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How to Deal with DIFFICULT PEOPLE!

We all deal with nasty a$$ people every so often (some people are exposed to them more than others). These deeply unhappy and angry people are everywhere...at grocery stores, within our own families, out walking the dog, on social media, etc. Difficult people have always been around; some deeply embedded in our lives (unfortunately so…) and others are kept at a distance (thankfully due to geography, place of work, etc.). However, due to the recent pandemic, governing bodies, and our beloved social media (...it’s honestly so disgustingly terrible), it seems like people are more combative with one another than ever before.


Burdensome people are nearly impossible to escape and if you aren’t careful, they can potentially create a domino effect of negative emotions/actions in your own life. Their bitter personalities can poorly impact your mood resulting in how you treat/respond/react to those around you that you love and care for. The purpose of this blog is to help you enforce methods/thought processes in coping with unpleasant people (and often the painful circumstances they bring) so they don’t end up bringing you down along with them!


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In my quest to keep myself and ya’ll as mindful, healthy and happy as possible, I created a list of coping strategies that should help manage your thoughts and actions relating to people who may just bother the LIVING SHIT outta you! Hope it helps ;)


1. Focus on YOU


Don’t waste your time, efforts, emotions and energy trying to change someone. Not only would that take a lifetime to do, but it would be exhausting (and not even guaranteed!). The best way to address the situation is to change how you perceive it and how you react to it. By changing that, everything else will subsequently change as well.

2. Set boundaries and stick with them

Be clear on what you will tolerate and what you will not tolerate. Then stick with it. I personally believe that verbally stating these boundaries in a kind and calm way (and when the right opportunity presents itself) is the most ideal situation. If you aren’t one to verbally state things that are upsetting you, then ensure you sort them out mentally and are self-aware of what will and won’t work for you moving forward. If you don’t do so, it’s easy for you to be pushed over by others, especially since such people tend not to be conscious of personal boundaries. Moreover, not setting these boundaries with a toxic individual can result in personal mental and emotional havoc.

3. Open and honest communication ONLY


Be as open and honest as possible about circumstances that aren’t working for you. For some individuals, this requires some serious bravery. For example, if someone takes up a lot of your time, let them know in advance that you only have ‘X’ amount of minutes to meet with them. If someone is demanding something of you that you’re uncomfortable with, let them know and respectfully ask them to stop asking/demanding that of you. Letting people know your open and honest feelings/thoughts about situations/circumstances is ideal and sets the tone for both parties!


4. Be firm.


When selfish people have their own agenda, they tend to conveniently “forget” about the boundaries and expectations that were discussed. Provide gentle reminders of conversations once had and boundaries once set. Not giving into the demands of emotional and passive aggressive individuals will allow you to be more fulfilled and at peace.


5. Ignore them.


Ignoring is effective in the right moments. When you respond, you give them a reason to continue their behaviour. If you just ignore, they don’t have a choice but to seek out someone else. Not only that, it also hints to them about their behaviour and helps them do some self-reflection.

6. Don’t take it personally!


Most of the time, these people act the same way around other individuals as they do you. Take note next time they’re interacting with others and pay attention to their behaviour, words, emotions, etc. You’ll begin to see that it could potentially have nothing at all to do with you, and everything to do with their lack of self-awareness and instability.


7. Show kindness and offer help


As difficult as that might be at times, you have to understand that these people are suffering from things that you and I may have no clue about. With this in mind it's obvious that these people are suffering from something much more complicated than just a “bad day”. They may come from a terrible marriage, an abusive and unloving household, have extremely poor self-esteem, anxiety, depression, personal issues, etc. These people lack the ability to turn inwards and see the issues they’re creating for themselves and those around them. So instead of getting mad at them, or creating a divide, try offering help/guidance.


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It can be so exhausting interacting with difficult people. They have the tendency to build up negative anticipation when you know you’ll be seeing them, and can leave you with a less than loving feeling upon exiting their presence. I urge you, for your own health/wellbeing, to not let these individuals get to you. They are very likely broken people who require rebirth in nearly every facet of life. Find the strength to be firm with them, have kind open and honest communication with them, and help them when you can.


Love, peace and health,

-LH


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