- inflexible /in-FLEK-suh-buhl/
- breaking point /BREY-king point/
- mount /mount/
- de-escalate /dee-ES-kuh-leyt/
- lash out /lash out/
[adjective] – unable or unwilling to change as conditions or situations change
Nurses were having difficulties with their inflexible working schedules.
[noun] – the stage at which your control over yourself or a situation is lost
When his son wrecked the family car, things reached a breaking point.
[verb] – to gradually increase, rise, or get bigger
The children’s excitement mounts as Christmas approaches.
[verb] – to (cause to) become less dangerous or difficult
There have been hints that the situation is de-escalating.
[phrasal verb] – to speak to someone or about somebody very angrily or critically
Rina’s in a bad mood. She lashed out at me for being late for the meeting.
Psychologist and behavior analyst Reena B. Patel says that people are typically quite inflexible. So when routines change, it might make people anxious and increase agitation. “You walk into a restaurant for breakfast thinking you’ll get seated in 15 minutes and instead you’re waiting for 45; now, your whole routine is shifting, and the stress is building up,” Patel explains. Even a tiny discomfort can be the breaking point as pressure mounts. The good news is that there are strategies to prevent explosions from happening altogether, or at least to de-escalate them rapidly. To do that, you might as well get up 10 minutes earlier to give yourself some breathing room in your schedule. You can also practice and develop flexibility by doing something as simple as changing your coffee order or walking to lunch instead of taking the train. When you do inevitably become angry, say “we” rather than “you.” “Ask the customer-service agent, ‘how can we solve this problem? ‘” suggests Patel. Finally, address them by their names. It gives you a reminder that they’re human, too.
Recognize that you might already be tense and make an effort to fix yourself before you lash out at someone. “It’s as simple as just being mindful,” says Patel, “and stopping and thinking before you respond is really important.”
- What situations make you impatient?
- What do you do if your schedule does not go as planned?
- If you were a service staff, what would you do if you were mistreated by a customer?
- Is it acceptable for a mistreated service staff to argue with a customer?
- What kind of regulations should be implemented to protect service staff from rude customers?
- build up
- breathing room