One of the challenges we face in our journey is people. Difficult ones. It could be your boss or the whole second floor of the building you work at. It could be your spouse or nosy aunt. It could be an old friend with no filter.
Any engagement or association with them leaves you drained of your energy and the relationship becomes more toxic. While it may seem like the hardest thing in the world to turn these relationships into a ray of sunshine, there is at least, ways in which to shed light on them, thereby improving its state.
Word to the wise –
They have their reasons. Difficult people have anger and pain that has not been dealt with and so they are always projecting on to others. They have a victim mentality and the truth is, it takes time and a lot of self love in order to process and work through these parts of themselves. When you encounter such people, you need to be careful not to touch any unhealed wounds.
While it may not be your job to fix people, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a little supportive of their difficulties. Compassion is the first place to start. When we understand that a lot of people have a wounded child in them, it is much easier for us to behave in a more kind and gentle manner. Take the opportunity and just listen. Really listen to them.
There is great power in deep listening. People who are deeply wounded often feel like nobody listens to them. Their self esteem is low and they don’t feel worthy and deserving. But if we’re engaging with a wounded person, it helps to listen. This gives them the message that if they wanted to talk to someone about their inner conflict, it would be safe to do so. This is not just about softening a relationship with difficult people but also helps improves social skills.
Patience and practice are key to deep listening. Many times you will find the other person trying everything to pull you into power struggle but being mindful of this and not giving into the temptation of a toxic war to defend yourself from their words and ways.
Listen out for their concerns with genuine interest. This will surprise them and it will soften their approach to you.
The issue with most difficult engagements is the energy that exists in it already. When you react and respond in aggressive ways you only add to the negative energy. In order to change that you should remain calm, genuinely listening to them and breathing deeply. This will clear the toxic energy and keep the situation calm.
When you change the way you respond and react to toxic people and toxic situations, everything changes.