More on dealing with challenging people

In my article last week, I stated that I’ve become convinced that the number one concern of just about everyone in a leadership or management position is figuring out how to get people to get along and figuring out how to deal with challenging people. I went on to say that the only formula I’ve ever discovered that works is for you to understand that in every situation where you are dealing with other people, you must first understand that you only and always have just two choices.

Choice number one: accept the person just the way they are and just the way they are not. Choice number two: you decide you can’t accept choice number one and you terminate the relationship. Not every relationship is intended to and can work. Sometimes, you just can’t find the gold. If you can’t be 100% committed to the other person, it serves nobody to try and keep the relationship alive. Trying to do that is my definition of pain and life does not have to be a painful experience. So cut your ties and move on.

Here’s my concern after sending that article: you will all too quickly opt for choice two because it doesn’t seem viable to opt for choice one. This could be a big mistake. See I also believe that every relationship that comes into your life is meant to be a learning experience, for you. Some people are casual encounters, a chance meeting in an elevator, sitting down next to someone in a coffee shop. Others come into your life and stay for awhile. Sometimes, they stay for a lifetime. But every relationship happens because it’s meant to happen, because if it wasn’t meant to happen, it wouldn’t have happened.

Now if that’s a bit too deep for you, I’m sorry, but think about it anyway. All of those relationships are designed to reflect to you who you are, how you see you, how you see others and how you operate in the world. You’re meant to evolve and become a more peaceful, kind, compassionate and loving human being (hope you like that) and every human being who is challenging is so because they are pushing you against your limits to be those things.

I remember a woman who worked for me years ago. She was really smart and capable and I desperately looked for the gold in her. But I had such a hard time trusting her and counting on her integrity and it continuously got in the way of our relationship. It got so bad I eventually opted for choice two. But it was years later that I realized at the time I had a huge issue of trusting myself and she was just mirroring that to me. So I ended what could have been a great relationship far too soon and later came to regret that I did that. So always be willing to look and ask: what is this person confronting me with and what are they giving me an opportunity to learn.

I have a dear friend and client who, upon reading my article, wrote: “Whenever I have a difficult person to deal with…I go to prayer. Not for just the other person but for myself.  In my own strength I cannot do what God asks. It is too difficult. God has a way of fixing things that I could never fix on my own. And I go to HIS Word for an answer.”

Now I don’t usually write things like that, but it’s not a bad suggestion. In the world of spirit, we are all perfect expressions of the creative force that is the source of us all. I’ll follow my friends lead for a moment and call that God. If we are all, in the final analysis, children of God, should we really be so quick as to judge people as unacceptable and remove them from our lives?

In conclusion, I’m not taking back what I said last week. Choice two is clearly an option. My point this week is to think long and hard before you go down that tunnel. There is so much growth involved in opting for choice one. Go back to last week’s post and read what I wrote about choice one. It’s powerful stuff if you take it on. You’ll learn to let go of your judgments and insensitivities and become a more peaceful, kind, compassionate and loving human being. What could be bad about that?

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