Being the Person You Needed when you were Struggling
You have suffered.
You have lived through challenging times.
You have experienced invalidation in your lifetime.
You have been told that you were wrong, in some way. Or in many ways.
You have lived through experiences that you wouldn’t wish on anyone.
And yet, here you are. You have survived. You have lived to tell the tale.
But there are still others out there who need to know that the thing that you’ve gone through is get through-able.
They are living it today, and they want to know that you exist.
I can only help people who:
are anxious, depressed, angry and just down out disrespectful and hateful, as I can because I have been all of those things, and moved forwards and thrived to be a better person
I can only help people who have wondered about whether or not they bring any value to this world because I have questioned (and recognized) the value that I myself bring to the world.
I can only help people who aren’t sure about whether or not they have what it takes to be a great Husband, Father, Son, Brother and Friend out of myself to the people I love and care about, because I have navigated that same uncertainty and self-doubt, and made it work despite my fears.
In short, I am not only able to help people traverse the things that I myself have gone through, it is my heart’s deepest calling to do so… and I feel deeply in alignment when I am afforded the opportunity to engage in such activities.
Are you going to tell your story?
Are you going to voice your existence?
Or are the people who are needing to be served by you going to have to keep on guessing as to whether or not someone like them can get through what they’re going through?
Be who you needed when you were younger.
Put your voice out into the world, sooner than later.
Because someone out there needs you to.
As we all need each other, and are here for the betterment of others.
So what are we going to strive for? Are you willing to take the challenge:
And being able to Be the High Impact Person You Needed when You were Young
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ …
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
“The goal of many leaders is to get people to think more highly of the leader. The goal of a great leader is to help people to think more highly of themselves.” -J. Carla Nortcutt
“Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
“You can have anything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want.” -Zig Ziglar
Leaders Leading Leaders
Life is a web of relationships. Human beings are social creatures, deeply entangled in countless relationships throughout life. It’s natural to gravitate toward those relationships that bring you the most happiness, growth, and fulfillment. However, despite your best efforts and intentions to the contrary, you’re sometimes forced to deal with challenging relationships and difficult people. Navigating these interactions can often result in stress, tension, and anxiety that negatively impact your mood and expose you to unpleasant emotional toxicity.
These are powerful and trans formative questions that can lead to a more productive and conscious exchange with the people in your life. However, what if a person is unwilling to help you meet your needs and falls squarely into the category of being a difficult person? How can you maintain your presence and respond from the level of highest awareness?
1 Use the S.T.O.P. Model to Avoid Reactivity
This acronym can be the most fundamental step in coping with a difficult personal relationship. S.T.O.P. stands for:
Stop whatever you’re doing
Take 3 deep breaths
Observe how your body feels
Proceed with kindness and compassion
No matter how challenging the difficult person or relationship is, this pause will help to derail the emotional reactions that are primed to take over in the heat of the moment.
2 See Through the Control Drama the Other Person Is Using
Control dramas are manipulative behaviors that people often fall into when their needs aren’t being met. There are four primary control dramas:
Being nice and manipulative
Being nasty and manipulative
Being aloof and withdrawn
Playing the victim or “poor-me” role
Control dramas are frequently learned in childhood as a strategy to manipulate others into giving you what you want. Interestingly, many people never outgrow their primary control drama or evolve to higher forms of communication.
When you witness one of these control dramas playing out in a difficult person, you can automatically become more understanding. Imagine the person you’re dealing with using the same control drama as a child. From that perspective you realize that this individual never learned another way to get their needs met and, as such, is deserving of your compassion. This simple and profound shift in perspective can take the entire relationship dynamic in a new direction.
3 Don’t Take it Personally
When you’re involved with a difficult person, it can feel like their words are a deliberate personal attack. This is not the case. Their reaction and behavior is not about you; it’s about them. Everyone is experiencing reality through personalized filters and perceptions of the world and your behavior is a direct result of those interpretations. A difficult person’s point of view is something that’s personal to them. In their reality, they are the director, producer, and leading actor of their own movie. You, on the receiving end, play only a small part in their drama.
In a similar manner they are possibly only bit players in your drama, so you can choose not to give the bit players of your life control over your happiness. If you take the situation personally, you end up becoming offended and react by defending your beliefs and causing additional conflict. In refusing to take things personally you defuse the ego and help to de-escalate a potential conflict.
4 Practice Defenselessness
This can be a powerful strategy when confronted with a difficult person. Being defenseless doesn’t mean you’re passive—you still maintain your personal opinion and perspective in the situation—but rather than engaging with the intention of making the other person wrong, you consciously choose not to be an adversary.
Being defenseless means you give up the need to be the smartest person in the room. You ask your ego and intellect to sit this one out and proceed with an open acceptance of the other person’s position. You don’t have to agree with their perspective (or even like it). The point of this process is to compassionately suspend your need to defend a particular point of view. An interaction with a difficult person doesn’t have to turn into a heated debate. Oftentimes, the other person simply needs to be heard. By allowing them to express themselves without resistance, they can fulfill that need and perhaps become more amicable. Establishing defenselessness creates space that allows for a more a compassionate and peaceful interaction.
5 Walk Away if Necessary
Difficult people can often draw you into a field of negativity. If you feel like you can’t maintain your awareness and objectivity, there’s nothing wrong with removing yourself from the situation. A toxic exchange can leave you feeling physically depleted and emotionally exhausted; if the above options aren’t helping you deal with the difficult person, walk away. You don’t have anything to prove to anyone; there’s no need to martyr yourself on the relationship battleground. You may have the best intentions for the exchange, but sometimes the most evolutionary option is to consciously withdraw from the interaction. This isn’t about winning or losing, it’s about stepping away from a toxic environment that’s dampening your spirit. Detach from the situation and trust the universe to work out the resolution.
Difficult people can challenge your commitment to spirit, but by practicing these steps you can respond reflectively, rather than reactively, and hopefully take your relationships to a more conscious level of expression.
Remember once again that no matter how it might appear, difficult people are doing the best they are able. Knowing this, you can smile at the wisdom of Maya Angelou’s words when she said, “We do the best we can with what we know, and when we know better, we do better.”