We are all surrounded by difficult people- in fact, sometimes we’re pretty difficult to deal with ourselves! Difficult isn’t always bad; our friends, family members, or bosses might be the kind of people who expect us to be our best selves and put our best foot forward whenever we can. These high expectations can allow us to rise to the occasion, but they can also be exhausting.We go to certain friends for blunt honesty- they are the best at telling us what we need to hear, not what we want to hear. These friends or family members might sound harsh, but they have our best interests at heart. These people are essential in our lives because they will not sugar coat the truth for us.
However, sometimes handling this blunt honesty can be a challenge. Although we are used to it from some people, others use this form of communication as a way to personally attack you or to make you uncomfortable.
Here are five ways to engage with difficult people to keep yourself safe and happy.
- Don’t take it personally. Of course, this is easier said than done. If you feel attacked by something someone has said to you, consider who they are. Do they talk like this to everyone, or is it just you? This person might expect blunt honesty from you, and so they give that to you as well. Don’t take their words personally unless you feel like they are deliberately singling you out with their harsh vibes.
- Use your own judgement. Filter their words through what you know of them; they might not be adept at explaining their concern or worries to you, so they cover it up with harsh advice or bluntness. Sometimes we feel judged because a person has brought up something we are sensitive about.
- Be honest with yourself. If someone else’s words have caused you discomfort, consider why. Is this an issue you need to solve in your own life, or have they crossed a line? You should feel comfortable discussing how your friend or family talks to you, and ask them to be kinder in the future.
- Ask different people for advice. If you find that you don’t react well to someone’s words, don’t seek their opinion out. Go to friends who are able to discuss your issues with you with grace, kindness, and patience. We all have times where we need blunt honesty, but we also deserve to be treated with respect. Don’t confide in people who don’t give you the treatment you deserve.
- Disconnect or disengage. If the relationship is harmful, pull back. You need friends in your life who are going to support you and treat you right, not who are going to make your life difficult. Blunt people don’t always see how their words can hurt you.
Life is full of a variety of people, and we can’t always choose to be around those who make us feel awesome all the time. Work to create healthy boundaries with your friends, family members, and co-workers, so that you can have a healthy environment and supportive people around you when you need them.