Dealing with difficult people

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KeithA
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Dealing with difficult people

Post by KeithA » Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:48 am

May or may not be of use:
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Sanctuary. Then the brahman Akkosaka[1] Bharadvaja heard that a brahman of the Bharadvaja clan had gone forth from the home life into homelessness in the presence of the Blessed One. Angered & displeased, he went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, insulted & cursed him with rude, harsh words.

When this was said, the Blessed One said to him: "What do you think, brahman: Do friends & colleagues, relatives & kinsmen come to you as guests?"

"Yes, Master Gotama, sometimes friends & colleagues, relatives & kinsmen come to me as guests."

"And what do you think: Do you serve them with staple & non-staple foods & delicacies?"

"Yes, sometimes I serve them with staple & non-staple foods & delicacies."

"And if they don't accept them, to whom do those foods belong?"

"If they don't accept them, Master Gotama, those foods are all mine."

"In the same way, brahman, that with which you have insulted me, who is not insulting; that with which you have taunted me, who is not taunting; that with which you have berated me, who is not berating: that I don't accept from you. It's all yours, brahman. It's all yours.

"Whoever returns insult to one who is insulting, returns taunts to one who is taunting, returns a berating to one who is berating, is said to be eating together, sharing company, with that person. But I am neither eating together nor sharing your company, brahman. It's all yours. It's all yours."
Akkosa Sutta

This is much better than "don't feed the troll", as it puts the responsibility on me, not the troll.

Don't accept food from the troll. :112:

_/|\_
You make, you get.

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Caodemarte
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Re: Dealing with difficult people

Post by Caodemarte » Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:53 am

:560: well taken!

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boda
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Re: Dealing with difficult people

Post by boda » Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:15 am

It’s generally impolite to refuse a hosts hospitality.

:115:

Too good for the daisies? Okay. :|

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lindama
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Re: Dealing with difficult people

Post by lindama » Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:53 am

I had an encounter with a difficult person today. Seems I got out of the way and it turned out different.

my job, answering phones, giving info, talking about children's reading, selling summer reading programs. I am trained to take control of the call by politely asking names, giving price and moving into giving info. A woman called, she would have none of it... wanted dates and times, nothing else, no matter what. So I yielded and gave her the info she was so obsessed to get, all the while she said she was not giving her info or going to register for her kids reading program. I went along, gave her the info. this is not what I am trained to do, yet it was called for in the moment. Then I gave her more info on times and other dates. But not anything about the reading program that she wanted to get for her kids. okie dokie, I went along. I went along with her problem solving agenda until I started asking how her kids were doing, very, very gently. Pretty soon, she is giving me her info, the name of her child and PAYING for the program. Then, she mentions another daughter, we go thru the dates and times.... and then she pays for her also. None of this happened the way I was trained, but I let go. It was an Aikido move, not confronting the force directly. As much as I know this, the ego often has diff ideas. There was enough space so that I didn't react today. At the end, after she paid for two children, she was laughing that she never expected to sign them up today.... but she was glad she did. Mom's have stressful lives these days. I've never been a "cowboy sales person" like my boss talks about. :113:

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fuki
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Re: Dealing with difficult people

Post by fuki » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:55 am

Good advice on how to deal with myself.... neti neti :lol:
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Dan74
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Re: Dealing with difficult people

Post by Dan74 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:16 am

Posted a reply here: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=242&start=60#p3594 but kind of goes with this topic more.

At the end of the day, the troll too has no troll-nature, it is dependently originated. Dependent on the kind of interaction he/she has with the others. The culture and the groupthink make the troll and the troll exposes the culture and the groupthink.

IMO, of course.

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Crystal
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Re: Dealing with difficult people

Post by Crystal » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:27 am

From Wikipedia:

In Internet slang, a troll (/troʊl, trɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting quarrels or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal, on-topic discussion,[3] often for the troll's amusement.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll





.

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fuki
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Re: Dealing with difficult people

Post by fuki » Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:10 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:16 am
Posted a reply here: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=242&start=60#p3594 but kind of goes with this topic more.

At the end of the day, the troll too has no troll-nature, it is dependently originated. Dependent on the kind of interaction he/she has with the others. The culture and the groupthink make the troll and the troll exposes the culture and the groupthink.

IMO, of course.
Appreciate your observations Dan, or should I say bodhisattva of universal harmony :hatsoff:
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Caodemarte
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Re: Dealing with difficult people

Post by Caodemarte » Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:48 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:16 am
Posted a reply here: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=242&start=60#p3594 but kind of goes with this topic more.

At the end of the day, the troll too has no troll-nature, it is dependently originated. Dependent on the kind of interaction he/she has with the others. The culture and the groupthink make the troll and the troll exposes the culture and the groupthink...

IMO, I disagree that the troll exposes “the culture and group think.” The troll simply disrupts communication. The troll encourages egotistical, hostile, and aggressive manipulative tendencies in the troll him/herself. Troll behavior is thus damaging to the community and the troll. Encouraging (for example, by descending to trolling the troll, as KeithA remind us), allowing, or tolerating troll behavior is damaging to all.
Last edited by Caodemarte on Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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fuki
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Re: Dealing with difficult people

Post by fuki » Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:59 pm

Caodemarte wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:48 pm
Dan74 wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:16 am
Posted a reply here: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=242&start=60#p3594 but kind of goes with this topic more.

At the end of the day, the troll too has no troll-nature, it is dependently originated. Dependent on the kind of interaction he/she has with the others. The culture and the groupthink make the troll and the troll exposes the culture and the groupthink...

IMO, I disagree that the troll exposes “the culture and group think.” The troll simply disrupts communication. The troll encourages egotistical, hostile, and aggressive manipulative tendencies in the troll him/herself. Troll behavior is thus damaging to the community and the troll. Encouraging (for example, by descending to trolling the troll), allowing, or tolerating troll behavior is damaging to all.
Outside of agreeing and disagreeing (or having a particular troll in mind) you do see how Dan's observations are "interesting" "generally" right?
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KeithA
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Re: Dealing with difficult people

Post by KeithA » Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:56 pm

Hi all,

I am deeply sorry I use the word "troll". I don't think our friend Shel (Bodhi) is a troll. In his many incarnations over the years, he has been nothing but consistent. He plays the role of the thorn in our sides, calling attention to his perception of BS. We can't control what he posts, but we can damn sure control how we respond.

My point of posting this topic is that we are ultimately responsible for our reactions. Reacting negatively to difficult people just creates more discord. Better to respond with kindness or not at all. That is, as is written in Dhammapada, the true law. I truly repent having reacted badly to here on this forum to certain posts and to certain people. I vow to try harder going forward. I will fail again, no doubt. And then I will try again. We don't call it practice for nothing!

Much love,
Keith
You make, you get.

New Haven Zen Center

Caodemarte
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Re: Dealing with difficult people

Post by Caodemarte » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:13 am

KeithA wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:56 pm
..I am deeply sorry I use the word "troll". I don't think our friend Shel (Bodhi) is a troll....
I thought you were referring to how to handle difficult people, trolls or troll like behavior in general, not as a code word just for one specific individual. In any case, it is still a good quote.

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KeithA
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Re: Dealing with difficult people

Post by KeithA » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:23 am

Caodemarte wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:13 am
KeithA wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:56 pm
..I am deeply sorry I use the word "troll". I don't think our friend Shel (Bodhi) is a troll....
I thought you were referring to how to handle trolls in general, not as a code word just for one specific individual
I did mean it in a general sense, but to be completely honest, I had Shel in mind.

The point I wanted to get across is that we have full, 100% responsibility for our (re)actions. None of what is going on here has anything to do with Shel and everything to do with how we react to it. Again, I regret the use of the word "troll".

You make...you get.

Don't make troll...troll doesn't appear.

_/|\_
You make, you get.

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KeithA
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Re: Dealing with difficult people

Post by KeithA » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:31 am

There is a kong an (koan) in my tradition that points so clearly to this topic:
Sixth Gate: Seung Sahn's Dropping Ashes on the Buddha
A man came into the Zen Center smoking a cigarette, blowing smoke in the Buddha-statue's face and dropping ashes on its lap. The abbot came in, saw the man, and said, "Are you crazy? Why are you dropping ashes on the Buddha?" The man answered, "Buddha is everything. Why not?" The abbot couldn't answer and went away.

1. "Buddha is everything." What does that mean?

2. Why did the man drop ashes on the Buddha?

3. If you had been the abbot, how could you have fixed this man's mind?

Commentary: How do you meet the Buddha? Where do you throw away ashes? Its all very clear. Your correct function is always in front of you.
A difficult person comes to the Zen forum.

What can you do?

Koans can help us meet life head on. It's very grounded practice. _/|\_
You make, you get.

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Caodemarte
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Re: Dealing with difficult people

Post by Caodemarte » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:49 am

The correct function would be to as humanely as possible escort the person out or to restrain him. That is Buddha too. It is not humane to let a small child run around kicking people. It is cruel for the child to teach the child that such behavior is tolerated and bad for your shins. Have you never been rebuked and later decided that the rebuke was the kindest advice possible for you?

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KeithA
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Re: Dealing with difficult people

Post by KeithA » Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:06 am

Caodemarte wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:49 am
The correct function would be to as humanely as possible escort the person out or to restrain him. That is Buddha too. It is not humane to let a small child run around kicking people. It is cruel for the child to teach the child that such behavior is tolerated and bad for your shins. Have you never been rebuked and later decided that the rebuke was the kindest advice possible for you?
Maybe so, maybe so...

To answer the last part of that, I have. Don't assume that's not part of the koan. :)

I will say that I won't be physically restraining anyone in the name of the Buddha anytime soon.
"He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me." Those who harbor such thoughts do not still their hatred.
From here.

_/|\_
You make, you get.

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Caodemarte
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Re: Dealing with difficult people

Post by Caodemarte » Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:14 am

You could try dropping ashes on the man and when he hits you say, “Why? It is all Buddha.”

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KeithA
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Re: Dealing with difficult people

Post by KeithA » Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:26 am

Caodemarte wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:14 am
You could try dropping ashes on the man and when he hits you say, “Why? It is all Buddha.”
ah!!! now we are getting somewhere. :)

The point is to engage without a particular expectation. Sure, there may be point where that becomes futile. Until then, we just follow our situation.

To return to Shel for a moment, we are completely in charge of the tone of the conversation. It literally has nothing at all to do with him. We can engage to a point. And when that point becomes futile, we can walk away. It's so much easier here than it is in real life. That is the case in every single conversation we have here. As I said earlier, I haven't handled that well in the past. I regret it. And, I own every bit of it and will try to do better going forward.
13. Just as rain breaks through an ill-thatched house, so passion penetrates an undeveloped mind.
Also, from here.

_/|\_
You make, you get.

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Re: Dealing with difficult people

Post by clyde » Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:27 am

Yes, we are responsible for our posts “And when that point becomes futile, we can walk away.” From my experience on forums, I’ve adopted the following guideline:

I express myself once, and if asked to explain or questioned, I’ll answer, and if asked again, I’ll answer again . . . and then stop as I’ve found further posts are futile. (Yes, of course, there are exceptions when I see my posts are unclear or I sense the questioner is sincere and needs a little help.)

Of course, one must give up the need to have the last word :)
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

“The most straightforward advice on awakening enlightened mind is this: practice not causing harm to anyone—yourself or others—and every day, do what you can to be helpful.” Pema Chodron, “What to Do When the Going Gets Rough”

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fuki
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Re: Dealing with difficult people

Post by fuki » Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:54 am

KeithA wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:56 pm
Hi all,

I am deeply sorry I use the word "troll". I don't think our friend Shel (Bodhi) is a troll. In his many incarnations over the years, he has been nothing but consistent. He plays the role of the thorn in our sides, calling attention to his perception of BS. We can't control what he posts, but we can damn sure control how we respond.

My point of posting this topic is that we are ultimately responsible for our reactions. Reacting negatively to difficult people just creates more discord. Better to respond with kindness or not at all. That is, as is written in Dhammapada, the true law. I truly repent having reacted badly to here on this forum to certain posts and to certain people. I vow to try harder going forward. I will fail again, no doubt. And then I will try again. We don't call it practice for nothing!

Much love,
Keith
:560:

Good stuff Keith, or should I say bodhisattva of jesus thingy-zen :lol:

26. Jesus said, "You see the sliver in your friend's eye, but you don't see the timber in your own eye. When you take the timber out of your own eye, then you will see well enough to remove the sliver from your friend's eye."
http://gnosis.org/naghamm/gosthom.html
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https://meldpuntbg.nl/

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