The value of learning to give and receive love is not limited to the search for romantic companionship. Development of the ability to be loving, and also receptive to love, in every possible moment is the foundation for happiness in all areas of life.
After all, we are all interacting with hundreds, if not thousands, of people every year, in a mind-boggling array of situations! What if the worst of those encounters could be made easier… and even loving?
Whether in a professional setting or at the grocery store, we are constantly meeting new people, with different backgrounds, different beliefs and different ways of communicating. Unfortunately, many people can prove to be “difficult” more often than we might like. They may be unpleasant, unkind, or just plain mean.
While it may be tempting to speak your mind and be just as unpleasant and unkind back to them, there are far more effective ways to respond. If you can master them, you get to not just cope, but actually create win-win situations out of what may seem like hopelessly unpleasant interactions.
Here are some tips on how you can deal with the difficult people you encounter:
- Try on their shoes – Not literally of course (that would be weird!), but figuratively. You never know the journey someone else has been on in their life. While life’s difficulties are no excuse for causing harm to another person, they can certainly be the catalyst for behavior we later regret. Reminding yourself that the other person may be dealing with something truly terrible for them can help you forgive them more easily for their hurtful behavior. It helps to remind yourself of a hardship you went through, and how your behavior during that time may have been erratic, irrational or unkind. Looking back on our own mistakes can help us feel that human connection and realize that such emotions are a common thread we all share.
- “Kill them with kindness” – also known as “you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Though it may be hard to react with love and kindness when the other person is being combative, it is far more effective. Anger breeds hostility and distance. Kindness neutralizes much of the hostility, and creates receptivity. Silently offering your loving intentions to someone can help ease the pain that is causing them to lash out. Your quiet warmth helps bring attention to their behavior and helps them realize they are suffering. You may not get an apology and you may not see them shift dramatically, but you’ll know that you gave them a gift they really needed in that moment.
If you want to learn more about giving and receiving love, you should definitely get your copy of my brand new book “Before You Love Again.” This step-by-step guide can teach you how to recover more quickly from heartbreaks and disappointments you’ve experienced. Immunize yourself against difficult people by becoming the master of your ability to love and be loved! The tools you’ll learn are truly life changing.
Have difficult people in your life that you’re unable to escape? What are your tricks for dealing with them and staying positive? Comment below and let’s connect