Dealing with difficult people

Coming into contact with people who cause us grief is an expected part of life that everyone goes through. We are able to walk away from many of the people we come into conflict with and never think of them again, such as irresponsible drivers or difficult customer service representatives, for instance. However, there are certain situations where we can’t just cut people out of our lives despite the negative influence they have on our emotions. Whether it is a difficult colleague at the office or a condescending family member, sometimes the most practical solution is to continue interacting with them without letting them bring you down.

Accepting them for who they are

Learning how to accept people for who they are is one of the best ways to gain emotional freedom. It’s easy to fall victim to other people’s behaviour and react emotionally, particularly when they are intentionally vindictive. However, if you can learn to see things from their perspective you may find you have more empathy for the way they are. It’s important to remember that all behaviour patterns, no matter how apparently dysfunctional, have a positive intention behind them. If one of your parents keeps trying to push you in a direction you don’t want to go, it may be because they honestly believe your life will be more fulfilling in the long run if you follow their advice. Likewise, if a colleague has a tendency of belittling your efforts and dragging you down, they probably are doing so because they feel insecure and want to make themselves feel better.

Standing up for yourself

As we covered in a previous blog post, standing up for yourself and acting assertively when people breach your personal boundaries will make them less likely to do so again. If you make it clear that you respect and value yourself, others will treat you in the same manner. Oftentimes when you have the courage to speak up and confront people without being aggressive, they will be much more receptive to what you have to say. For the most part, people aren’t deliberately vindictive – it’s much more likely to be the case that they didn’t realise their behaviour was bothering you until you actually told them so. Having the confidence to tell people ‘no’ means ‘no’ is something that can be cultivated through hypnotherapy, and usually involves tackling feelings of low self worth and reframing disempowering past experiences.

What about when someone’s out to get you?

Unfortunately, standing up for yourself and acting diplomatically is not enough to deter some people who have an axe to grind. While seeking to remove yourself from the vicinity of such people is the recommended option, this is not always possible. If you do have to tolerate unpleasant behaviour, you can at least maintain your own emotional equilibrium so that their barbs do not hurt you. Visualising the offending person in hilarious ways is a great way to rewire your psychology so that they no longer have an impact on you. When vividly imagining them taunting you, place them in a clown costume and make their voice high pitched and ridiculous – before you know it their insults will seem comedic instead of hurtful. If you’re really looking to neurologically hardwire a state of peace and tranquility when regularly dealing with difficult people, it’s recommended that you undergo a series of sessions with a qualified hypnotherapist.