This is a guest post by Mariana Ashley.
The people that we surround ourselves with play a huge role in how we feel throughout the day. When was the last time you had to deal with a negative or difficult person? How did you manage it? Can you remember how it affected the rest of your day? Was there something you could have done to get through the situation more smoothly? We are always going to encounter difficult people in our lives. Sometimes these difficult people will be our colleagues, our boss, our friends, our significant other, or just someone we have to deal with in on the streets. Regardless of who it is, there are several strategies for better coping with difficult and endlessly negative individuals.
Keep Conversations Neutral
The first step to better managing difficult relationships in your life is recognizing that they are difficult and identifying what about that interaction brings on negativity. Pay attention to your interactions with that person and try to pinpoint what topics and situations bring out the negative or difficult aspects of that relationship. If you’re dealing with this person on a purely professional level (meaning they are not a friend or significant other), it is a good method to just try to avoid points of conversation that bring on negativity. Keep your conversations neutral, so as to minimize any negative interactions that might occur. Of course, this method cannot work for individuals that you are dealing with at a more personal level.
Accept them and Move On
It is essential to understand that you will never be able to change the difficult person that you are dealing with. You should try to recognize what aspects of the situation are actually within your control and what aspects are not. Trying to change things that you have no control over is futile and exhausting. If you are trying to change something about the difficult person that you have to deal with, it will likely only create more struggle and conflict within your relationship. You must recognize that by attempting to change that person, you are becoming a more difficult person for them to deal with. Try to accept this person and their flaws and move on to a more productive relationship.
Try to See the Best in People
Dwelling on the negative aspects of a relationship is a surefire way to create a more negative mood for yourself. Rather than pointing out and focusing on all of the negative and difficult aspects of an individual, look for the positive aspects they possess. Everyone has them, regardless of how badly you don’t want to believe it. Developing a habit of positivity and optimism is a wonderful thing to do for yourself in all aspects of life. Try to reframe your perception of the person that you are struggling with. Recognize that individual’s positive traits and acknowledge them. This will make that other person feel more appreciated in your relationship and feel more positivity coming from you. Moreover, this positive reframing should make you enjoy your time with that person more.