HOW TO DEAL WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE
- Hello and welcome back to Transformation Tuesday, everybody. Good to be back here. Tonight's episode is on how do we deal with difficult people. We all have difficult people in our lives. Difficult meaning maybe we don't know what to say to them, we don't know how to respond to them, maybe we don't know how to control them as well as we'd like, maybe they're not behaving in a way that we particularly approve of or desire, and there's just something about someone else that we haven't yet accepted or loved, that's another way of putting it. So that's some of the reasons why we find people difficult to deal with. But I'm going to be unpacking in a little bit deeper today to collapse this problem from the inside out so that we don't have to rely on strategies and tools and communication strategies and language and all this kind of stuff that we feel like we need to get into which is kind of the strategy stuff which I'm going to propose is not even required. So welcome, Monica, great to have you here tonight. So I'm going to be unpacking how to deal with difficult people at the highest level of consciousness from the inside out so that this is not even something that we even have to deal with. So the funny thing about this is dealing with difficult people is not even required, and I'll explain what I mean by that. But first of all I think it's probably worth exploring, well, what do we mean by difficult people because we've all got people in our lives that challenge us, that we don't necessarily know how to respond to, or maybe we do know how to respond to but it's just inconvenient like we maybe don't like their behaviour, we don't like their attitude, we don't like the way that they are, maybe we don't like their choices, maybe we just don't like the way that they look. Either way we've got to create some awareness around what is it that we find difficult about them. So in tonight's episode I'm really going to unpack how do they even occur to us in the first place as difficult, how do we change that occurring, how do we change that perception so that we don't even have to do anything about them. Because if they are difficult and we have to do something about them, well, that's exhausting, that's very, very difficult. If we have to change or control someone in the external world, if we have to do something about them, and we've now got to interact with them and try and control them and manipulate them or change them or we're trying to influence them, well, that's, I'm going to say that that's exhausting. Now that doesn't mean to say that there isn't some really useful things to help influence people to help create our desired result, but what I'm suggesting is the starting point is actually collapsing the sense of someone is difficult to us in the first place so that it's not that someone's difficult, it's just that someone is the way that they are, and then once we let go of the resistance around them being who they are, we are now in a lighter, more expansive place to influence them and to guide the interaction. So we're no longer coming from this place of this person is difficult, I need to change them, but this person is who they are and now I can more freely interact with them. So that's the approach that we're going to be looking at tonight which is a fun, deeper, more conscious approach to solving the problem from the inside out rather than needing to do something out there, rather than needing some strategy or something to change that thing out there or that person. So let me first start by sharing the example when I had this insight, and this was quite profound for me, which is I used to have an old boss that I used to work for, and he was quite to the point, he was very assertive. And I'm just going to describe him in terms of some adjectives which are now that I'm describing them to you, they're not actually judgmental, they're just attributes. And he's quite to the point, kind of quite blunt. I didn't need to windowdress anything, didn't need to jazz anything up. If he was angry, he would be angry. If he was feeling like someone didn't do their job properly, he would communicate that very directly. So he was very assertive. He's probably quite bold and quite blunt, didn't really have a lot of politeness. And my interpretation of that was that this guy was quite rude. I saw him as being someone who didn't care about me, someone who was not really considerate, and just someone who just wasn't a nice man. And I was projecting a whole lot of hate onto this guy. And I took it personally. I actually took his behaviour personally as if it was some kind of personal attack. Now we often do that. We often look at someone and we look at their behaviour and say, ah, this person is doing something that's not very nice and they're doing it to me. And we'll often make it personal. Yeah, thanks Rachel. Good to see you, Rod. We often make it personal. We often think that that person is deliberately doing this to us as if they're going out of their way just to be difficult. In reality very rarely is that actually the case, and I'll explain why. People are just being themselves. My old boss, he was just doing him, he was just being himself, he was just operating in exactly the way that he felt made sense. So he was just doing what occurred to him. He was simply doing what made sense to him. He was simply being a manager, being a leader, being a boss in the way that he knew how. And so I interpreted as him being inconsiderate, rude, obnoxious, not polite, not caring, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Now was he actually those things? Well, no. He wasn't actually really any of that. It was all my projection. Potentially you could say that he might have been some of those things some of the time, but that's not the point. We're not really interested in who he was or who he really is because you never really know who someone actually is. That's not the point. We're not trying to reframe someone and make sure we make them sound like what they're doing is different than what they're doing. What we're pointing to here is the truth which is every single human being, including you and I, we are just simply making choices and behaving the way that reality occurs to us. It's really quite simple. The way that reality occurs to us is how we're going to act. It's how we're going to behave. And we are simply going to do what makes sense to us. Now my boss, he was just doing the same thing. Now you can probably relate to there's people in your life that might trigger you, people in your life that you might think are doing something against you or to you. You might think that someone is doing something to you and it's personal. Well, the thing about this is no one can ever hurt us except for us. No one can enter your mind and make you offended except for you. No one can enter your consciousness and make you think, think or feel anything. That's just the nature of how our consciousness works. Yes, we can have a thought about someone. Yes, we can have negative thinking about something outside of ourselves, but no one can implant a thought inside of us. They just can't do that. This is an inside job. And so what I realise was that I was just projecting all of my shit onto my boss. I was just projecting all the things that I hadn't accepted about myself and about life and about people and about the way that I wanted everything in the world to be. I was just projecting it on him and demanding that and expecting that of him. So what I was actually wanting to do was I was wanting to manipulate him into being the person that I wanted him to be. I was manipulative. I was manipulating him. I was wanting him to be something that he wasn't to suit me. Yeah, that's spot on, Rachel. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent in the same way as no one can make you think or feel anything, including inferior, without your consent. Our whole experience of reality is an inside job. It's an inside job. Now sometimes it's quite difficult to truly embody that insight or that wisdom, and that's why everything I'm sharing with you, it continues to deepen and deepen and deepen the more that we explore more of these topics. This concept that we're talking about, this concept, it's the concept that I call grounding which is developing your ability to see through the illusion that someone or something else can ever control how you think or feel because it's just not true. The way that we create our reality is from the inside out. We are feeling the effects of our thinking 100% of the time especially when we're not aware of it. And so our thoughts and our consciousness are always an inside job, but we've got to get deeper into our own consciousness and deeper into our awareness to truly be able to see that for ourselves and see past the illusion that something else or someone else which in tonight's topic is about difficult people, we've got to see this in a different way so that we can see past the illusion that causes us to feel like that difficult person is causing my difficult thoughts that cause me to feel like this person is difficult. And this could show up as you being frustrated, being angry, being resentful, being bitter, feeling hurt, feeling sad, feeling a whole range of negative emotions. Now all those negative emotions, they are an inside job. They're an inside job because we have had the thinking that's underneath the feeling. Now I'm not saying that this is necessarily easy. And I'm not saying that this is a problem or a judgement . This is just the way that it works. Our reality that we construct inside our consciousness is inside out, meaning we are the ones that are having our thinking, therefore we then feel the effects of our thinking. And when we are unconscious about how that's taking place, we tend to point at the person and say it's that difficult person that's making me feel this way, but it's not actually them. Now you're just them. Now you're just them in the same way as some people looked at my boss and thought he was a great leader, they thought he was amazing, they loved him. So how could they look at him and think he's great and I look at him and think he's not so great? How does that work? Who is true? What's right? What's wrong? In reality there's just two different subjective perspectives being generated from two different observers about the same person, and that's what we're all doing. That's why there are seven billion different perspectives in this world, and there is no one right perspective in terms of one correct vantage point. They're all true in their own regard in terms of they are subjective perspectives where we're just generating our own opinion about someone. That's what it is, it's opinion. There are seven billion opinions in the world about what the world is about, including my opinion right now which I'm sharing with you which I just so happen to think is a little bit closer to the objective truth. So what I'm pointing to here is that no one can enter our mind, no one can enter our consciousness and make us feel anything which I think is true because no one can enter your mind and make you feel and think anything. That's just the nature of reality. I'm not aware of mind control techniques or a lot of mind control pervasive technology that exist where the person, i.e., your boss or the person in front of you hasn't got some sort of device where they're controlling your thinking. They're just not doing that. You're the one that's doing it. I'm the one that's doing it. We're all doing it. It's just that are we conscious of it or not? And I'm not saying that's a judgement , I'm not saying that's even a problem, just saying that's true. Yeah, where do we move to from here? Well, where we move to from here is I acknowledge that I was just judging my boss. I was just judging him. I was projecting a lot of stuff onto him. I was projecting my own insecurities. I was projecting my own shadow which is just the parts of me that I haven't yet accepted or hadn't yet accepted onto him, and I was now being triggered 'cause I was now seeing those attributes and those behaviours in him. And as a result of that, I was creating insecure thinking. I was creating all sorts of judgement of him. Now what I realised was that he was just doing the best that he could, he was doing everything exactly in a way that reality occurred to him. And as a result of me realising that he is just doing his thing, that actually made me have a whole lot of compassion. That was the antidote to my suffering. That was actually a deep understanding of every human being is simply doing what makes sense to them. And of course they're doing that, of course they're doing that behaviour, of course they're communicating that way. That's who they are. They are going to do what makes sense to them. So you could look at your mom, your dad, your brothers, your sisters, you could look at your children, your friends, you could look at all of them and you can actually just say they are doing what they're doing in life because that's how life occurs to them. That's just the nature of how people operate. Now you could look at that and try and judge them and say that they should be different and they should be doing things different, right? This is not to say that what they're doing is necessarily that you have to agree with it or that it's loving or that it's necessarily kind, but if we feel like we need to control someone else's behaviour, which is another way of saying manipulating them to be the way that we want them to be, well, that's just us trying to control. It's just us trying to influence something so that we can feel better about it. Now I'm not saying it's not nice to feel good, and I'm not saying it's not nice to feel like you're in control, but if we feel like we have to control someone else, well, we're going to create suffering from the word go. We are going to create suffering because you can never control someone else. Yes, you can always develop better strategies, communicate better, and do things better, but you're never going to be able to control that person. So if you have this rule or this condition inside your consciousness that says that if I can only control that person, if I can only just get them to do what I want, if you've got those tick box things in your mind and it doesn't matter whether it's your parents or your partner or your children, if you have those criteria which for a lot of us are unconscious requirements, expectations, if you have those, that is going to create the deepest, most unconscious level of suffering and resistance. It's going to create incredible amounts of resistance because you can never satisfy all those requirements to control someone in the way that you want them to be. You might be able to do it for a little bit, you might be able to do it from time to time, and you might get really skillful at it, you might get really, really good at knowing what to say and how to say it and how to control someone's mood and how to influence them, but there's always going to be that one time when they just don't want to do what you want them to do, and that's going to create pain, suffering. That's going to create resentment. It's going to create judgement . So I'm suggesting that instead of us working on the strategy and the external skillsets to try and manipulate them and to try and change the person, a far easier and simpler way of letting go of our resistance is just to realise that we are creating the resistance in the first place. We are the ones that are creating the expectation, the judgement , the attachment, the need to control them, and so as soon as we can own that, we can then start to realise, ah, it's nothing to do with them. It has nothing to do with that person. It's all on us. We are the ones that are trying to change them. And so as soon as I realised this, I had some big aha moments, 'cause I realised that I was taking it personally. I felt that my boss was trying to manipulate and control me. I thought he was trying to be a complete douchebag. And in reality I was just projecting a whole lot of stuff onto him. I was projecting my own insecurities. I was projecting my own shadow. I was simply triggered by the parts of myself that I hadn't already accepted and loved about myself, and I was just being reflected back, I was simply being reflected back those things that I don't love about myself. He was simply illuminating those parts of myself that I don't love about myself. He was simply showing it back and illuminating and bringing awareness to the parts of me that I haven't accepted, that I still resent or judge or have disowned about me. So I started to realise that and started to realise, wow, my boss is just a mirror. My boss is just a mirror. He's just a mirror reflecting back at me everything I need to know such that I can expand beyond my limitations and become better, become more loving, become more accepting, become more integrated. And so that was a beautiful realisation. I saw my boss, instead of him being now this prick that was there to just give me a hard time, he became my hero. He became the man that was going to reflect back at me all the areas of my life that I hadn't owned and accepted about myself. So what a great personal development realisation, what a fantastic realisation. And I then started to see that not only was this great because it was giving me information about me, about what I haven't yet loved about myself, it also made me realise that I was judging him for being him and feeling like I needed to control him. So what I then realised at a deeper level was that not only was it all on me, but that he was actually just doing the best that he could, in fact he was doing what he thought was right. He was just operating out of how the world occurred to him. So if he wasn't that way, if he wasn't doing what he was doing, well, he'd be operating incongruent to who he was. He'd be doing something out of alignment to the person that he thought he should be. So he was just simply doing what he thought made sense to him. So as soon as I realised that, I could actually predict how he was going to be. I could predict it, I could predict that he is going to walk up in the morning, and he's probably not going to say hi, he's probably not going to smile at me, he's probably not going to acknowledge me, and I could kind of laugh at it. I could kind of laugh at it 'cause I knew who he was, I knew how he was going to be. He was quite predictable. I could kind of treat it like a game. I wonder how many times Dave is going to get angry at me today. I wonder how many times this is all going to unfold, maybe 100. What are we up to now? Almost like I keep a counter. Ooh, that's 20, ooh that's 21, 22. So as soon as we start to realise that we don't have to take this so seriously, it kind of turned into a bit of a game, it created a bit more, more of this lighthearted approach to it. Instead of us treating it so seriously like we're taking everything personally, we just realise that the person in front of us is just doing them. Now as soon as we have that insight and that realisation, well, it no longer becomes personal. It's not about you or I. It's just about them. They're just doing themselves. They're just being themselves. And I realised that I just needed to give up trying to need to control someone, and that was the insight that I needed to let go of the suffering. And so that transformed my experience of my boss from being someone who was difficult to just someone who is just a person who is just doing their thing. Now as a separate exercise of that letting go of the resistance, that allowed me to see clearly that my boss was just my boss. I didn't get triggered anymore. I wasn't suffering anymore. And that doesn't mean to say that that was necessarily an enjoyable job or didn't necessarily make it more enjoyable, that's a whole different story, right? I didn't particularly enjoy being in that environment full stop. But what it let me see in a clear way was I'm creating this. This is just my perception. And it's the same thing as if you're watching someone on social media. If you look at them and you just don't like them, well, chances are you're being triggered or there's simply a part of them that you don't like which actually is just a mirror reflecting back at you parts of yourself that you haven't yet accepted or you don't like about yourself. So I think whenever we get triggered by someone, I think it's a great opportunity to actually reflect on that person that's triggering us and seeing them as our hero. Great, this person is reflecting back at me everything I need to know to grow, to expand, to evolve, and to become a more loving and accepting person. That's the way that I see it now. And that's a major clue. Every time I look at social media, or I very rarely watch the news, but if I do watch the news, and I see some corrupt politicians or if I see some people that are not doing some very nice things, I just look at them and I go, right, what's that part of myself that I haven't loved and accepted yet such that I'm still being triggered? Yeah, I've got this music in the background and these guys are loving it. Now we could consider music in the background right now as disruptive or distracting, and this is horrible and how dare they gatecrash our broadcast? Or, right, beautiful, what a bunch of loving, amazing self-expressed people that are having a great time. And so much of this life has to do with our perception. Actually all of it, everything inside your consciousness is your perception. And so what this is at a deeper level is just realising that this whole experience of life is an inside job. It's us, we are creating it from the inside out. So to bring this back to difficult people. Really it's not about them. No surprises, it's not you, it's me. So whenever you have a description or have a challenge in your life where you think someone else is giving you a hard time or someone else is difficult or someone else is challenging you, see it as, well, how are you choosing to see it in that way? How are you creating that perception that they are difficult? Yeah, that's a good one, Rachel. Yeah, Mike. It's really taking responsibility for what we are creating. It's taking responsibility for how am I choosing to create my reality right now? That's the ultimate question that just collapses all suffering is how am I choosing to create my reality right now, because what it does is it recovers the choice. It recovers the choice that we are choosing to perceive our reality in a certain way. Now we might not always be conscious of that, how that process is happening. It might be happening so deeply unconsciously that we almost feel like we don't have any control over it. It always happens instantaneously unconsciously in this life. The volcano erupts out of nowhere. Now that is still an inside job. That is still us creating our perception. That is still us projecting our own reality onto someone else. Just because we don't have awareness of how we're doing it or just because we can't control it doesn't mean we're not doing it. That just becomes a journey to deepen our awareness about how we're actually generating that perception, and that's a whole deeper conversation that expands into a lot of other different topics and subject areas. But to summarise, yes, difficult people are only difficult people because we perceive them as being difficult. The fact is they are not difficult. They are just them. They are just a person. In an objective reality, they are just them. It is only through our subjective perspective that we project onto them. This person is like this therefore they are difficult. This person is not complying with the way that I would like them to be so therefore I'm going to label them as difficult or uncertain or mysterious or that they're doing something that is not loving or is not kind or is against me or is to me. I am the victim. So there's a whole lot of story that gets played out, that gets created. And so you actually don't need to control them, you don't need to change them, you don't even need to do anything differently out there in the world. All you need to do is just change your inner perspective, your inner occurring, the way that you see your reality. As soon as you see your reality differently, they go from being someone who's difficult to just being a person. They are a person full stop. Yes, you can make a whole lot of meanings about them and their character traits and whether or not they're like you, and if they're like you, then, or if they're not like you, what does that mean about them. And generally for people like us, what we actually do is we see someone that's very much like us and we go, ooh, I like that person, I like them. This person is easy to deal with, why? Because they're just like me. Because they're like me, their character traits, their nature, their perception, their personality, because they're like me, well, therefore, that means they're good, they're loving, they're easy, I understand them. Now, yes, we might have misunderstandings, we might not understand why someone does what they do, what they're doing might kind of seem a little bit crazy, but what we can know for sure is, well, they're just doing what makes sense to them. So we can understand what they're doing which is they're doing what makes sense to them. They're just doing what makes sense to them. They are operating and making choices and behaving in the way that occurs to them. So that's the only level of understanding we really need to take ourselves out of victimhood and to deal with difficult people. Yep, there's a whole another exercise or a whole another topic that we will discuss in another point is going to be how do you understand them, how do you get to know them, how do you get to see reality on their wavelength or through their perception so that you can create connection with them, how do you influence them. These are grander topics which are equally as powerful if not more powerful but it needs to start with us realising that they are not difficult, they are just them, and how we are seeing them is just the meaning and the perception that we are allocating from our subjective perspective. So, yes, influence, connection with them, rapport, connecting on a deeper spiritual, philosophical, emotional level, language, understanding their personality, understanding their values, getting clear on what's important to them, these are all extra strategies, these are all extra things that will support and sustain and develop any relationship to make it even more powerful. But I'm going to suggest to begin with when we say that they are just doing what makes sense to them, they're just simply making choices based on what occurs to them, most of the challenge drops away because we realise that we were creating the challenge in our mind in the first place. Good to know. So, if we could kind of summarise this, it's kind of little bit cliche and kind of little bit cheeky, but we kind of bring it back to it's not you, it's me. Funny that. So I love to know if this has resonated with you on some level, whether you can see that there's people in your life that you relate to or label as difficult, and if you can maybe start to see that maybe it's not that they're too difficult, maybe it's just that we are perceiving them as difficult because we don't understand them or because we just simply haven't seen through what's actually taking place. Once we correct this misunderstanding, what we are left with is a deeper sense of connection, lightness, not needing to control them, and just a sense of peace, knowing that that's just a person and they're just doing their thing. There you go, guys. That is how to deal with difficult people which is actually not even dealing with them. It's how do we deal with our own perception of difficult people such that they're actually not even difficult people such that they are just people which collapses the bubble from the inside out to begin with. So no strategies required, no five steps to dealing with difficult people, just realise the truth which is they are just themselves, and the rest is all on you and me. Anyway, guys, I trust that resonates. I trust that helped you correct some misunderstandings about the nature of how we create difficulty, how we create the perception of difficult people, and perhaps giving you a deeper way of solving this challenge in your life from the inside out. Thank you for joining me, guys. I appreciate you. And as always, wishing you a beautiful, magical week. I'm off to go out and celebrate with the rest of these Balinese drummers dancing in the streets, playing instruments. Thanks for tuning in, guys. As always, lots of love. Have a beautiful week. Bye for now, I'll see you next Tuesday.