How to Deal with Difficult People?

By
Bhasweti Gewhas, PhD, CHt.

Holidays can be sometimes very stressful, especially when you have all your family, friends and guests to attend. Some of them may be often rude, negative and difficult to deal with. How do you handle those situations when someone becomes abrasive, critical and said something intentionally to hurt you?
Like many difficult situations in life you can definitely learn how to cope with negative people in life, with ease, grace and peace.

If you look around, you will find people who are great sources of encouragements; create positive influences and bring joy to your heart. I call then our Energy Boosters.
You will also find some people, who are very judgmental, full of negative emotions and may be unnecessarily make you feel sad or tensed. I call these types of people as our Energy Suckers.
These are the people that you live within your family; you may work with them every day or meet them occasionally in your church or in get-together. They are always around you in your life. Among these people the Energy Suckers are the difficult people to deal with.

Usually when you face a situation of abrasiveness or rudeness you feel threatened by the Energy Suckers and try to protect yourself by becoming defensive. But that does not bring peace and most of the time causes severe tension.
What is the best way to deal with the difficult people with control and poise? What can you do to improve your attitude and change your response?

Stop Hurting Self and Release Grudge:
When you feel someone is attacking you being brutal and critical, it is usually not about you; actually they are reflecting their own negativity in their out bursts. They are showing their own limitations and lack as they are speaking up to let their negative emotional charges to release. It is not wise to take it as your personal offence. When you detached yourself from that malice, you stop hurting self, knowing that it is only their negative outlooks. As you stop immediate response with negativity, the negative energy stops before it enters your space, so you have less tension and anger. If you focus on taking deep breaths, and bring your mind back to your heart deciding not to response before you cool off, you become the observer, when you can release your grudge and bring calmness being centered.

Change your Outlook and your Responses:

As you feel threatened, you ego reacts with fighting attitudes and your responses bring more conflicts. But remember, negativity brings more negativity and conflict creates more conflicts, very soon two egos engage into impulsive combats and generate huge negative emotional spirals. It will never bring peace to you heart but only feeds to your ego being defensive. It may cause severe stress and anger for everybody involved.
The ego can go on and on for endless cycles of self-defense and meaningless attempts of denial or self- defense. But the truth cannot be established in the process. If you think your peace and contentment are more important than the conflict then it is always better to say your truth very firmly and politely. But do not over react and do not bring the conflict in the process. If necessary, say your truth again as needed but do not feel the need to explain it unnecessary. Everybody has the right to have different outlooks but that does not make your opinion false. Just remember you are making the point by clearly expressing your view which may be different from the others, in a polite and firm manner. But there is absolutely no need to bring the conflict.

Stop Attracting More Negativity:

As you change your attitude towards negativity and do not respond conflict with conflict, you stop the negative emotional spirals. You may look deeper into the situation and see if you need to learn something meaningful. Go deeper into your heart and ask silently what lesson do I need to learn now? And see your inner responses. Your inner responses always bring you a possibility of growth. Whenever your focus is on a positive attitude, you attract more of the similar kinds of uplifting energy. As you are bringing your focus on a better outlook rather that the conflict, you are attracting positive energy. It is a great learning for your ego to stop being tense and bringing more conflict for self-defense but resolving the issue in absolutely at a higher level of awareness. This approach may also teach you something deeper; it will help you regain your control. It will make you understand that you may not be able to change the other person’s view but it is a great opportunity, giving you a better option of knowing how to respond with positivity. It is also important to know that you have the ultimate control over your own response and you do not have to be influence by the other’s opinion or abrasive attitude. As you overcome your challenge of impulsive reaction of your ego and choose a better response, you become empowered. By getting into a better mode, you stop holding on to your grudge and do not lose your peace of mind and clarity. So the unhappiness stops at that very moment, it does not bleed over to other areas of your life.

Keep Your Stress Level under Check:

As you decide to response to aggressive attacks with calmness and poise or no response at all by choice, you become much balanced within. The stress level remain low and under control. It ascertains better health and happiness. It may also give you the feeling of empowerment and confidence. But remember, it takes lots of practice to change your ego led behavior permanently. So at the beginning, you may be caught off guard, but do not be disheartened. Take couple of deep breathe, and connect with your heart center to listen carefully what your soul is telling you. Follow your heart to find the peaceful way to regain your stand. Remember that the practice makes you perfect. If you decide that you will not give way to hurtful conflicts and resolve the issue in peaceful firmness then respect your choice and follow your heart as your best. You still may make some mistakes and sometimes go back to your ego self but overtime with your inner guidance you will eventually find the way to keep your ego on check and develop your emotional intelligence. It will improve your mental as well as physical health in many ways.

Forgiveness and Prayer:
When someone is offensive then forgiveness can bring calmness to you. As you know you may not have power to change other people’s negative behavior but you can definitely give them a better chance to heal as you forgive them. When you see their negativity as their own limited attitude rather than personal attack on you, you gain power to forgive them. As you do not carry the burden of anger, conflict and irritation on you as well, remember to forgive yourself as well. If you may feel the responsibility in some way, take couple of deep breaths, connect with your heart center and let go the resentment and irritation. Release the offensive person with forgiveness and feel the relief. Then do the same for your own self. See you are releasing self from all kinds of stress, tension and negativity and allowing forgiveness to embrace you. If you believe in any higher power, like God, Angels or Christ, you may ask for guidance and blessings to resolve the issue in peace. It may be a short form of meditation that will bring calmness at your heart and make you feel truly relaxed. Meditation helps to calm down your irritated ego and bring you closer to your soul. Practicing meditation regularly is very powerful tools to bring your emotional balance, helps you to deal with difficult people in a more peaceful way.

Posted on Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 at 1:07 pm.
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