Unless you’re living under a rock, you deal with at least a few people that know how to push your buttons. However, you can learn a lot from difficult people. Challenging situations present opportunities for learning and growth. Are you making optimal use of the difficult people in your life?
What if the people you enjoyed the least actually enhanced your life? How powerful would that be? There are ways to make the best of the situation.
There are many things to learn from the difficult people you encounter each day:
1. Learn patience. Whenever you’re stuck dealing with someone you’d rather avoid, use the opportunity to practice being patient.
2. Learn to manage your emotions. You likely find that your mood and emotions take a turn for the worse when dealing with certain people in your life. It’s a great time to work on maintaining your composure in a stressful situation. Take advantage of your enemy’s presence and use it to fuel your skills.
3. Learn about yourself. Why does a particular person drive you crazy? In many cases, you’ll find that the people you dislike possess characteristics that you also have, but dislike. Think about those whom you like the least and see if you can learn something about yourself.
4. Gain an enhanced ability to focus. One effective way to be patient and manage your emotions is to focus on a resolution to the issue. If your thoughts stay centered on solving the challenge of the situation, your emotions can’t get the best of you.
5. Practice relaxation techniques. There’s no better time to practice relaxation techniques than when you’re under the gun with someone. Bringing your stress down just a notch or two has many benefits. It’s good for your health and the situation.
6. Learn how to influence others. It’s not very challenging to influence your friends. However, can you influence an enemy? That’s the ultimate test of your people-skills.
* Try every tactic you know to bring the other person to your side. With practice, your abilities will quickly improve.
7. Learn how to let go. Do you allow a negative interaction to ruin your day or even your week? Suffering longer than necessary is silly. Learn to how to let things go and enjoy the rest of your day. The interaction can only continue to haunt you if you allow it. Turn your attention back to the present.
8. Learn to be compassionate and forgiving. Many difficult people have painful reasons that explain their behavior. You can never be certain of what’s going on in someone else’s life.
* They might be going through a divorce, a death in the family, physical abuse, or serious financial challenges. Avoid taking the words and behavior of others personally.
* Even the kindest of people have a bad day or even a bad decade. Learn to forgive others.
The people that challenge our thoughts and emotions are a gift. If you’re not using these challenging people and situations to your benefit, you’ll ignoring an excellent opportunity for growth. Learn from the difficult people in your life. The skills you develop will come in handy.