Everyone has one in their life. That person who is just horrible. You try so hard to see the good in them but realize that they’re just a bad person. Something has happened in their life that turned them into a miserable human being who is hell bent on making others just as miserable. Here are my tips on how to deal with this person:
1. Consider the source
My mother gave me this advice when I was living with a roommate who seemed to be on a personal mission to bring me down. She would say horrible things about my character, my family and friends, and the things that I’ve gone through. It really got to me. No one wants to hear bad things said about them, let alone on a daily basis. I would call my mom sobbing until she finally asked me why I cared about her opinion… if she’s this unstable, why would I want to impress her anyways? Clearly she’s not someone who matters in my life, so why should I care that she doesn’t like me?
When people are talking negatively about you, think of whose mouth it’s coming out of. Is this someone you respect and trust? Or is it someone who is just looking to bring you down? If you wouldn’t listen to this person’s advice about anything else in life, why are you letting the negative words they say about you affect your life? Brush it off, ignore it and consider it invalid… just like everything else they say.
2. Understand that they’re not always going to change
It makes me really uncomfortable to dislike someone. I try so hard to see the good in everyone. However, there is someone in my life right now who is just not a nice person. It’s not just that she’s having a bad day, or had a recent tragedy; this is just how she is. People throughout her life have tried to help her treat people better but she just won’t. She’s not going to change until she makes that decision herself.
Don’t beat yourself up if you’re unable to reach these people. Much like my article on happiness, your mood is something that you have the power to control. Somewhere along the line, you have to realize your faults and take the steps needed to move in a more positive direction. Understand this applies to everyone. While you can hand someone the resources to make better decisions, you can’t force them to change. That’s a personal decision. Instead, learn how to live with them and anticipate their moves. Don’t waste your positive energy on someone who is not willing to budge. Refocus it onto those you love.
3. Don’t give them the satisfaction of bringing you down
Recently, someone tried to get me into trouble. They made false accusations and tried to dig up dirt that didn’t even exist. How did I react? Calm, collective and intelligent. Did I explode about this person invading my privacy in an attempt to harm my reputation? No… I did the opposite. I counteracted her accusations with facts to prove that she was wrong, I behaved in a calm and professional manner to show her that she’s not getting to me emotionally and I asked her how she found the “dirt” in an attempt to point out that she clearly invaded my privacy. This entire chat made her feel as dumb as her attempt to tarnish my reputation. Not only were her accusations completely false, but she didn’t even manage to rattle me in the process… it was now clear to her that I’m not afraid of her. Moreover, she saw that I’m actually a good person who treats people (even if they’re attacking me) with respect.
People try to hurt you so that they can watch you crumble. For some reason, they feel threatened by you and want to feel like they still have control over you. Don’t give them that satisfaction. Think about when you were little… the only reason I would bug my brother was to watch him get pissed & ruin his day. Are you really going to indulge these people? Show them that they have no power over you by remaining unaffected. They’ll feel stupid for getting so angry and eventually back off.
4. Do NOT let them change your character
I once heard that your character is how you treat people who can do nothing for you. I want to take that one step further and say it’s how you treat those who are cruel to you. It’s so easy to be nice to people you like… it’s much harder when it’s someone who is mean to you. However, are you really going to sink to their level and disrespect them? How does that still make you a noble person? My grandmother taught me to treat everyone with kindness – no matter who they are. She told me to live a life that is so full of kindness that no one will breathe easier when you’re gone… no one should take comfort in your death.
This doesn’t mean you have to be everyone’s friend… don’t be fake about it. Just choose a kinder emotion than anger. Many times, I choose a professional face – introverted & straight forward but gentle & respectful. I’m not going to feed you with compliments but I’m not going to disrespect you either. Keeping my thoughts of friendship in mind, I don’t want to go far enough for you to consider us friends because it will negatively affect my mood to have you around… but I’m not going to make it known that I dislike you.
5. Pray for them
I’ll admit it… I’m not the most religious person in the world and the big guy and I have very few talks. However, I use the word pray a lot. For me, it means to spread good thoughts and positive energy towards a person or situation. Often times it happens when I’m thinking late at night, or talking to myself in my head… or even writing a blog post.
When it comes down to it, my heart hurts for the people who are genuinely mean & disrespectful. Obviously, something happened in their life to make them this way and they’re not willing to seek help. Often, they don’t realize that time is limited and they’re choosing to use it selfishly. In the end, while I’m enjoying a life full happiness and friends… they’re stuck in misery. It’s not a game – we were (more or less) given an equal opportunity at happiness and they consciously chose to spend their time in misery. At the end of the day, I honestly wish nothing but the best for them. I pray that they seek the help they so desperately need and change their life around. No one wants to see another human suffer.
In the end, here’s my advice – don’t let a mean person ruin your happiness. Each and every morning you’re given the chance to have an incredible day. DON’T let these people take that away from you.