Dealing With Difficult People


Possibly every day, probably every week – and certainly at different times throughout our lives – we will all be presented wilh life challenges of varying intensity. The quality of our life will depend largely on just how we handle those life challenges. Problems are there as a test, for our growth and development; we learn through the lessons within each challenge.

 Life’s Challenges – Responding Is Our Choice!

We can accept and open ourselves to the lesson or we can resist the opportunity to grow.  Ultimately resistance will generate further challenges, pain and discord along the way.

Coming into contact with “difficult people” is just another of life’s challenges and undoubtedly we will all come across this challenge at different times in our lives.  Perhaps it may come in the form of a family member, or perhaps a work colleague, neighbour, community member or maybe even a child who may be bullying our own child – a “difficult person” can take many different forms. 

Sometimes we can not avoid exposure to that person and sometimes we can handle the immediate challenge and blissfully move on and forever away from that particular difficult person.  Distancing ourselves is not always completely possible so I think that Unconditional Loving is a good meditation and a good way to go.

Sometimes a Difficult Person is Unaware

When we are negatively aroused by the confrontation with a “difficult person” (DP) it may be hard for us to calmly realise and rationalise that there is every likelihood that the antagonism or difficulty actually has very little to do with us personally. Indeed it may indicate a deeply underlying challenge or dysfunction of the DP, who, in extreme cases, would perhaps even benefit from professional help.

However if the DP is unaware of this and has no interest in self improvement then this is another difficulty.  So what to do?  If at all possible I do recommend to distance yourself from difficult people as much as possible. Even if the DP is related know that you can still love at a distance.

If we allow ourselves to be irritated and affected by the DP, this can bring to us its own ramifications such as becoming unwell or unhappy, suffering emotionally, etc…

Personality Clashes And Other Traits

Whether or not someone is a DP, people think differently and when personalities clash, anger can surface. Careless words can be spoken and once out there, the words are very difficult to take back without some sort of effect.

Being around "difficult people" arouses negativity which magnifies the challenge and can leave us feeling weakened, with our defences down. Difficult people seem to bring with them a dark cloud which seems to darken our mood and even our entire day. Any long-term relationships with difficult people create tension that mounts with each passing day. Regardless of the length of the confrontation, we often find ourselves feeling miserable. 

I am sure you have heard of “givers” and “takers”. There are certain DPs who completely drain others with their depressive and negative ways.  It can feel as though a black cloud has descended and is sucking the very life out of us leaving you emotionally depleted.  You may know this and yet you think “I can handle seeing the DP and give some of my positivity to them” – yet you come away exhausted. Is this good for you?

Have you noticed that often DPs will whinge and complain but refuse to accept any suggestions or ways of improving their situation.

Sometimes DPs have no respect for other people’s boundaries and rights and seem to have no insight into the result of their barbed comments.

Some can be manipulative and domineering.  When the DP is a family member, there can be years of a certain pattern of behaviour – be aware of this and strive to be as pleasant and agreeable as possible when you speak with them.  It is possible that they may not even have a full awareness of just how their negative behaviour affects others and sometimes they don’t really care.

How Can You Handle This? What Can You Do?

There are many ideas about conflict resolution and one key that seems to stand out is to never accuse the other person for the way you are feeling but rather to couch it in the terms of how the actions or behaviour of that person makes you feel, whatever it is.  This approach takes the heat out of the situation and hopefully avoids the confrontation of the other person lashing back with an equally nasty accusation. I have a very useful meditation called Improving Relationships.

When challenged by a DP, pause briefly, take a deep breath and go to your Peaceful Place.  My mother used to always say “count to ten”.

We need a circuit breaker to stop the spiral into further stress and maintain equilibrium during heated moments, and using the Peaceful Place Guided Imagery CD with the very fast technique is what will work well.

Talking about it to others who will understand the situation can be helpful – or maybe even a professional counsellor.  I have found that it helps to tell myself “I am not responsible for the actions and behaviour of that person – I am only responsible for myself and my response and behaviour” – that thought can be very strengthening. I am reminded that a good technique is Acceptance and Letting Go.

Have You Heard of “Using The Light” – A Personal Belief

I believe that the "Light" - the Highest Light - when called upon for the Highest Good of All Concerned - is something physical which can fill and surround and protect you. It’s a Spiritual Concept. You can send this Light to others for healing, love, protection and many other things, always saying "For the Highest Good of All Concerned." (For a more complete explanation, read my book "Switch On to Your Inner Strength", pages 210 to 215).

You will find in every one of my active meditation CDs I call on the Light (within the body of the words that are used for guided imagery) without any explanation at all and in the Peaceful Place CD#5 - Meditation I suggest that you chant the words Love, or Peace, or Om, or Hu and then interchange that chanting with focussing on your breath. This meditation is a very deep meditation and I believe it to be a good move towards spiritual meditation.

When dealing with a DP surround yourself with the Light asking For The Highest Good Of All Concerned that you are protected and send (using your heart or third eye chakra) your Unconditional Love and Light to the DP. This can be a very empowering concept and Miracles can occur!

So, you will increase your own self esteem if you are able to handle the situation with grace and calmness.  It can sometimes require quite a bit of courage.  Beware of judging the DP as you may not be aware of all the background and circumstances of their dysfunctional personality.

All the best


"Your gift from God is your potential – Your gift to God is to use it.

Starting 26th Oct an 8 day tour to Vietnam. Have a look at details and photos at this link. (Your cost is $1900 plus airfare.) I intend to go on to the MiVAC Trust Project in Laos after this 8 days so let me know if you would like to join me.
Mark Dapin - a jounalist with "The Good Weekend" - came with us on the First Tour. He wrote quite a bit - really getting inside my head. I was really pleased to have Mark along, and for his great article, which you can read here. (It takes a while to open.)
It is the Author’s Tour with  Jimmy Thomson and me - by the way here's Jimmy's Website.

Success Stories

Thank you for continuing to send the MMN letters. They are always insightful to read even though I sometimes don't get to them for a while.  I find that you have touched on some relevant points about the lack of success of anti-depressant drugs and I'm a living example of this. Throughout my struggle with depression, I found that taking medication had no positive effect on me at all. What has been the most help to me is the realisation that I have the power within myself to carry on living and the power of positive self-talk is the basis of this.... as you know!
Sandy your CDs that I bought from you really have helped me develop my belief in and my ability to practice, positive self talk. Going to your seminar was the start of me really believing in the power of positive self-talk and I use the positive self-talk technique on an hourly basis every day of my life now. You have changed my outlook on life in a very powerful, positive way. I really thank you for helping me achieve that. 
  I'm actively using positive re-enforcement techniques while I go about my tasks throughout my day. It really does work. I have developed this gentle coaching voice within me (as you advised) that encourages me when I'm achieving a set task. I always make myself "look back at what I have achieved" more often to actively develop my self-confidence. That works too! My sense of achievement is quite uplifting for me. This is how I have made practical use of the techniques of mind training you have given me.

Thank you Sandy.
I did your course during a stressful period of my life (we were trying to conceive and entering the IVF programme).   I found it very helpful and conceived shortly after!  
I used the tapes on and off for years and re read the book a few times.  The book was handed on to a needy colleague many years ago and was returned to me only last year with many thanks.
The tapes were lost and of course, no one uses tapes any more.
I am in need of a ‘refresher’ so thought it best to download the meditations.
There was a programme last night on SBS about intelligence in which one of the things discussed was using the ‘theta’ state – timely given I had just read some of the book again. Initials and State Withheld

Just wanted to send you a quick email and update on a recent goal achievement. I have just returned from 2 weeks in Africa - Tanzania and Kenya, where I went on Safari and climbed to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro- the world's highest freestanding mountain!(Photos attached).
Being almost 6km high above sea level, it was unbelievably hard (especially towards the top where you only get about 50% oxygen level), but I’m glad to say I made it! This was one of my most audacious goals I set while at CHI in Sydney, only this time last year!
I just wanted to take this time to let you know how exceptionally grateful I am for you helping me setting and achieving goals like this, it truly has changed my life. MD Qld


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