How to handle crazy characters?
By Julia Fernandes
June 23, 2012

“The Bible says never argue with a fool.”

Today, I boarded a train to office. Feeling a little under the weather I chose a corner seat so that I could take a short nap. I covered my head with my scarf, opened my prayer book and began saying my prayers.

The first station arrived. People immediately rushed for seats. The seats in Indian local trains are only designed for three passengers. But due to overcrowding, people usually demand and squeeze themselves to make a fourth seat.

Three of us were already seated. A woman twice my size was attempting to make a fourth seat and kept asking me to push. I reasoned that there was a gap and that I am already sitting at the edge. But, she would have none of it. Suddenly, her friend took up cudgels for her.

Her friend was one crazy character and started ranting against me. I was taken aback but I remembered what the Bible says, never argue with a fool. So, I just kept my cool and ignored her rants. She went on and one, right from talking about the fact that how I am saying prayers to spinning tales as to how her oversized friend was pregnant and was carrying a baby much to the laughter of her friend who was not pregnant but was simply overweight!

She qualified as one crazy character that suddenly appeared from nowhere and picked up on me. I guess my face gives away that anybody can take potshots at me. 

Life is full of encounters with such crazy characters. Question is how you deal with them? If the person happens to be your near and dear one, you can, to a certain extent, absorb that rage till the person calms down. For all you know, he or she could just be a snapping turtle that day. 

But, if the person happens to be your colleague, boss, co-worker, traveler, and stranger what do you do? It would be foolish to respond by ranting back to the person because you would be fulfilling that person’s mission of finding someone to vent their ire on. Instead, be firm and give them the royal ignore. They are disturbed within. So, the trick lies in not allowing any crazy character to disturb the peace and harmony within you. 

It is easy to hit back but it is far more difficult to display restraint and choose peace over a fight. Do not lose your temper especially if the other person has lost it. 

And never forget one thing -- God’s laws operate at all levels, and sooner or later karma will catch up with such people and they will have to pay the karmic price of their deeds.