Difficult People – How To Deal

While the holidays can be all fun and games for some, they can also be a time of stress and gnashing of teeth for others. We get easily overwhelmed by the gift shopping, baking, and decorating.While all of these things are certainly a source of stress, I’ve found (and experienced) that one of the biggest stressors of the holidays are the people that we spend it with. People can be so damn frustrating, right?!The lazy husband, the meddling mother in law, the train wreck sibling. We all have that one person in our life that just drives us crazy, that we can’t seem to please, or that we just can’t stand.All of that frustration boils down to the most unhealthy thing for our mind, body, and spirit: stress. Relationships in our lives are probably THE biggest affect of the stress especially during the holidays.So how do we deal with these difficult people in our lives?

Attempt a walk in their shoes

Ugh….you mean I have to be compassionate and empathetic towards these jerks that push my buttons? Well….maybe. Take a step back for a moment. Think about this button pusher’s childhood and what they were or were not taught. Think about their life struggles and experiences (or lack of). Remember, these things are the only things that you actually do know about this person. We don’t know 100% of everybody’s lives. We don’t know exactly what it’s like to be in their shoes. We all act and live from a completely different mindset and reality separate from each other. This mindset and reality was produced from our past life experiences. Having empathy and compassion doesn’t make their irritating button pushing right. It creates a new awareness and understanding of where they are at and where their actions may come from. It shifts our perspective from a place of blame to a place of love and empathy.

Mirror mirror on the wall: Is this my BS after all?

What irritates us about others is usually a direct reflection of the parts of ourselves that we do not like and that need healing.  My biggest pet peeve for many years was when people would act like they were better than everybody else. It really used to chap my hide. I noticed that that was a very common trigger for me and that it continued to happen from several different people in my life. It made me feel like I wasn’t good enough. This chapped hide was a direct reflection of my low self esteem and low self confidence. Once I became aware of this my chapped hide inevitably melted away. Well…most of it anyway. 🙂 What characteristics in other people trigger your emotions? Take time to reflect and notice. You will begin to see a theme and can take action to mend those broken parts of yourself.Be thankful to the difficult people in your life. These button pushers are your greatest teachers.Take control: People treat you how you let themIt is our personal responsibility to establish healthy boundaries for the relationships in our lives. Did you let them walk all over you? Did you let them treat you like crap? Did you let them manipulate you? Did you let them make you feel like you weren’t good enough? Confrontation is not easy or comfortable but it can be done in a firm, yet loving way. You just have to make the choice to do it.This holiday season I challenge you to look at the difficult people in your life in a different light. What are they here to teach you? That lazy husband might be teaching you that you need to relax more. Your meddling mother in law is trying to feel loved and needed. Your train wreck sibling might be showing you that you should be grateful for all that know and have.Express gratitude this Thanksgiving and have a happy, healthy week!