Funny Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen presents...

Linda's Positively Speaking Blog

Rants & Raves by Funny Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen


But I Don't WANT to Rub Elbows

By Linda Larsen - Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Featured Image

I got the opportunity recently to practice a technique that is very effective in dealing with, as I have laughingly called them, "People who don't behave."

First of all, here are the 4 things to do before you address the problem:

  1. Let go of the idea that the other person is WRONG for doing what he did. He did it. It's done. Hold, instead, the interpretation that although his actions don't work for you, they made perfect sense to him.
  2. Keep your voice level and calm.
  3. Maintain an open, relaxed face.
  4. Use as few words as possible. Think "short, simple and direct."

Picture the scene: We are boarding the plane. I sit on an aisle seat next to a man who is already seated in the center seat. His wife was on the other side of him, next to the window. I place my bag under the seat in front of me, buckle my seat belt and settle in for the flight. I notice that his elbow is firmly planted on the armrest between our seats so I gently slip my elbow behind his and claim the back section of the armrest.

It is at this point that he shifts his weight in his seat and makes certain that his elbow presses harder against mine. I'm talking quite hard. His nonverbal comment screamed, "Oh no you don't! I had this armrest first and you're not getting it!"

The passive part of me wanted to quickly remove my arm and then silently fume for the next hour. The aggressive part of me wanted to dig my elbow back into his arm and show him that he couldn't bully me, by gosh! Instead the assertive part of me stepped up to the plate and handled it GREAT! Incorporating all 4 of the above elements, I said, "I tell you what. I'll take the back half of the armrest and you take the front. Does that work for you?"

I sounded so even, unflappable and straightforward that I kind of stunned myself. Whatever the outcome I knew in that moment that I handled the situation effectively. And then, after a brief hesitation, he mumbled, "Yeah, I guess that's OK." Then he relaxed his arm and let me have half the space.

You gotta love it.

Practice this technique - a lot. In low-risk situations. With your dog, your cat, your unborn child. You'll get good at it. You'll develop a really good habit. And you'll be able to rub elbows with the best of them!


Linda Larsen, Speaker Hall of FameĀ® Keynote speaker, author and former professional comedic actress, brings entertaining, content-rich, hilarious and riveting presentations to conferences world-wide. She is passionate about helping people realize their fullest potential in every area of their lives and live with what she calls, "Honker Happiness." Best-selling author of 12 Secrets to High Self-Esteem audio program, 5 video programs and the critically acclaimed book, True Power. She can be reached at and 941-927-4700

About the Author

Linda Larsen, CSP, CPAE is a Hall of Fame Speaker, professional actress, best-selling author and serious lover of doggies. Linda speaks at conferences and meetings around the world, helping people bring the very best version of themselves to life every day! To talk to Linda about how she can contribute to the success of your next event, call 941-927-4700. Or go to Book Linda Now!

Like this blog? Share it!

Recent Posts



Tag Cloud

PhotoShop appreciation chronic back pain marriage actors Lenscrafters self confidence motivational speaker how to have high self-esteem motivational speaker on communication managing stress time management proactive people good night's sleep acting bipolar disorder nonverbal communication anxiety latex mattress review unhappy employees remodel stress gripers Tim Richardson personal growth raising happy children complainers gender communication positive attitude marshmallow test communication skills beauty personal responsibility motivational speakers attitudes motivational speaker on customer service motivational speaker Linda Larsen Asolo State Theater trust in relationships funny motivational speaker Linda Larsen finding humor controlling your emotional state listening skills laughter Conrad Hall advertising Gary Marachek personal development tension changing habits speak up power of a smile stressful elections building character brain chemistry passion vision boards gratitude habits positive perspective joy funny motivational speaker building rapport achieving success getting to yes overcoming adversity magic act attitude what you name the thing clinical depression panic attacks flying eyebrows customer service training high self-esteem back relief dental practice strategies learning zig ziglar dental practice holiday stress fact checking relationship building National Car Rental happiness change how to happy Kelly Swanson selling happiness effective communication mans search for meaning Shakespeare, thank-you notes humor Dr. Phil airline pilots Hamilton communication patient service depression American Idol how to become a motivational speaker truth in politics reframing costumes happy customers self talk how to listen difficult patients election 2016 facebook activity listening cheerleading criticism bad drivers husbands who don't listen personal achievement defensiveness coping with anxiety goal achievement expectations Changing perspectives motivation southern accent personality types friendships bottom line improvement shakespeare raving fans speaking nightmares how to get what you want conflict management mattress recommendation parenting bucket list communication model contempt humorous motivational speaker divorce statistics changing behaviors motivational speaker Brad Montgomery understanding Politifact achievements the business of motivational speaker successful dental practices handling fear goal setting negative thinking success political anxiety funny video fear of trump presidency sleep customer service Viktor Frankl difficult people motivational speaker success multi-tasking encouragement dr. john gottman Meryl Runion best bed for bad back aging Broadway iPhone4S stress management Noah Racey's Pulse Donald Trump public speaking horror stories Dr. Brene Brown, The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto healthcare how to strengthen relationships whiners self-image Lin-Manuel Miranda how to deal with negative people compassion feeling good cell phone addiction Hillary Clinton truth happiness at work liking linda larsen Kay Frances stonewalling gift ideas losing weight funny motivational speakers confidence mental illness lying in politics