3 Ways to Navigate Difficult People

I recently had a conversation with a friend who was wrongfully dismissed from her job.

Blind sighted.

Totally unexpected. 

Retrospectively she can now see how her boss had been planning her demise for the past 6 months.

No matter if it’s a boss, colleague, family member, neighbour, etc… difficult people are all around.


Trying to understand why people are the way they are, or do the things they do, can and will drive us crazy.  We will most likely never know.

These people are who they are.

Take them at face value.

Nothing will ever change with them until they decide to change.

Of course when awful situations arise, we are entitled to feel horrible, down, defeated, sad, etc…. but the key is not staying there.

By ‘staying there’ we are essentially giving this person our power.  Giving them permission to make us feel badly.

It’s a choice we are making.

Think of a family member who does something that annoys you, but when a friend does the same thing, you don’t have the same response.

We choose how other people’s words and actions impact us.

So, it’s up to us to figure out a way to stop allowing this other person and the situation to have such power and influence over us.

What’s the impact if you don’t?

Here Are 3 Ways To Navigate Difficult People:

1.It’s their problem.  If it wasn’t you, it would be someone else.  People who act so remarkably badly will do it anyway.  It isn’t about you, you just happen to be the target of it.    Don’t allow the situation to create a platform for second guessing yourself. You have to trust that it has nothing to do with who you are and the value you bring.

I even find having empathy for the person has helped me navigate these types of people in the past.  Thinking how sad it would to have to live in their head.  Acknowledging what would have transpired in their life to make them the way they are?

2.Intentional Cues:  I find it helpful to use visual cues to remind me how to get back to a better thought. When I feel like I am getting swept into the negative situation or feelings, I use this reminder to bring me back to a more empowered place.  Maybe it’s a special piece of jewelry you choose to wear each day, a specific colour, an image on your screen saver, or literally visualizing that you are putting up an impenetrable force field around you … whatever works for you.

The details around you aren’t going to change, just how you choose to navigate them that will.

3.The Opportunity? When you are in it, it’s sometimes challenging to see the gift or opportunity in the situation, but I am certain that even if there’s not a gift, there’s an opportunity to learn from it. Maybe just as simple as what not to do another time.

Look around you.

Life is too short to allow someone else to have such a negative influence and impact on your life.

It’s up to you to choose how you want to show up each day.  Own your power.

Victoria is an expert at helping women Get Out of Their Own Way.  If you like what you’ve read you can register to receive her free weekly Tips and Tools to do just that.  Register in the Top Right Corner of this page.

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