7 Reasons “Difficult” People Exist [And What Can You Do About It]

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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. Are difficult people in your life now?

Before they will bring you down even more or before you shoot them, 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 made a lot of sense:

“Difficult” people show up in our lives because:

1. We can learn from them.

Do their qualities and actions have positive or negative impact? Let’s draw conclusions. Now you know, who NOT to be.

2. They can mirror our own issues.

Generally we are more likely to notice what’s “wrong” with others, but rarely see what’s not right with ourselves, let’s reflect on this:  Do I have something in common with these undesirable qualities? When do they show up in me? Am I acting this way in contact with other people?

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

You are with someone, who has an issue that creates arguments between you. 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 help directly. Tell your story. They need to ask you to guide them)

4. They can help us to grow our strengths.

Their actions bother us, because they trigger a weak point within ourselves. When we realize this, right in this moment, we can decide which strength we need to develop. Example: someone is stepping over our boundaries (weak point: undefined boundaries). Strength we need to build: learn to say no and to protect our space. That also may include: gaining the courage to walk away from an abusive relationship.( That’s obviously a more complicated subject).

5. They cause 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. You did what you could. This is their problem.

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

When you realize that your whole life you tried to fit in Spain but your true calling is to live in Iceland –  you will find “your people” in Iceland. (or let’s just apply it to the field of work). Moving into the field that calls you, will also connect you with people who “speak the same language”. 

7. They teach us to be compassionate.

Very often people are mean because they are not happy with themselves and with their life. It is not because of you. Learn not to take their actions personally. Learn not to react to them, (if that applies here), because these may be persons 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.


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 – where will this path lead us…?

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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