like a victim, so it is an understandable reaction to seek retribution. When others discriminate against you due to your age, status, or gender, your natural instinct might be to strike back.

That is not, however, the best course of action. Rather, showing kindness to others despite how they may have mistreated you speaks volumes about your character. It is not a sign of weakness; it is a show of strength. As Jesus advised, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44 KJV). Goodness always overcomes evil.

Treating others well even after they have mistreated you can have several positive results. Here are three:

First, it can defuse the potential for future hostilities. Returning evil for evil will only serve to feed your own anger and reinforce the ill will. Refusing to seek retribution, however, will put an end to the cycle of animosity and enable you to rise above it. “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” (Proverbs 15:1 KJV).

Second, your positive response can have a dramatic impact on the perpetrator. Understand that hurt people hurt people. If someone has attempted to hurt you—either personally or professionally—it is likely because he or she has been hurt, too. When you respond to hurtful or hateful people with gentleness and respect, it can have a disarming effect and pave the way for better relations in the future.

Third, being true to your values can enhance your reputation as a person of integrity. Your reputation is built one brick at a time. When your conduct is firmly grounded on a foundation of faith, your integrity will be able to withstand any test. “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1 KJV). On the other hand, when your words or actions do not align with your faith, your integrity and your good name will crumble.

Is there a price to be paid for treating others well even after they have treated you poorly? Yes. Primarily, you miss out on the temporary feeling of satisfaction that accompanies revenge. That feeling, however, is fleeting and inevitably gives way to regret. By choosing to respond positively, you will experience no such regret. Instead, you can have the lasting satisfaction of knowing you have taken the high road and been true to your values.
 


Comments

12/06/2011 8:45pm

Steve told me about the book. I am so proud of you. Keep up the good work, black female professional. Luv U Both

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06/19/2012 3:01am

Interesting blog about the construction business and the rates.Thanks for the blog post.

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Andrea
12/07/2011 9:45am

I know of someone who has been feuding with her sister for years and years. The only way a feud like this can even survive so long is when both people refuse to be the stronger person.

Love your positive message btw!

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Marilyn Wheat
12/08/2011 6:44pm

Your insights are very inspirational Tifphanie. I look forward to reading your book.

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kiwi
12/12/2011 11:56am

I'm finding integrity and level-headedness is so important nowadays in this stressful, demanding world. It's kind of lacking too!

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suzy
02/05/2012 2:11pm

"Vengeance is mine" says the Lord.

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07/27/2012 2:00am

Useful information shared about construction business....I am very happy to read this blog..Thanks for giving us nice info. I appreciate this post.

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09/05/2013 8:36pm

Which template is this for your blog?

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11/01/2013 5:22am

I hope and wish that you will get success and get better position in the construction industry. Many thanks for sharing such nice informative blog.

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