7 Ways to Learn from the “Difficult” People

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It seems that everyone has a different share of difficult persons to deal with. Some of us run into them every day, others only occasionally. Sometimes they live in your house.

Before you strangle them with your stockings, here is something to consider: If everything has its purpose, there must be a reason for their existence. I was talking about it with my friend, Sam, some time ago. We compared experiences (before, during and after) and realized that these points make a lot of sense:

“Difficult” people show up in our lives because:

1. We can learn from them.

Sometimes the lesson is as simple as “whom I don’t want to be”

2. They can mirror our own issues.

Generally we are more likely to notice what’s wrong with others, than with ourselves. When we look at the person we dislike, it’s good to reflect which of their qualities bother us. Do we also have those qualities? There will be some truth in what we will find in this exercise: when we dislike certain qualities – it turns, we have them too. Maybe not so well developed. When we admire someone’s qualities, it turn we also have them, perhaps not so well developed, otherwise we’d notice them. 

3. They became close to us, so we can help them.

You are with someone, who has an issue that creates arguments between you. One day you realize you had a similar problem in the past, and you succeeded in overcoming it. Now you know what it took and what steps to take. (It may be better not to offer your help directly. Tell your story. Don’t try to fix them)

4. They can help us to grow our strengths.

Ok, so this person triggers you.  When you realize this, right in this moment, you can decide which strength you need to develop. Example: if someone is violating my boundaries, I may realize that I need to build better boundaries because they are not well defined. I also may need to communicate better. Learn to say no and to protect my space.  I made this video about creating boundaries 

5. They “help” us to step into our power.

Claim 100% responsibility in the situation. It is not about controlling the final outcome, but about making sure that we do what we can, to encourage peaceful, honest communication. Is there maybe something that we do or say that provokes the other person’s reaction? If there is no cooperation and honesty on their side – you just move on. We can’t control other people, we are only responsible for our actions AND how we communicate. 

6. “Difficult” people may be a sign that you are in a wrong place.

When you realize that your whole life you tried to fit in a sales job but your true calling is to be an artist –  you will find “your people” your tribe,  in the artistic field. I spent over a decade in real estate, and made just few friends.  Moving into the field that called me, coaching and energy work, I found more people that get me. And, naturally, we “speak the same language”. 

7. They teach us to be compassionate.

Very often people are mean because they are not happy with their life. It is not because of you. Learn not to take their actions personally. These may be people that most need  compassion and understanding. It may not be you who will give it to them, but this perspective helps not to be upset. 

“A Course in Miracles” teaches that to break the cycle of attracting the same type of a difficult person, all we need to do, is  1. See her or him for who they really are ( that mean as the Holy Spirit would see them)  2. Forgive. And 3, move on.  


If,  instead of learning,  we just run away from the “difficult” people and eliminate them from our lives all the time, because they annoy us or make us uncomfortable – we will not learn the lesson they teach us. And this is the guaranteed way that similar people will be showing up on our path. 

Joanna Zajusz

Through advanced hypnotherapy and life coaching Joanna has been helping clients to become free of their once adopted limitations, find confidence in their own voice, and create a strong foundation of inner peace. She is a certified Mind Body Wellness Coach who lives in Phoenix, Arizona. (Because she moved to the Southwest - her dream - only 14 years ago, you may still detect a Central European accent in her writings and speech.) She is a passionate fan of Marianne Williamson, Caroline Myss, and Dr. Robert Anthony.

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