We all know what it means to have people or relationships in our lives that are a little more difficult than the rest. They know exactly how to push our buttons, or we always feel a little more drained or anxious after we see them.
Dealing with challenging people is somewhat inevitable in life.
And it can be easy to either just confront them or try and hide to keep the peace, but these usually don’t work and might end up ruining our day.
Instead, I believe we can empower ourselves to better manage these situations as they arise and perhaps start seeing challenging people as sacred teachers.
The thing about people who can be difficult is that they create opportunities for us to grow, especially in character and virtues, such as patience, compassion, and unconditional love. When everything is rainbows and unicorns, we don’t grow, we just stay where we are.
Below is a list of 8 suggestions to help you transform situations with the challenging people in your life
Use what works for you, and please note that these tips focus primarily around shifting YOUR perceptions rather than trying to change or control the other person (this is a very important distinction!).
1. Listen Actively
Hear them out! If you actually listen to what they’re saying, it’s going to be easier to figure out what’s going on, so you can gain insight, take a step towards solving the issue and create a space for a more peaceful interaction. Sometimes a person just needs to be heard.
2. Reflect Before You React
Take a deep breath (yes, breathe!) and count to ten (slowly please!). Allow yourself to feel your feelings, but don’t interact again until you’re ready to revisit the issue from a place of inner peace and solutions. (Note: Practicing meditation could really help out here!)
3. Get Curious!
Concentrate your energy on getting curious, “What’s really going on here?” Ask yourself questions; this will widen your perspective of the situation. Become aware of what’s happening and interrupt your usual go-to pattern of thought and action. Remember, you have a choice.
4. View as an Opportunity
What can I learn from this? You can either look at the situation as a problem or as a way to flex your creative muscles. What solutions, possibilities, or opportunities can you create?
5. Have Compassion & Empathy on Speed Dial
What’s going on this person’s life? Can we walk in their shoes for a moment? We’re not excusing the person’s behavior, but compassion & empathy can allow us to come from a place filled with more peace, so we can view the situation more objectively.
Separate the person from the issue. It can feel like a personal attack, but most of the time, a person’s behavior is about them, not about you. Once again, this doesn’t excuse their behavior, but by not taking something personally, you can potentially de-escalate the conflict.
7. Create Healthy Boundaries
If necessary, you may need to walk away or remove yourself from the situation. Sometimes, we need to limit our interaction with certain people; it’s ok to step away from a toxic environment.
8. View The Person as a Sacred Teacher
There are people who we need to limit our exposure to and create healthy boundaries around as mentioned above. But, if it is someone who is here to stay, or if it is someone that you work with, think about how you can see them as a teacher to shift your inner perspective.
Check out this video to inspire you to change how you see the challenging people in your life!
With love & joy,
P.S. Stay tuned for updates on upcoming workshops!