I have many people in my life that seem difficult to me from time to time. You may have them too? The sort of people that drive you mad or crazy? If you do, you are in good company. It would seem that most of my clients and people I speak to have people in their lives that drive them up the wall. At least that is what I used to think. It was a big revelation to me to realise that there is no such thing as difficult people, only difficult thinking.
Have you ever considered that what makes these people frustrating is the way we experience them? It would seem to me that the days we are in irritable or upset moods that the people who are around us seem to be more irritable and upsetting than usual. But the days we are feeling in a happy or a content mood, their behaviour doesn’t appear to faze us.
Have you ever stopped to consider, why that might be?
Well, your mood can determine how you experience people on the outside. Your feelings don’t come from someone’s behaviour; they come from your mood. And your mood will determine your experience of these difficult people. And yes, it may well be that the person who you perceive as difficult is not being nice or is being angry or upset or stubborn but these behaviours say more about their state of mind than they do about who they are.
We all have insecure moments. And when we are in a place of feeling grounded and content with ourselves it’s a lot easier to feel compassion towards their behaviour. We are less likely to see it as a personal attack and are more likely to have our hearts reach out them because we notice that they like us experience insecure moments of thought that then determines how they behave. The trick here is not to take how they act as a personal vendetta against us because, in fact, they are indeed the ones who are suffering. When you are in a bad mood or stressed and angry the only person who is really suffering is you, right?
The same is for them too. What I have found to help is to communicate when you are both in a nice a feeling about the perceptively awkward moments you have. It’s not what you communicate that will make the difference but where you are communicating it from. Arguments are not caused by what you are talking about; they are caused by where both of you are communicating from. The mood you are in. If you are both in a bad mood, the chances are that you will fight and the storm will escalate. But if both of you can sit and talk it out when you are in a good feeling, this often leads to misunderstandings then being transformed into a deeper connection. Listening deeply to someone can be powerful not just for you but for them too.
I remember intensely listening to an ex-boyfriend of mine who was really angry because of what had happened to us. I would have usually jumped up to defend myself but instead, I just listened and then suddenly I found myself listening beyond his anger and what I heard instead was quite remarkable. I heard his fear and his vulnerability, which then lead me to hear the words ¨I was scared and felt all alone.¨ As he finished his tirade, I suddenly felt an enormous sense of empathy for him and found myself saying, ´that must have been really hard for you. I am sorry.´ It was at this point that I noticed that the anger had nowhere else to go and we reconnected and just held each other.
However, there might be other times that you realise that it’s time to say goodbye to that person in your life. This will all come down to what occurs to you at the moment and what makes the most sense to you. There is not one size fits all but you can listen to your inner guiding system and do what that tells you. One thing I have noticed is that it’s a lot easier to listen to ourselves when we are not caught up in the drama as opposed to when we are stressed and upset. So giving yourself the time and space to settle can also help.
In short, our mood dictates the way the conversation will go, and our behaviours will be a reflection of the power of thought. The thought is not personal, so when someone gets personal with us, it’s more of a reflection on where they are. As to what can help from your end? Give yourself the space to see what shows up.
Marina Pearson is an Effortless Business and Lifestyle Coach who lives in Spain with her husband and son. She is a best-selling author and an international speaker.
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