Would it Kill You?

How often has someone asked, “Would it kill you to [fill in the blank]”?

You know exactly what I’m talking about. A backhanded request that only adds to your stress pile. In this situation, it can be difficult to hear the message behind the sarcasm. Personally, I love a little sarcasm to spice up my day. However, stinging sarcasm can be harsh, hurtful and counterproductive.

How should you respond the next time a client, colleague, friend or family member uses the “would-it-kill-you” phrase?

Avoid biting into that potentially poisonous mushroom. Instead of spitting out a sarcastic reply, politely disarm the naysayer. Tell them you hear their frustration. Ask them what’s really going on and what you can do to improve the situation.

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