In my post yesterday, I neglected to follow through on the quote from Buddha, in which he counseled people to speak only what is “true and useful.”
The reason such advice is important when dealing with difficult people is this: Yes, what you might want to tell them could be true. But with some people, confronting them is not “useful.”
Using the “true and useful” standard can help you detach a bit from a situation that you may just be itching–or burning–to address, because it gives you a measuring stick that doesn’t just involve “wait ’til I give him a piece of my mind.”
Instead, you can step back and very wisely ask, “but would it be useful to give him that particular piece of my mind?”
If giving someone a piece of your mind–even in a polite, emotionally intelligent manner–will result in someone blowing up, I’d say it’s not useful at all.