Do you have people in your life that bring you pain, make you angry or make you cry? If you feel like you’re stuck with them because they are a boss, a relative or a child, what can you do? If you don’t want to divorce your family or look for a new job, where do you go from there?
First, is there a lesson to learn from what’s happening? If you see something and can learn that lesson on your own without even talking to those hurtful people, surprisingly they will do one of a few things. They may leave your area (very often quit if they work with you), simply stop being mean or hurtful, or suddenly turn their comments on someone totally different. In my opinion, this is the first and BEST way to deal with the issue.
Second, after you look at the lesson, let’s just say they are still there because you either couldn’t learn the entire lesson and shift yourself or you don’t see the lesson – let’s look at the actual people, but do be aware if you don’t learn the lesson, you may be doomed to have others take their place.
Looking at the people – Who are they? How often are you around them?
Let’s start with the easiest and work our way down the line.
If this person who gets your goat, angers you, frustrates you or hurts you at depth is a distant relative, “friend” you only see in larger groups or a coworker you don’t have to work closely with, the answer may be just to distance yourself from them. For example, if you only have to speak to them at a family gathering, attempt not to be alone and you could even have an ally that will help you stay in a larger group or join your “group” if it’s just the two of you to help you deflect the ridicule or other conversation and shift it into safer waters. Or simply excuse yourself when you find yourself alone with them. Don’t wait for an opening, just excuse yourself to go to the bathroom or help in the kitchen, any excuse in a storm.
What about someone you work with quite a bit or your parent or your adult child? At work you might ask to be reassigned. I have also been known to wrap the person in a love bubble even if they are at work (I just don’t tell them), and see them really happy so they no longer need to be hurtful. I’ve even had one person quit because the bubble felt so uncomfortable paving the way for a new and hopefully better colleague to show up! But be aware if you do this to a parent or child, they may also walk away and you have to be prepared for that.
And sometimes if it’s a relative or friend, it simply may be time to distance yourself. See the relative less, even if it’s your mother, and maybe that friendship is complete and it’s time to move on.
If this person you’re stuck with is your significant other or direct boss, you may indeed need to make some hard decisions. If you can’t go over their head to their boss to see what can be done (i.e., your boss’ boss, or your spouse’s mother or father (haha)), you may need to think about finding a new job, or if you are in a large corporation, shifting positions that would have a different boss; or even looking into a divorce or separation from your spouse.
Sometimes we, as humans, can go to the extreme. We might be very touchy and little things can hurt us at specific times, or maybe we take it on the chin, as my dad used to say, and try to ignore what people say way beyond what is acceptable behavior.
Please honor yourself and don’t make excuses for the other person. Look at it from another perspective. If someone was doing, saying and acting that way to your child, even if they are an adult, would you let it slide?
If something is way out of line and you don’t know what to do, talk to a third party that is safe. A close friend or someone more impartial might be better, whether a minister, a life coach or a therapist. And if you feel in danger, get yourself out of there as quickly as possible.