Dealing With Difficult People
Learn how to deal with difficult people from a spiritual perspective.
Virtually everybody knows people who seem to be put into their lives for the sole reason of making it difficult. They either have excessive demands, are unnecessarily contrary or even outright mean and nasty. How can we deal with this all too common problem from a spiritual perspective?
First of all, we need to understand that difficult people are having a difficult time. Nobody who is genuinely happy and has a loving and fulfilling life is nasty on purpose. Real joy generates love – the wish to share one’s joy – so if someone behaves in a selfish or unloving way it is a sure sign that they are unhappy in themselves. This is true even if they appear to be happy. As a therapist, I have the opportunity to talk to thousands of people in depth about their feelings and I have found that people only get angry and demanding if they are under some sort of extreme stress.
The second thing I found is that virtually nobody acts nastily on purpose. The average person almost always believes that they are doing the right thing with a good motivation. This may seem unbelievable if we are at the receiving end of some very egotistical behaviour but it is nevertheless true. The real problem is ignorance – people believe they are doing good when in fact they are hurting other peoples’ feelings.
These two insights – that difficult people are unhappy and unaware of how hurtful they are will help us to be more compassionate and patient with them. Once we have that little bit of inner distance, we can then apply the ultimate remedy to dealing with difficult people. This remedy is to send love first to ourselves and then to the person who is stressing us out.
If you are one of those people who easily believes that everything is your own fault it is paramount that you take a lot of time to envelop yourself with loving light and wish yourself to be happy like a loving mother wishes for her child. Once we have done that, we need to do the same with our adversary. We need to envelop the difficult person with love just like we have done with ourselves. This may seem contrary to all human inclinations because, after all, why should we send love to someone who has harmed us? The answer is that love is the sublime healer of the universe and will restore peace and harmony to all our relationships or help us to end them in a harmonious way.