Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dealing With Difficult People.

I was thinking about this yesterday, but was so busy, I didn't get to my computer until after midnight, and then sat facing the monitor, yawning hugely, and finally realised if I did manage to compose a post, it would likely be garbled and confusing. I went to bed instead.

When I've had encounters with someone, and been faced with hostility or rudeness from them, the next time I approach that person, I will most likely be doing it with expectations of more of the same.

I'm trying to learn to do things differently. It can be a wierd high-wire walk, to let go of negative expectations, and allow for the possibility of a positive encounter, while at the same time, not allowing myself to be treated in an unacceptable manner.
There will always be those who cannot understand how their own hostility mandates their life experiences - I no longer see it as my job to inform them of this fact.  My job is to look after me, and to present to the world at large, the most positive, accepting, tolerant, and understanding face of which I am able.

When I was new in Al-Anon, and full of anger, I had a short fuse - I was easily provoked, and would seethe with resentment and fury, holding the other person accountable for my feelings. There were a lot of things about life that I felt should be changed, and I was vocal about it. I look back now, and think I must have been a bit of a bore, with all my ranting and raving about how things "should be."

Control freak is still my default mode, but I have the tools and experience in 12-Step, and the companionship of my group and my sponsor, to help me not have to live in that frustrating, lonely place.

Difficult people can still trigger me, but not with anywhere near the same intensity as before Al-Anon. Now, rather than having my entire week "ruined" by another's rudeness or intractibility, Iwork to detach, and ask myself, do I have a part in this? If I don't, I can speak up if I feel I need to, or keep quiet and allow it to pass by me.

I try very hard not to take other people's inventory, and to see their rudeness as their pain bursting through, rather than a deliberate attempt to hurt me. I do not always manage this, far from it at times.  I try to detach, to see past the sound and fury, to the person. I aim to be able to see them as a child of God, doing the best they know how at the time, just as the loving members of my first Al-Anon group were able to see past all my noise to the real, frightened me.

1 comment:

  1. I've been difficult and I've dealt with difficult people in a blunt way. Now I am much more compassionate and encouraging to others. I feel good about others and don't have many expectations about their behavior, although I realize that if someone consistently does something a certain way then it is probable that behavior will continue. My choice is to not let that behavior create drama and chaos within me.