Dealing With Challenging People: They Teach Us About Ourselves

Challenging people can teach us invaluable lessons about ourselves. Those people, with their difficult ways, can expose our own idiosyncrasies, quirks, and vulnerabilities. If we pay attention to how we respond to different kinds of personalities, we can learn better ways to respond and better strategies for managing challenging people and situations.

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Dealing With Challenging People: Emotions Are Like The Flu

There is much research emphasizing the value of reflection (through faith, meditation, or other centering activity). Yet, try as we might, negative feelings can rob us of the more neutral, grounded, and creative state we aspire toward. Giving in to anger, irritation, frustration, impatience, or anxiety detaches ourselves from our goals. It is here we need to connect more deeply and get the feel of our work, placing aside the feelings that will lead us astray.

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Dealing With Challenging People: Finding Stamina

Dealing with a challenging person can be a draining experience. Where do you recharge your batteries? The medicine cabinet? The grocery store? The gym? The bar? The yoga studio? Shopping? Some of these activities are more constructive than others, but all of them offer a temporary energy boost. The best place to turn for stamina is inward and focus on your breath. It sounds silly to remind yourself to breathe, but how many times do you hold your breath waiting for an important answer? when you are deeply concentrating on something? when you feel attacked by someone?

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Dealing With Challenging People: They Help Us To Grow

People with challenging personalities are our best teachers, giving us valuable lessons we might not otherwise get from other, more easygoing folks. Challenging people teach us about patience. They teach us about grit. They teach us to take a stand and own our own perspective. Challenging people can help us grow and develop. They can help us mature, and they can provide valuable insights on what it means to be human.

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Dealing With Challenging People: Owning Your Worth

People with challenging personalities get us to react to them by threatening our Ego. When we are belittled in some way—real or imagined—we feel destabilized. Vulnerable, our natural instinct is to strike back or lash out. This is one reason, but not the only reason, that it’s dangerous for our Ego to be in the driver’s seat.

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