One of the reoccurring themes that surfaces with my clients is how to handle difficult people. Whether this is a family member, a working relationship or with a customer the experience is uncomfortable and leaves one feeling contracted, defensive and yucky.
Do you know someone in your life that irks you and you are really uncomfortable around? You probably wish that they would just go away or change. Sometimes you are able to create lots of space between the person that you don't want around and yourself because there may be limited contact already; other times this person may be in contact with you a good share of the days and weeks.
The very first step in handling a difficult person (from your perspective) using a spiritual approach is to make the commitment ahead of time that you will act and respond in a certain way. This is taking responsibility for how you are going to be. The intention in any relationship is to connect and when there's tension and outbursts etc. there is a huge disconnect. Not only is there a disconnect with the other person; there can be a disconnect within yourself about how you are responding. Committing to being and responding in a way that empowers you bridges the gap and helps you connect with you.
The second step is to Breathe when confronted by accusations, zingers and tirades. You are able to connect with your body and be more aware of the situation.
The third step has two parts: the first part is to recognize that what's going on in front of you has to do with the other person. This is the Universal Law of Allowing in action, where you are aware and accept without judgement that what's going on for the other person is theirs and it's about them; the second part is to connect what's going with you and to own what you are feeling right then and there.
The fourth step is to stop then breathe again. Listen to and hear what your feelings are telling you with total love and self-respect. There's no room in the Inn for judgement. Listen to what the other person may be not saying.
The fifth step is to share the truth of how you are feeling or if you don't feel safe then exit gracefully. This step takes courage and a heart connection. You may say "You sound scared." or "You seem upset over this situation." Or share what you're feeling "When you speak like that, I feel scared or nervous or want to run away." If the situation feels unsafe for you to be truthful about feelings then as quickly and gracefully as possible leave the situation.
The sixth step is to write about the situation and what you were feeling with love and acceptance. What feelings came up for you? Was there a situation in the past where you felt these feelings before? Be honest. Dig deep.
The seventh step is to choose differently. You make the commitment to change yourself and choose to share the truth and connect with this other person and connect with your feelings. You choose to practice this process until it becomes natural.