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Hints to Deal with difficult people "Life long teachers"

Life is a web of relationships. It is natural to gravitate towards those relationships that bring the most happiness, growth, and fulfillment. Unfortunately, at some point or another we are all faced with the challenge of dealing with difficult people. Or as I call them "life long teachers"These interactions can frequently result in stress, tension and anxiety that negatively impact your mood and expose you to emotional toxicity.

When dealing with "life long teachers" the key thing to remember is that everyone is doing their best from their personal perspective. Try to avoid judging others behaviors. Despite what we might initially think, difficult people are not deliberately trying to be “difficult.” They are simply making choices they believe at the moment are best for them, despite the challenges those choices bring to those around them.

Here are 7 step of how to best deal with a negative person:

1. Practice the S.T.O.P. Model to Avoid Reactivity

Stop whatever you’re doing

Take 3 deep breaths

Observe how your body feels

Proceed with kindness and compassion

No matter how challenging the situation might be with the difficult person, taking a brief pause will allow you to focus clearly and prevent an emotional reaction during the heat of the moment.

2. See Through the Control Drama the Other Person Is Using

Control dramas are manipulative behaviors that people often fall into when their needs are not being met.There are four primary control dramas:

  • Being nice and manipulative

  • Being nasty and manipulative

  • Being aloof and withdrawn

  • Playing the victim or “poor-me” role

Control dramas are often learned during childhood as a strategy to manipulate others into giving you what you want. Most people never outgrow their primary control drama, but rather evolve it into higher forms of communication.

When you witness one of these control dramas playing out, you can automatically become more understanding. You realize what type of drama they most typically used in their childhood and from that perspective you realize they never learned another way to meet their needs, thus they are deserving of your compassion. With this shift in perspective it becomes easier to move the relationship to a different level.

3. Don’t Take it Personally

It is easy to take a difficult person’s comments as a personal attack.This is not the case.The reaction and behavior is not about you.It’s about them.They are acting out their own movie and you are just a small part in the play of their personal drama.Do not let person have control over your happiness.If you take the situation personally, you end up becoming offended and react by defending your beliefs.This only escalates the drama.By refusing to take things personally you defuse the ego and help to de-escalate a potential conflict.

4. Practice Defenselessness

This can be a powerful strategy when confronted with a difficult person.Defenseless doesn’t mean passive, you still maintain your personal opinion and perspective but rather than engaging with the intention of making the other person wrong, you consciously choose not to be an adversary.

Being defenseless means you give up the need to be the smartest person in the room. Your ego and intellect sits this one out to allow open acceptance of the other person’s position. You don’t have to agree with their perspective. The point is to allow the other person to fulfill their need of just being heard. By allowing them to express themselves without resistance, they can fulfill that need. This allows a space for more compassion and peaceful interaction.

5. Walk Away if Necessary

Difficult people can often draw you into a field of negativity.If you feel you can’t maintain your awareness and objectivity, there’s nothing wrong with removing yourself from the situation.This is not about winning or losing it’s about avoid a toxic environment that is dampening your spirit.

6. Learn from the Experience

Choose to see dealing with difficult individuals as evolutionary opportunities. The qualities you see in another that upset you are often those aspects of yourself that you repress.Ask yourself, “What am I willing to learn in this situation?”

7. Resonate Compassion

Compassion is an attitude of the strong, highly evolved soul who sees opportunities for healing, peace, and love in every situation.Even when faced with a difficult person, compassion allows you to see someone who is suffering and looking for relief.

Difficult people can be challenging but as you practice these steps you can respond reflectively, rather than reactively, and hopefully defuse negativity and replace with positive levels of expression.

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