How to Outsmart a Mean Person

Being nice can sometimes thwart a mean person.

You see them at work, in traffic and at the grocery store. Mean people are all around us. They might be yelling for no apparent reason at a hapless and cornered victim, or be otherwise engaged in some mean-spirited act for some perceived slight. Whatever the reason, you do not want to be caught up by a mean person who is most likely only out to perform an act of unkindness to satisfy his or her own psychological issues or need for control. There are some methods you might consider to counteract the attack and outsmart a mean person.

Keep your personal information to yourself. Do not let a mean person know what is happening in your life. Any information you give a him can potentially be turned against you. Respond in a kind way when asked a personal question, but be careful to avoid divulging any information that might potentially be turned against you. Even something as innocent as discussing family matters might be useful fuel for a mean person to ridicule or undermine.

Listen and learn. Have you ever heard the phrase, "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer?" When it comes to outsmarting a mean person, the more you know, the more likely you are to stay safe. Mean people tend to pick on weaknesses they see in other people. Having some basic information on them gives you ammunition you may need to use when the time is right and you need to fight back. Google her, talk to people she knows and pay attention to discover useful information. Remain innocuous to avoid drawing attention to yourself, but dig up as much information as possible in case for defensive purposes.

Stay neutral when confronted by a mean person. Do not respond with any sort of emotion that might cause him to continue a rant. A mean person is basically a bully who thrives on the reaction he gets from tormenting people. If you do not give him the reaction he desires, he will soon move on to someone who responds in a manner that appeases his desire to control and manipulate.

Kill her with kindness. Go out of your way to say hello or offer up favors. Make it a point to single her out on holidays, birthdays or at gatherings where she might otherwise be ignored due to her attitude issues. Being nice to her will catch her off guard and may cause her to respond to you in a more positive manner.

Robin McDaniel is a writer, educator and musician. She holds a master's degree in higher educational leadership from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton as well as a bachelor's degree in elementary education. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in adult in community education. McDaniel enjoys writing, blogging, web design, singing and playing bass guitar.