The Mirror of Difficult People

Difficult people make us take a hard look at ourselves. Why can't we get along with a certain co-worker? Why do they make us so angry?

The answers lie within us. We need to expand our awareness past the usual answers:

  • S/he isn't smart enough.
  • S/he doesn't care.
  • S/he is just a jerk

We label someone as difficult because we don't want to invest too much emotional energy into them. We try to categorize the difficult people in our lives so we don't have to worry about what they think.

In reality we are cutting them off because we don't want to exert extra energy. We are taking the lazy way out.

Difficult People

Slow Leadership posted an article from Peter Vajda, Are ‘Difficult' People Really Difficult? that spurred this post. He argues that we tell ourselves stories about the people in our lives and once they are told, they become concrete. These stories are usually built on false circumstances because they are an expanded version of the truth. When you recognize these stories and learn to let go of them, You will be able to free yourself from emotional attachment.

Let's say you meet Jim, a co-worker, on the first day of your new job. He's in a bad mood and doesn't respond well to your questions. It's during this time that that we begin to create the story and idea of what a person is like. Well the night before Jim's wife may have told him that she wanted a divorce. If you would have met Jim the day before you would have a completely different perspective on the guy. The problem is that we keep repeating this story in our head every time we have an interaction with that person.

The Stories We Weave

It's these self made stories that stop us from connecting with people that would have become a good friend or at least someone tolerable. The true nature of an individual is revealed when confronted with difficulty, whether it be a person or a situation.

You can write that one story and stick with it or you can open your awareness to the possibility that this person holds a key to your happiness. The more mental blocks that you can unlock the easier difficult people and situations will become.

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