Have you ever met someone and wonder why they try so hard to discredit you, challenge you or try to dim that bright light that makes you so special? What type of energy exists within someone where they exhibit this behavior? Sure, it's easy to blame jealousy (which is a valid reason as to why someone may want to dim your light) but what about inadequacy and life traumas?
With feelings of inadequacy, I find that there is someone in a person's circle of friends, family or colleagues who can do or feel something that they cannot. When I say do or feel, I mean that the more adequate person is genuinely happy or has a special skill that this person wishes they had. This person who they consider more adequate is usually the target of passive aggressive behavior and/or verbal or physical abuse. When one feels inadequate, their negative behavior towards the more adequate people in their lives is not about the individual but more about how they view themselves.
Are you familiar with the term "life trauma"? Life traumas or psychological traumas involve unique experiences when one has felt alone, abused, overwhelmed or defeated. Unlike normal traumas that we face everyday, life traumas leave a severe impact on our lives, how we view ourselves and how we communicate, relate and interact with others. Some examples include childhood bullying, loss of a loved one, betrayal of trust, abuse of power, rape, molestation, evictions, natural disasters, etc.
Traumas are all about the experience of the survivor. Some are able to live through traumas with ease while others may become substance abusers, depressed, develop personality disorders and anxiety. The survivors who have trouble coping after their traumas have personalities that manifest in our lives in many different ways: the mean co-worker, the unreliable friend, the difficult spouse.
We all know someone who exhibits behavior like the aforementioned personalities. The next time that you're having a disagreement with someone or made to feel less than, remember that this may be someone recreating abuse that they have experienced or coping with not feeling good enough. How they treat you has nothing to do with you! Read below for tips on how to cope with the difficult folks in your life:
How To Cope With Difficult Personalities
- Advocate for yourself always! If you feel disrespected or mistreated, always speak up and share your thoughts in a healthy way. Remember that everyone is not built to handle confrontation - approach each situation differently and be sensitive to the other person's feelings (even if they weren't to yours).l
- Be honest. Strong or difficult personalities can be scary to some and intimidating to others. Any fear that you may feel towards them is not real ya know?! In order for this person to heal, they need an honest account of what they do and how it makes others feel.
- Don't let them bring you down. Did you know that some people like negative energy just as much as positive energy? Never give them the satisfaction of seeing you sad or angry. Brush the pettiness off and keep it moving. They don't define you anyway!
- Lead by example. Show them true grace, resilience and confidence -- it may rub off on them.
- Show them love. Let them know how great they are and focus on what they do well. A genuine compliment always goes a long way!
How do you cope with difficult personalities? Chime in below!