Awareness, Choices, Controlling our Emotions, Growth, Personal Resonsibility

The Upside of Difficult People in Our Life

You may doubt there’s an upside to dealing with the difficult people in our lives, but there is. And while it’s never easy, I discovered it’s also a learning opportunity.

This is bravery: using the challenge of daily life to sharpen our mind and open our heart.

Sakyong Mipham

Early on, I used to feel anger, irritation, frustration and sometimes, like a victim when dealing with difficult people, until I “got it” and realized how do I grow if I’m never challenged? Well, we all know difficult people certainly provide a challenge, so I surrendered to the lessons they provided. Here’s what I learned, and I want to share with you:

1. Be defenseless. Nothing other people do is about us, so don’t take it personally. It’s their outlook, their attitude, their opinion and they’re entitled to it. They have a long history that has shaped who they are and their behavior. It’s about them. It’s our responsibility to handle ourselves and our history and our emotions. It’s not our job or place to handle theirs. So, for this reason, I’ll silently wish them well.

2. Be self-aware. Knowing what we want to get out of a conversation or interaction helps determine our path. When we know exactly what we’re after or want to feel, we’ll also know when, or if, we need to engage. Stick to the real issue, if there is any, and disregard any “bait” to distract us from what needs, or doesn’t need, to be addressed. Keep the conversation on track and don’t waste your time with conversations or confrontations going in circles with no real agenda other than to spar.

3. Good Boundaries. Boundaries are healthy. They’re not selfish, or self-absorbed, or mean. Boundaries say, “I love and respect me”, particularly when others don’t. Things like avoiding difficult people when possible, or removing yourself are beneficial, as well as saying “no” or saying nothing. Yes, silence is a boundary. Not responding to an obvious taunt is a boundary too because by refusing to retaliate, we avoid any unnecessary conflict by smothering the fuel it needs to survive and grow. Words.

Good boundaries say, “I love and respect me”, particularly when others don’t.

While there are times in life that I’m in a situation or circumstance which attracts a lot of difficult people, I believe deep in my heart it’ll all work out for my betterment, because I’ll always possess a power they can’t touch. My reaction. For this reason, I nurture this hope every day and affirm that I’m capable of lessoning my pain or frustration by determining my responsibility, reshaping my perspective and desired endgame, and thoughtfully choosing my responses in difficult situations. And like everything else in life, I do my best each day, whatever that may be. ❤

Keep it Simple,

Just Teri


19 thoughts on “The Upside of Difficult People in Our Life”

  1. Your words are golden. These are rules to live by. I must confess, sometimes against my better judgement I can get pulled into a “spar” then I am upset with myself later. But again life is about growing.
    love the advice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Pene ❣️

      LOL – I totally agree❣️ It’s quite easy to get pulled into a “spar”🤣🥊

      The upside of getting upset is that we know we did, and want to do better. And next time we do, sometimes just by holding off a little longer 😂 But the awareness is key❣️😘🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great tips. Honestly don’t take it personally is a big one. I am much better at it. But when I am unwell or stressed I forget to not take it personally. Great Post. And keeping it simple and seeing life difficulties as a learning and growing experience is important

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the words of encouragement Bella. Not taking things personally is THE hardest hurdle to cross but the MOST liberating when practiced 😄⭐️

      And you’re SO spot on because it’s much harder to practice when we’re not at our best ❣️

      This tip of course is expanded in one of our favorite books by Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements. Best and smallest book ever written ❣️😆❤️


  3. Wonderful advice! It’s not about you. Boundaries! Yes, yes. And it does develop our character, learning to navigate difficult people. 🌟💛

    Liked by 2 people

  4. 💜 This is good stuff everyone, pay close attention; for me personally the only “difficult” person in my life is me…ergo if I AM NOT!!! Being “Difficult” then NoOne Else Is; just a Little Bit of Self Examination and Projecting On Others for ALL of Us to THINK!!! About


    Liked by 2 people

      1. 💜 YOU!!! ARE Most Welcome and Thank YOU!!! for ALL YOUR!!! Kind, Supportive Words; it’s a Pleasure to Share and Serve, Stay Strong and Serene


        Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi, I loved this post and I will be including it as a link in my Monday monthly wrap up post. Please let me know if you prefer it is not referenced. Thanks 😊


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