By now there is little doubt that to go through life without turning everything into a lawsuit, or enshrining oneself in a mental and physical bubble to avoid all harm, one has to have a well-developed skill of coping.

For those lacking in coping skills, such as millennials raised under the overly-protective umbrella of doting, helicopter parents, this Nugget is intended to be a short course, mostly some ideas, to help quickly adopt a few proven techniques.

Coping, can be defined as the ability to handle rejection. Rejection comes in many forms. “Micro-Assaults”, “Micro-Aggressions”, the word “No”, unanswered Tweets, outright insults, strong criticism, ridicule, and so on. The list of the various forms that carry rejection with it is almost endless.

At the heart of all of this, though, is a simple rule. A person is easily disheartened if he or she lacks sufficient skills to deal with, accept or adapt to, the rejection. In other words, to live on this planet a person HAS TO COPE with rejection.

To get to the heart of building your skill at coping, here is a list of ideas:

  1. When someone presents an objection, or says an outright, “No”, try to uncover the hidden question. Often, but not always, the first few “No”s are signals that there are questions yet to be effectively answered. Whatever you said or did that caused the “No”, stop, and inquire.
  2. Before you act or speak, anticipate that you may encounter an objection or be rejected outright. Have a back-up plan or strategy that allows you to try again from a different, but more suitable perspective.
  3. Do your preparation well. Think through all the possibilities both from questions and from answers. Be prepared for a rejection, but be confident enough to expect to succeed.
  4. Ensure you are aligned with the situation, environment, and audience. If something is going in one direction and you are going in the opposite direction, great minds may never meet.
  5. Don’t expect someone to come to your rescue, as did your helicopter parents. You must face this music alone.
  6. Don’t assume you are the most important person in the room and that only your needs, wishes, wants must be met. Others have ’em, too. Play to, speak to, nurture, the goals and needs of others if they align with your objective.
  7. Don’t assume others think as you do. Each person has their own unique culture, traits, personalities, habits, desires, characteristics. Don’t fear treading on those things, but don’t be so callous as to ignore the obvious which may turn off members of your audience.
  8. Try to avoid any sense of confrontation. Yet, don’t fear it and don’t avoid it if it becomes necessary to demonstrate that you do have the resilience or character to push back somewhat.
  9. Remember to build your case, step-by-step.  Just because you can see your vision to such an empowering degree that it creates a crystal clear vision in your mind, doesn’t mean that others can instantly grasp what you are imagining.
  10. Intentions don’t matter. Actions do. You may say you tried, but if you didn’t really try hard enough, that is, as appropriate to the importance of  the task or client or your company, then you simply did not try hard enough. Excuses don’t count. Blaming others no longer counts. It’s yours to get the job done.
  11. Be sure to separate your opinion from facts. Be sure your listeners know the difference when you are making your presentation, or when speaking to friends. Don’t pretend, present, or disguise your opinions as verified data.
  12. Don’t presume everyone has to, or will like you. Sometimes there is just bad “chemistry”. When you are certain you have bad chemistry and that you can’t improve it, then, suck it up and move on.
  13. Because you have the podium, don’t assume you have all the power. Let the other person speak, be heard, voice their concerns. THAT part is not a rejection. Don’t over-react or become too assertive because someone interrupts to ask a question, or, even, if others in the room ask the same question, too.
  14. Sometimes your audience can give you useful information. Your data may be wrong or outdated. Don’t be too easily offended if someone offers to correct something you are doing, presenting or saying. But, if you do change something because of audience input, be sure to acknowledge your source. That way you turn a criticism into a sincere compliment.
  15. If you have something to present, and someone in the audience is being disruptive, recognize that, that is not intended as a ”micro-assault”. It may be just bad manners on the part of the audience member. Nonetheless, if it is disturbing your presentation, be somewhat assertive. When this happens during one of my presentations, I either call on the person in some clever way, or just ask if we can offer any help, or simply wait until the audience member has finished his or her dialogue while I keep my eyes firmly affixed on them.
  16. If you get nailed by a question you can’t answer, while you are speaking or presenting, toss the question back to the source either to ask for clarification of the question or to have the source try to answer the question themselves. It just may be rhetorical but sound like a question or objection. Then if it comes back to you, regardless, if you can’t answer it, then be forthright about that.
  17. Respect and pay homage to the hierarchy. I don’t mean that you need to suck up. There is no room for ass-kissers on my team or at my meetings. Yet, when an executive asks a question verses a marketer, both questions are treated with serious intent and, yet, if it is part of the answer or solution, the busier schedule and the greater responsibilities  of the executive is duly noted, but without sucking up. There is an art and skill,  to knowing the difference, that comes with time and exposure.
  18. Be in good physical shape. Your health matters. Your health affects your ability to cope. It provides you with stamina, confidence, and willpower. Eat well. Learn from the masters who have not been compromised by big pharma, food, or the health and fitness industry. These medical experts who are stopping and in many physically desperate cases, reversing chronic diseases caused by the myths about nutrition that you likely think is solid fact, but is, as you will discover, misinformation and actually dangerous to your long-term health. Know the REAL rules and TRUTH about nutrition. Here are a bunch of FREE WEBSITES that will put you well on your road to mastering nutrition.
  19. You don’t have to do or meet all goals and objectives of yourself and/or of other people. Prioritize and pay attention to the most important ones. Don’t hide from others because you are doing this. Let them know. They will likely respect you all the more because you are being a hard case by using common sense and logic to accomplish what matters most instead of doing it all and getting any of it half right.
  20. If you do inadvertently create or encounter some sort of barrier or resistant colleague or manager, try to meet with them, as tough as that might be, to find the root cause of the problems. Even if they refuse to meet with you, don’t let the matter fester and eat away at you. It will merely destroy your self-confidence.
  21. It’s not all meant to be about you. Sometimes people are just nasty people. Sometimes people are just pessimistic. So, when you are criticized, even if harshly criticized, try to let much of it roll off your back. But, be sure to note if criticism is constructive. Constructive criticism can be used to improve your performance. So, learn to tell the difference and use that which can make you better.
  22. The closer you are to the person or criticism the more it will sting. Distance yourself physically or, if you are unable to physically move further away, then visualize in your mind that the person is merely an ant on the face of the earth, one of billions, and in a time-perspective, both of you are merely a flash in the pan when you look at the history and future of the entire cosmos. Everything that happens is truly insignificant, when viewed with this gigantic perspective of time throughout the universe.
  23. An essential component of coping is to be able to change oneself, including habits, thoughts, behaviour.  However, this is not  ALWAYS part of the solution. If change of some sort is needed but impossible for either yourself or the other parties, then it may be time to accept your losses and move on. In the financial arena, there is a saying. If you are not managing your risks and cutting your losses you are living on “hopium”–wishing and hoping an investment behaves as hoped for. Like the drug heroin, hopium is addictive and dangerous. Instead of cutting ones’ losses those undisciplined investors or traders hold on and hold on wishing things to improve, but things continue to worsen. Learn to cut your losses and walk away when necessary…or ask the other party leave. For example, if you are in an abusive relationship, or living with an addict who refuses to give up his or her addiction, it may be time to simply end the relationship. Use RISK MANAGEMENT and AVOID HOPIUM.