Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

How to Stop Difficult People from Zapping Your Energy and Happiness

Brian Vaszily wrote an interesting post on the website,, called “How to Stop Difficult People from Zapping Your Energy and Happiness.” He suggests you pick something to EMULATE from your nemesis.

Say what???? He writes:

Instead of focusing on their disagreeable qualities and actions, that is, for each person on your list shift your perspective to what their best qualities are … more particularly, to the one, two or more aspects of their character that YOU could learn from and perhaps use more of. 

Perseverance? Discipline? A happy-go-lucky attitude?


Everyone has something worth emulating. Everyone. Though certain people may deserve to be fired, jailed, or impeached, even they have qualities that are worth appreciating and emulating.

It is our reactionary egos that are prone to completely trash those who seem to have a negative influence in some way on us. Our egos are primitive; if somebody strokes them, that somebody is good, and if somebody kicks them, that somebody is bad.

This lingering reaction creates the notion of “dislike,” or hate, which blocks our eyes, mind and heart from focusing on anything but the negative. But by focusing on the negative in anyone – “I really don’t like that person” — we are doing by far the most damage to ourselves.


Honing in on what we don’t like in people (or in situations for that matter) won’t change them, but it does make our lives considerably less peaceful and sucks away our energy and happiness. It becomes a habit that perpetuates the self-damage. Plus it makes us considerably less attractive to others.

This is not a call to tolerate being taken advantage of or abused by “people we don’t like,” of course; if changes need to occur to avoid those circumstances then by all means do what is ethical to make those changes.

But it IS a call not to let those people – really, your own ego – pull you down into discord and disharmony where you don’t deserve to be.

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  • Vincent Calabrese

    Brian Vaszily wrote a terrific article here. He hit the nail on the is unfortunate how many people allow circumstances in the outer world effect their inner peace. Brian stated that we should focus on the qualities that we like in the person rather than the qualities we dislike, and the same will go for situations we find ourselves in..there is always some good in every situation, you just have to look for it! I wish everyone could read this article TWICE! Have a great day!

  • JR

    Just find ONE thing you can like and appreciate about them. It can turn your mood around.

  • Rhonda

    You have just given me the answer to a huge weight off of my heart for the last ten years. A child involved, Courts, pain, etc. I even pray for the Father. Brain, They say God speaks through other people and you are just the example. Thank you!

  • Lyndia

    I agree that there is something positive/good in every individual…This news notice was very good to read…I am still trying to find (on-going for the past 24 years) the good/positive in my sister-in-law! I know it lies somewhere!!!

  • kate

    Honestly i think i need to print this out and put it up at work in my work bag at home everywhere to stop focusing on negativity when someone says something i don’t like!!!!

  • Suzy

    Well, good article BUT I was just accused of various horrible actions n my professional life by a drug addled and very dangerous man. Somehow imagining his “good qualities” such as his persistence is a bit hard since his persistence is towards an action that will enable him to more easily break the law. This man is an abuser and has hurt countless people, especially his own family. I am finding it hard to come up with any good qualities since most of what he says is vastly different from what he does. How you advise finding the positive in a criminal where anything remotely positive is tied so strongly to his criminal mind?

  • Your Name

    I found that to be powerful and useful information! I do try to see the good in others to keep a positive mindset. I have been struggling within myself lately with seeing a good quality in others. I have found myself surrounded with alot of negative, ugly(innner ugliness) people. Thanks for reminding me to keep my inner being pretty, and not ugly, cause your right it does project on the outside to others and, can be such a negative quality to present to others!!!!

  • SuzanneWA

    I had THREE people who were notorious drug users, from whom I DID learn a LOT, even after I found out what they did. I rented an apartment to the woman, and she grew the most BEAUTIFUL flower and vegetable garden at my house, that you ever saw. The one man was a drug runner in the 70s and 80s, but he knew how to treat a “woman,” and was a friend of mine for a loooong time. The second man was a computer repairman, who could fix ANYTHING, but – he committed fraud on me after my husband’s death, and now I’m suing him for $25,000.
    Am I unable to find any GOOD in these people? No, as each of us is a Chld of God. BUT – I have learned NOT to accept someone on face value, and get to know them BEFORE I trust them with my time, my heart, and my money. I used to trust someone until they gave me a reason not to – now, I withhold that trust, and go in prayer to ask God if they are worthy.

  • Your Name

    The best thing for me to do is just to pray to God without ceasing,
    thanking him for all the things He had done for me and things that
    He will still bless me in the future.I will be careful whom to trust,
    but i would give credit to a friend who did nothing but to think of
    my welfare,who show his care in his own ways that i cannot accept
    but later have understood and i grew up and become better person through his advices and examples.The impact and effects of their action to me is the by product of how much each one is worthy of my
    trust,i cannot be mean to anyone regardless of their behaviors,
    for as long as i know how to handle each of their action with show
    of respect,i cannot afford to be the bad guy in any situation with
    anyone.I wanted to keep calm and keep cool at all times,if sometimes
    i am too emotional,i thank those who listen sincerely and appreciate
    their concern,for those who take advantage of my down time,i am
    smarter than what they think they are,my emotional release doesn’t
    mean my defeat or vulnerability to any kind of submission of mischievous act,i follow my heart everytime i show kindness to anyone,
    i shall be safe at all times because God is good all the time.

  • mary margaret

    with some people the best quality I can find is the knowledge that they, too, are a child of God. And that is enough for me.
    as I stop telling my story and listen more to the stories of friends, I understand more that I don’t know squat about what they are thinking, doing, or worrying about.
    and logic tells me they cannot possibly know this about me..

  • Debbie

    Thank you Mary Margaret… are so right.

  • mkripps

    I try to like everyone, but family members have done something really bad to my mom. And one of their children had a still born child last week. I put it all behind me and did what ever I could to comfort them. And attended the funeral, made a brochure for them about the child and a poem to hand out at the funeral. But what hurt me the most is that my husband, son & daughter-in-law offered no comfort to me about the loss of a great nephew, or even acted as if it had happened or that they were sorry that it did, and did not attend the baby’s funeral. It hurt me deeply and I was very hurt and upset that they didn’t acknowledge any feelings what so ever about the baby and mother. It ate at me for 2 days, and I held it in until yesterday when they were at the table, I said that I was going to take one of the pamplets to show a neighbor friend that said that she was sorry that it happened, and told them that there was two more their with the baby’s picture if any of them cared enough to look at it or read it. Then went to my neighbors who was compassionate about my pain and the loss of a child. Now they are all treating me coldly and my husband is mad at me for feeling that it was cold that now of them cared. And said that I should have talked to them or asked my daughter-in-law to attend the funeral.

  • Your Name

    My aunt recently died of lung cancer. I felt very badly for my cousins, but, did not call her before she died, although I HAD stopped to visit them when I was in their state a year before. My aunt did alot of hurtful things to my mom and us over the years and recently caused anguish again to my mom by sharing stuff that i hadn’t wanted to share with my mom, even getting my grandmother to write my mom out of her will so they got all the property and money. There were many other things over the years, and I just felt it was better not to have contact with her because of the negativity. i pray for her and think about her and miss the good times we had and the good memories i have and that is all i can do.

  • Jen

    I thought this was very interesting. It called to mind something St. Therese of Liseux wrote 100 years ago:
    “I feel that when I am charitable it is Jesus alone who acts in me; the more I am united to Him the more do I love all my Sisters. If, when I desire to increase this love in my heart, the demon tries to set before my eyes the faults of one or other of the Sisters, I hasten to call to mind her virtues, her good desires; I say to myself that if I had seen her fall once, she may well have gained many victories which she conceals through humility; and that even what appears to me a fault may in truth be an act of virtue by reason of the intention.”
    Story of A Soul, Chapter IX

  • Suz

    What do I say at my Dad’s funeral…I am the oldest and must give ‘the talk’ for the family….but he was not a great Dad in the least, a very difficult man. What can I say that is nice without lying or making things up?

  • beth

    your newsletter came around this morning, and the reminder about this article was perfectly timed for me – it was just what i needed to hear, as my ego was getting all fired up over a particularly challenging person in my life. thank you!

  • S

    Its all in relation to us isnt it?? if a person is nice to us then yes he is a good person…if he is rude or mean to us…oh what a jerk. There are no absolutes in this world..I can be a best friend to one person and the complete opposite to another..its all circumstantial or timing?? I do not know…But everyone responds to kindness & compassion…Some ppl have been hurt so badly that they live in their shell and refuse to come out or let anyone else in. So what if some one doesnt appreciate you like you do hurts for a few days..But then you recover & recoup.. and you realize you put them on a pedestal and valued their opinions over your own… you learn & let go…in time!

  • viqueen

    Perspective makes a difference. Choosing positive thoughts can alter a bad day, bad situation…. and makes me think of the movie, “Ground Hog Day.”
    Right now I wish I had a thousand lifetimes to figure out how to survive the bullying and ostracizing that is ruining my workplace; and in this small town – my life.

  • Trish

    What helps me is recognizing that it is me that can be someone elses difficut person at times, although I find that hard to believe.
    Being wise about how you interact with someone who is behaving in a way that is destrcutive is important. Usually there is pain deep in them that has nothing to do with you at all, that somehow you triggered.
    Being gentle, but keeping healthy boundries is important. It all depends on the relationship you have with them, and how much contact you have to , or wish to have.
    Praying for them is something God helps me do- for health and blessing. It is something I can do that helps me as well as them when I do that.

  • Savannah

    I have been deceived by a man and have been very hard on myself….hates and despised myself….self loathing……
    I can`t stop thinking about it and wished that this was a nightmare.
    Been reading a lot of your articles and it helps at times.

  • Heather

    Thank you!!! Love your blog!

  • Tammy

    A respectful love and compassion is what helps me to love my husband even when he is being difficult.
    A lot of times his reactions and mine are negative because of deep hurt and/or dysfunction that has crept into our relationship triggered by the process of restoration that comes from a close, bond with another.
    We all must learn to nurture one another with love and acceptance whether husband to wife or friend to friend!

  • Bruce@HowToStop

    This is good stuff, I feel like I have too many people in my life, starting with my father in law. Thank you for helpfull info

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment peter

    My name is peter I found a great spell caster online who helped me to get back my girlfrinad who has left me for pass two years. We where married for 5years without a child and my friend introduce me to a real spell caster named dr ogboni which i never believe it exist but after the meeting of this spell caster my problem where solved and now i am with my husband who left me for pass two years my life and my entire family are now happy now i have two kids with the help of this great spell caster. Thanks to dr ogboni and i will advice anyone in need of help to contact him with this email

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