When you come to realize that every single thing you dislike about those around you are nothing more that those personal traits or actions you dislike about yourself, you have come a step closer to get rid of unwanted patterns of behavior. We often wonder the best of dealing with difficult people who comes into our lives, and in so many cases the answer is at hand, within us.
Even though I try to maintain a “no judging” way of thinking, is inevitable to acknowledge certain characteristics about those around me that I immediately catalog as negative or difficult to deal with.
I have realized that every single thing that bothers me about others, is actually a personal trait that I fight against.
Dealing with Difficult People or with Ourselves?
I try to be a very organized person, this is critical in every aspect of my life and particularly important when comes to work and writing; however, is a constant battle I fight. I have to invest a great deal of time and effort to be as organized as I want to be and I have not gotten to that point of expertise when this can be set in autopilot and I can focus my attention in other subjects (I don’t think I’ll ever get to that point but I am OK with that). Oddly enough, something that bothers me when working with other people is disorganization, even when their actions may not impact my work and be organized or not might not be an issue for them.
I have found that this seems to be a general rule when it comes to relationships and interaction with other individuals.
Another clear example is the subject of kindness. I put the effort to be kind with other people despite my emotional state. We don’t know when a kind smile or a moment of full attention can mean the world to another person, even a stranger. I understand that everybody has its own issues and we might completely ignore the situations others around us are going through, but it really bothers me when people think that their discontent for their present situation or the amount or size of their problem as are an excuse to be rude. So I set the intention every day to be kind to everyone in my path along my day, but when I get deeply into a task or find myself caught up in a situation that demands my full mental and emotional attention, I can forget about the importance of kindness and can come as rude sometimes.
The above seems to happen with everything that I dislike about others; I avoid disorganized persons, but I am very disorganized myself; I appreciate kindness and dislike rudeness, but as much as I dislike it, sometimes I am also rude to others. I’ve wondered the best, most polite and effective way of dealing with difficult people, without realizing that in some cases I am the difficult individual.
The most interesting thing about this is not that we are all big hypocrites, but the fact that it is our own behavior what allows into our reality the actions we dislike about others.
Changes Start with Ourselves
What I mean is that the behavior of others mimics our own and when we successfully change our own actions, other will too. Dealing with difficult people often implies dealing with our own flaws.
I have proven this myself. Those around me are more disorganized and rude when I also am. But when I make a conscious effort to be more organized myself and show a kind gesture despite anything else, others seem to change their way of acting, without a single word said.
Try this yourself today. Think about a trait you dislike about other people and analyze if you do the same thing, maybe on a smaller scale or by different means but when the same outcome. And then, try to change it yourself and witness how those around you change their behavior as well.
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