“I don’t trust words, I even question actions, but I never doubt patterns.” — Unknown

The first time someone says something rude to you, you may brush it off. You may conclude that it’s an exception and not a pattern of behavior. But the second time they do it, and the third time, they’ve established a pattern.

Once a pattern of behavior is established, ask yourself, Is my life better with this person in it?

If yes, you might tell them how you dislike that specific behavior. But be prepared for them to feel annoyed and to not change one iota. Another option is to ignore the behavior.

If no, do your best to avoid future interactions with that person. If the person is your boss, it may be time to look for a new job. If you’re dating that person, it may be time to end the relationship.

But Stewie, people can change!

When people do things we don’t like, we often create a fantasy where. In it, we give them critical feedback and they respond positively. As a result, they repent of their sinful ways. And they publicly thank us, in a crowded stadium, with jets and fireworks, for showing them the true path to become a better human. In some cases, we write a bestselling book, become Oprah’s best friend, win the Nobel Peace Prize, and our face is put on a postage stamp.

But it’s just a fantasy and only serves to stroke our ego.

Stop feeding your ego and come back to reality. Yes, people can change. But they seldom do. And you have very little influence in the matter.

So be honest with yourself and accept that you are not going to change them. Instead, focus on the changes you need to make to handle the situation.

Be well, my friend.

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