016 – Being Mindful with Difficult People

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‘Difficult’ people are presented to us for all sorts of reasons; including to test how mindful we are. The universe likes doing this and carefully hand picks these people!

Difficult people trigger our egos, which in turn creates unpleasant feelings in our bodies. This can then lead to unskilful thoughts, communication and even physical action. How can we maintain a peaceful mind and stay grounded and confident during these difficult times? Here are five tips that can help…

  1. Intensify your self-awareness – When encountering somebody you find difficult, either in person or digitally like with messaging, make a conscious effort to become more self-aware. Tune-in more to your thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations. Observe yourself. It’s like turning a light dimmer switch up to its highest setting. When you do this, anything you say or do will be conscious rather than egoic and reactive. You’ll probably impress yourself with how skilful you can be!
  2. Slow down and create space – It’s easier to stay mindful when you’re going slower. If you’re involved in an activity, considering slowing it down. When you’re communicating, do so more slowly. Pause. Become still if you can, even if it’s just for a few moments. This will ground you.
  3. Stay grounded in the body – This relates to the first point. Keep a little awareness on your breath or bodily sensations – a small amount of awareness there and the rest of your awareness with what’s going on externally to you. This will help keep you grounded in reality and confident.
  4. Manage your conditions before and after – If you know in advance you’re going to be with somebody who you find difficult, get yourself in good shape beforehand. Go for a walk, exercise, meditate, rest, talk to a good friend, whatever you need to create positive mental states. Then after you’ve been with the difficult person, do the same – do positive things to recover and refresh yourself.
  5. If necessary, consider moving away – You usually have the option to remove yourself from people or situations. If the situation’s so difficult that you’re unable to stay mindful and grounded, consider removing yourself. Sometimes, this is the best course of action and will free you from being unskilful.

Remember, difficult people are gifts! They’re sent to test us. We can be difficult people too 🙂 Difficult people test and provide opportunities to strengthen our mindfulness. So be grateful to them, and grateful for the opportunity to evolve.

Copyright © 2018 Darren Cockburn. www.darrencockburn.com. All Rights Reserved


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