Do you have a person in your life that makes you nuts? A person that makes your skin prickle just by the thought of being around them, and sucks all your energy by trying to not lose it on them?
It’s all about you
I’ve got good news and some bad news. The bad news is you can’t change them, so you can quit trying. Falling in love with them isn’t about turning a frog into a prince(ss) it’s about changing our view of them. Our experience of life, and each other, is created by the lens we see through so your annoyance of your “difficult” person all comes from you and your lens. That’s the good news, because you can change how you see things and therefore shift how you see them too!
They are just being who they are
Just like you, they are just living their lives and totally unaware that they might be a difficult person to anyone. You are probably also someone’s difficult person, and you’re just going about your day being you. I promise you that they are not trying to make your life harder, or piss you off.
What we can’t tolerate in others, is what we can’t tolerate in ourselves
This could be a great learning experience for you. If you take a look at what it is about this person that is so grating, intolerable, and frustrating, you will get huge insight into what is intolerable within yourself. Where you deny love to others, is where you deny love to yourself.
To shift experience, you must shift your perspective
Not one person in the world has had your life, or can see the world the same way you do, yet we seem to expect everyone else to see the world the same way we do. Think about it, the values you were raised with, the school system you went to, the life experiences that you had, and all have shaped how you see the world and how you think things should be. No one else in the whole world has lived your life so they can’t see the world in exactly the same way as you. For example, I really like things to be orderly and “in their place” and I’m not overly concerned as much with deep cleaning really often. My husband is less concerned about tidiness, but very meticulous about washing the floors and doing deep cleans quite regularly. Who’s right in their approach? There is no right, we just have different values from our families and we act in the world through those values. And we’re actually pretty lucky because between the two of us we get it all done!
See them as Buddha, Jesus, Mother Teresa, Quan Yin or how their mother would see them.
Next time you know you will be interacting with them, decide before hand how you would like to show up. Visualize an interaction with them. Then imagine the Buddha, Jesus, Mother Teresa, Quan Yin, or even their mom (or anyone you know who is compassionate and understanding) has now taken your place. Notice how the interaction would be different. How would the compassionate body double be seeing your difficult person? How would they be speaking to them? How would it feel for you to seeing them that way? Visualize what that experience could be like so you have a clear picture of what’s possible for your interaction.
Decide to see them for the human being that they are.
Just like you, they have challenges, pain, hard relationships, joy, and are doing the best that they can. When you decide to see them as the human being they are, you are also choosing to let go of your judgement and blame. It doesn’t mean that you agree with everything that they do, you are just choosing to accept them the way they are.
Because you can’t change them anyways.
“Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy.”― Thomas Merton
One of the cruelest things we can do to another is to not accept them for who they are. If you’ve been the recipient of this you’ll totally understand what I’m saying. Each of us has some special gift to offer the world, and even if it’s not clear to you what theirs is yet, all you can do is love them anyways.
One last thing…
This is a practice, and you might feel really resistant to doing it because you will have to let go of your current views of this person. Your desire to not be upset and triggered by this person needs to be bigger than the need to be right and making them wrong. But, imagine how much easier your life would be if you weren’t upset by them? Are you willing to take it on and get some freedom for yourself? I hope so!
I’d like to hear from you now. What are your tricks to dealing with difficult people? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you!
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Love and Light,