Our envy always lasts longer than the happiness of those we envy.

~ Heraclitus ~

Do Difficult People Drive You Crazy?

March 30th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 41 secs

People say I’m difficult but I have no idea why.

People come in all forms and some seem to be bestowed with more than their fair share of obnoxiousness. Some in particular are as subtle as a brick and devoid of sensitivity. But somehow you’ve got to get on with them as best you can.

Now although people can display similar behaviors it doesn’t mean they are thinking the same way. For instance, those who lack any kind of subtlety get up everyone’s nose by being completely unaware of the damage they are doing. Convinced they are being helpful, they can’t understand why anyone would think ill of them. Which means their main problem is they are oblivious.

Not so those who treat people cruelly to extract some perverse form of pleasure from the process. They relish the pain they cause and enjoy putting people down whenever they can. These people are extraordinarily difficult to deal with and avoiding them as much as you can is probably the easiest option.

The obliviously obnoxious, on the other hand, deserve your time because they genuinely have good intentions. If they could learn better ways of dealing with people then they’d be happy to adapt. But someone has to apply the time and patience to lead them to it. Unfortunately, it seems, too few do.

If you find difficult people frequently drive you crazy then the best defenses are not so much about changing the individual causing the trouble. Instead, it’s better to develop extra ways for handling the difficulty.

Here are just a few tactics to assist in dealing with difficult people:

  1. As I am inclined to mention, developing a thicker skin is tremendously helpful. If you are dealing with an uber tactless and annoying type, better go for rhino hide (it let the worst words simply bounce off).
  2. Having a steam release partner you can offload with (who keeps everything in confidence) will get you laughing at the situation before you know it. When you are under pressure this kind of friendship is worth its weight in gold.
  3. Applying a God’s eye view is great too. Most of the unpleasantness we find with difficult people happens at an immediate level. So, by imagining life in a wider context you reduce it’s significance. The higher you rise above the situation, the less messy it looks (and also the less relevant).
  4. It’s them not you. Remember difficult people are socially messy. The fact that they leave a train wreck in their wake does not make you or anyone else they harm culpable too
  5. Consult a higher authority. If you have a faith then it’s good to be reminded that difficult people – even in positions of leadership – are not the ones in charge. Alternatively, talk with people you look up to get their perspective on handling the annoying people you’re dealing with.
  6. Distract yourself. Probably the biggest difficulty in facing exasperating people is how you handle them in your head. How you think about them and their behaviors can play on your mind in your private moments (and especially in the quietness of your bed). That’s why finding new activities to distract your self is helpful. Trying new hobbies, developing new friends, and getting some fresh action going will offset the pest factor that you’ve been putting up with and focusing on.

Regrettably, we all have to endure people who drive us crazy (at least sometimes) and we can either let it consume us or use it to propel our development.

But remember this: painful people don’t own you and nor should you ever let them. Whatever the situation you find yourself in, remember there is more to life than their flawed behaviors. In your life, it’s your actions and decision-making that matter most, so never let go of your significance.


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