The top telltale signs that you are dealing with a ‘difficult’ person are:
- They are victims – always blaming others for what’s happening to them.
- It’s all about them – everything centers around what is important to them.
- Always strings attached – They’ll never do anything for you without expecting a return.
- They gossip, whine, blame – and attack others and complain about everything.
- They are unaware – oblivious to relationship dynamics, communication, or anyone else’s perspective.
- They suffer from a personality disorder – like narcissism and cannot have healthy, nurturing relationships.
- They are disrespectful and rude – They treat you badly. (learn the signs of disrespect)
- They are abusive – emotionally, spiritually or physically ( learn the red flags of abuse)
How do Wise People deal with Difficult People? They activate some key actions and concepts to ground themselves and to remember that they cannot change the other person, but they do have the power to change themselves and how they react to the difficult person.
If you find yourself neck deep in the dark depths of negativity with a difficult person, you’ll want to know how to get yourself out and away. It can be tough to extricate yourself, but if you do the work, take accountability for yourself and allow yourself self-care and nurturing, you will find your way out. Follow these guidelines to release yourself from the prison and pain of the toxic and negative person(s) in your life.
When face to face with a toxic and difficult person, the wise person will remember:
IT’S OK TO BE UPSET
It’s a natural reaction, but a wise person understands that those feelings are their responsibility. It is never OK to be cruel at any time, no matter how difficult or distressing that person you’re dealing with is. Rage, resentment, jealousy, competition, and aggressiveness do not change the hearts of others, and those negative emotions only change yours – so healthily manage them.
Not because they deserve forgiveness or you condone their actions, forgive to let yourself off the hook. You deserve peace and not to live life as a constant victim. Free yourself from the shackles of resentment and bad thoughts toward another.
IT’S NOT THE WORDS
You may feel that the words that were spoken to you are what made you FEEL the way you do. However, this is not true. It is your reaction to those words that decides how you feel. Utilize the power you have to decide and choose how you will react.
GOSSIP AND DRAMA END AT A WISE PERSON’S EARS
Resist the temptation to judge and gossip. Be the wise one and aim to understand before you condemn. Use your judgment as a tool to better yourself and make positive choices rather than as a weapon to beat others down with.
When negativity surrounds you like a black cloud, pull out your umbrella and keep ‘singing in the rain’ – Smile even when the world around you is frowning. You can make an incredible difference in the world if you aim to be the sunshine rather than the stormy weather. This doesn’t mean denying sad or negative feelings you may have; feel them and then let them go. This is more about not letting yourself get pulled into someone else’s negativity and drama.
TREAT EVERYONE WITH KINDNESS AND RESPECT
Be the one who sets an example for how we should all be treating each other. Even the rude and obnoxious people treat them well. Not because they deserve it, but because you are genuine and kind and YOU treat people well. Wise people are always thankful for difficult people because they can teach us many things, even if it just reflects what NOT to be in the world.
YOU ARE THE SUM OF THE TOP 5 PEOPLE YOU HANG OUT WITH
It doesn’t matter how hard you work at changing your life and making positive steps towards more wisdom if you constantly hang out with negative people. The great danger of being around toxic and negative people is that you will become more like them without even being aware of them. Have firm boundaries and keep your distance from toxic individuals, even if, especially if these are family members. You can love at a distance, and being kind and respectful does not mean you have to spend all of your time with someone. Take care of yourself first.
WOULD YOU RATHER BE RIGHT OR HAPPY?
Disagreements happen, and how you treat others when they disagree indicates your level of compassion, understanding, respect, and kindness. The wise person knows that life is too precious to spend it arguing – let it go and let it be. Value those who value you back and focus on those who nurture you. Hold your head high and walk away from situations that can never have a ‘winner.’
LET GO OF THE PEOPLE PLEASING
If you’ve suffered any form of abuse or been involved in dysfunctional family dynamics, this can be a difficult one. But, this is one of the most important steps the wise person makes. Stop worrying about what other people think and stop being afraid of who you are. Release the shame and guilt. Happiness is a byproduct of true self-acceptance and self-love. Self-care is never selfish. When your tanks are full, and you are nurtured, you are more capable of giving out to those you love.
BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF
When difficult people trigger us it is because we still haven’t come to terms with our shadow side and things that we judge about ourselves. Be honest with yourself and let yourself feel the things that you need to feel. What you feel isn’t who you are; your actions make you who you are. Feeling your truth is critical to trusting yourself and providing important self-care. Feel the anger, frustration, hurt, and abandonment, and allow it to release and transform. It’s only when we act on those feelings without releasing them that we become toxic. How you feel is always valid; allow yourself that support and nurturing and ensure you find your true family – the people in your circle who will validate your feelings and encourage you to feel, release, let go and move on.
May you empower yourself to walk away, stay strong and give yourself the critical self-care you need. Set strong boundaries were needed to protect yourself. There is nothing selfish about doing what you need to do to be at peace.