We all have one...
You know, the person that instantly makes our skin crawl.
The person that we avoid because they always seems to say something rude.
The person who disagrees with just about everything we do just because they don’t like us…
Life is full of challenges that we must face and dealing with difficult people is no different.
Whether our arch nemesis lives at home or at the office, life will inevitably force us to deal with these difficult people.
So then the question is, how the hell do we deal with these people?
Isn’t it funny how we obsess over the people we say we don’t like?
Anytime we’re forced to interact with someone we find challenging we freak ourselves out.
We tell ourselves stories about how crappy the conversation will go and how ignorant the person certainly must be for not seeing things our way.
Then once the encounter is over, we replay the conversation over and over and dread the thought of having to come in contact with this person again.
We obsess over our hate and soon enough, our entire day is consumed by someone we don’t like...
Do you see the fatal flaw in this kind of thinking?
Do you see how much energy and time is wasted thinking about the person you say you don’t want to think about?
Do you see that when we resist these people in life we are only creating a bigger problem and more suffering for ourselves?
Change your perspective.
Here’s something I always try to remember when I’m dealing with difficult people:
For everything I say I “don’t like” about these people, I should really be thanking them because they remind me of what I don’t want in my life.
In other words, if I’m going to blame my dad for not saying “I love you enough,” I also have to thank him because I can tell you this without a shadow of a doubt: I’m going to tell my kids “I love them” every single day.
The truth is, every difficult person and every difficult situation is really an opportunity for transformation and self-affirmation.
The trick here is mindfulness.
When we can see the stuff that we don’t like about another person objectively, we can also see it in ourselves; and if we can see it in ourselves, then we can choose to change.
When we choose to own our life and our circumstances we can see these difficult people for who they are and truly thank them for reminding us how we want to be.
Okay okay JC, I get that being mindful when dealing with difficult people is important, but how do we do it?!?
How do we stay mindful?
Consider your anchor: what is an anchor and why do we use it?
An anchor is something we focus on during a meditation in order to maintain presence.
A lot of people use their breathe as an anchor and when they notice their mind has wandered, they bring their attention back to the anchor and thus, back to the present moment.
In many ways, our anchor is just a reminder to be mindful in that any deviation our anchor is simply a wake-up call. When we notice that the mind has wandered away from our anchor, we wake up and bring it back to the now.
So then, we can apply the same logic to dealing with difficult people.
When we are forced to interact with people we find difficult, we can focus on the present moment and every time we notice our mind has wandered into a diatribe about the other person, we can simply bring our attention back to the now (or our anchor).
Similarly, anytime that person does something we “don’t like,” we can take an objective note of it and remind ourselves that’s not how we want to live.
If you were to adopt this mindset of waking up when dealing with difficult people, chances are there won’t be that many difficult people in your life.
Instead of resisting the people we don’t like, we embrace them for teaching us how to live our best life.
Instead of avoiding the person who makes us cringe we lean into that awkward feeling and see what we can learn about ourselves.
So stop resisting the difficult people in your life because it’s only creating a problem out of a problem.
Be mindful of what you don’t like about people because often times what you don’t like about them is just a reflection of yourself.
See the difficulty as an opportunity to grow and find yourself and life will begins to feel a lot different and a lot less difficult!
Thank you as always for reading this week’s blog! We hope you learned a thing or two about dealing with other people. Please be sure to drop us a line and let us know if you have any other ideas for how to mindfully manage difficult relationships.
Until next week,
Many many blessings.