I think everybody has somebody in their life that is hard work and who is difficult to deal with. Often this person is domineering and actually bad for your health but it is difficult for us to clearly see this. It is also difficult to know what to do about them.
Have you got somebody in your life that you suspect is unhealthy for you? We’ve put together some advice from a range of sources to help you identify and deal with this person.
Firstly, some tips for identifying this type of person in your life:
If you have a person like this in your life, please consider that this person is quite destructive for you. So what are we doing with them in our lives? Are we with them because we are holding ourselves back? As abusive as these people can be, it might be less threatening to keep them in our lives and let them dominate than letting ourselves become the incredible, strong, inspiring, Wonder Women that we are.
If you have a person like this in your life, it is important that you acknowledge that you are being used and that you might be using this person to shield your shining light. I love this quote below from Marianne Williamson. While I’m not very religious, this quote really resonates. Who are we not to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?!
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson
So now what can we do about having somebody like this in our lives?
Most importantly look after yourself and practice self-compassion. We can often overlook self-care in difficult situations when a difficult person is overpowering the situation and you. I find my mind gets muddled, confused, and distracted when I am dealing with a difficult person and situation (especially if they are family) so that it’s difficult to think straight. So take yourself out of the situation for a moment. Go outside for five minutes and take a breather. Tree hug if you feel like it - fantastic for grounding yourself, slowing your breathing, and bringing clarity.
Next, consider the truth of the situation. What is actually going on? Are you at fault or is the person being manipulative and lashing out? Once you have given yourself space and distance from the person and situation it’s easier to see the truth and then think through more clearly how to deal with it. Sometimes not reacting or trying to solve the issue can be the best approach.
We love this blog post by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits with a list of practical strategies for dealing with toxic people. Interestingly, he suggests stopping spending as much time with them if all else fails. This comes back to the point that looking after yourself is your primary responsibility. You are a wonder woman. Don’t let others hide your light. Your playing small does not serve the world.
Shine, Wonder Woman, shine!
We Are All Wonder Women is an international movement for female conservation professionals to be inspired, connected, and empowered to create an authentic, fulfilling and happy career.