Once I read a metaphor that I liked very much: Do not let the people who hurt you with their destructive behavior rent out a space in your mind. Simply increase the rent and make them leave.
To pass safely through the carousel of emotional storms that people sometimes go through can be a real challenge. What is important to remember is that there are some people who are moody or negative, but this may be due to the fact that they are going through a difficult period in their lives. They might be ill, they might worry all the time or suffer from a lack of love. In these situations, seek to listen to these people and help them if you can. However, even if they are going through different difficult situations, sometimes you still need to protect yourself from their behavior.
There is also another moody behavior that may harm you: that person is emotionally aggressive and will go to extremes in order to intimidate and manipulate. On the long run you may feel emotionally abused and a sensation of sadness that seem to never end. If you see this kind of people you may notice that the most important person in their lives is them. Everyone they meet must satisfy their selfish needs. This is the kind of behavior that I want to talk about in this two part article.
This type of behavior that harms others should not happen in any circumstance. Then the following question arises: How do you handle this kind of people?
1. Go on without them
If have a person around you that insists on creating a destructive emotional atmosphere, it is pretty clear: his presence only makes people feel bad. If you suffer because of her attitude and your patience, advice and your benevolent way of being does not seem to help and she doesn’t even seem to care one bit, then is the time to ask yourself: “Do I need such a person in my life?”.
When you remove from your environment the people who hurt you, you‘ll notice that you start to feel some relief in your body and even in the way you breathe. Establish a clear border that if corsed by the other person, you say to yourself: Enough is enough! The fact that you’re letting go of these people who hurt you, does not mean that you hate them or you want something bad to happen to them, you only show them that it’s important for you to be ok in your life so that you don’t accidentally turn into an unpleasant presence for other people.
A healthy relationship is one in which both parterns work together as a team. It should be a mutual exchange but not in the sense that you always feel drained of energy and emotions and the other person only receives. If for whatever reason you still need to have this person in your life, then consider the following points:
2. Stop telling to yourself that that kind of behavior is ok
If you are not careful, this type of person can use negative moods and aggressive behavior to obtain personal advantages. How does she do it? With situations in which you prefer to make that person be quiet than to listen again to their grumpy speech. Be very carefull at this point! The reward of silence that you get on a short term can turn into long-term pain.
People who harm those around them will not change if they are rewarded for their behavior. Decide right now that you will not let yourself be influenced by their behavior. Stop excusing yourself when they behave in a destructive way. You don’t deserve to suffer endlessly from a dramatic and negative behavior. If someone who is passed 24 cannot be reasonable and you cannot rely on that person, then maybe it is time to:
3. Break the silence and do something!
Some people end up doing almost anything for their personal gain, even if others suffer from their actions: they get in front of the line, take money and personal property, bully or put others down, blame a lot, and so on. Avoid accepting such behavior if you see that it repeats endlessly. Most of these people know very well that what they are doing is bad and will calm down when they are told they are doing this.
Some people who behave in destructive ways could use anger as a way to influence or might not even respond when you want to communicate with them. They interrupt you and out of the blue they start talking in a negative way about something that is important to you. Also, if you dare to support your views or to highlight their behavior, they may become surprised and even outraged that you dared to step on their territory, where only they have the right to talk. However, it is important to say what you have to say.
If you say nothing about the negative-destructive behavior that someone has, this can become a trap in which you could be absorbed by their intimidating games. On the other hand, if you point out this behavior, this itself will sometimes help them realize the negative impact it has. For example, you can say:
“It seems to me that you’re upset. Did something upset you?”
“It seems like you’re a little bored. Do you think that what I’m saying is not important?”
“I don’t like the way you’re behaving towards me right now. Is this what you want to do?”
These direct statements can disarm someone if that person really uses their negative attitude as a way to manipulate others. They may also create the circumstance to help that person, if she really faces a problem in her life.
Even if she says something like: “What do you mean by that?” and does not want to recognize it at first, you brought to her attention that her attitude is harmful to someone else, although for her is just a selfish way to manipulate others whenever she wants. Still, if she continues and persists in denying that what she does is not something negative …
4. It is time to put your foot down
Even if your dignity is smashed into pieces, trampled or someone is laughing at you in a mocking way, no one can actually take your dignity unless you make the decision to give it away. In such cases, it comes down to your ability to draw the line. Highlight the fact that you do not accept to be put down or to be called names.
Honestly, I did not obtain anything when I reacted saying different negative words to the person who insulted me. The best answer that you might get is something like this (along with a critical smile): “I’m sorry that you took things so personal…”
I found it more effective to end the conversation even if I remain with a bitter taste in my mouth. On the long run, things turned out ok and I sent a clear message: ” you do not get any reward for such behavior and I will not get into your mind games.”
People with a destructive behavior will hurt everyone around them, including you, if you give them permission. If you tried to treat situations rationally and yet they remain steadfast in what they do, perhaps it is time to evacuate them from your mind and not pay attention to them until they leave by themselves.
Here is where I finish this article and I will soon be back with Part II where I will tell you the next three ways to deal with people who hurt you.