How do you deal with that person?
Mental judo for difficult people
You know who I mean. THAT person. We all have one (at least).
Maybe they always try to tell you what to do.
😵💫 Maybe they are too damn conservative—or aggressive!—for your taste.
⁉️ Maybe they always poke holes, and you wish they'd just get on board for once.
😡 Maybe you just don't like their personality.
It doesn't matter. Whatever the reason, they have poisoned your thoughts. Whenever you think of them, your thoughts start looping and you get pissed off.
*How do you stop this person from poisoning your mind?*
Here's an approach I stumbled my way into over the last two years. It's greatly helped my peace of mind, and seems to have made a difference for the friends and clients I've shared it with. This is some "inner game advanced class" material.
That person—or the very thought of them—is a mental stimulus. And your mind has developed an automatic, aversive reaction to that stimulus. The very thought of them, maybe even just seeing their name, kicks off a downward spiral.
Trying to push the thoughts away, or getting upset that you're even having these thoughts, doesn't work. It just makes it worse.
So what we need to do here is recondition your automatic mental response to this person. (Easier said than done, but it is possible.)
Ideally, you could get to a place of mental judo where the thought of this person would actually brighten your mind, make you happier, more centered, more peaceful. (Even if they continue to act in ways you don't like or disagree with. Especially then.)
I can explain more in a future post, but here's what seems to work:
(1) Just notice the thought, without judgment.
Don't push it away. Don't stress about it. Just notice it: "Oh, had a thought about that person."
(2) Try to wish them well.
You don't have to enjoy/like/love them, but try to at least wish them well on a human to human level. "Hope they are well."
Note: if this person is REALLY triggering for you, skip step 2 for now. Continue with steps 1 and 3 until the trigger moves from negative to roughly neutral. We have to drain the poison first. Once the trigger is defused, then the stimulus can very gradually be shifted into the positive.
(3) Go back to whatever you were doing.
"Right, now what was I doing? Oh yeah. Back to it…"
This process takes all of 5 seconds, once you get the hang of it. You can even do it in the middle of a conversation or meeting without anyone noticing.
Be prepared to repeat many times as needed.
With consistency over time, this stimulus will stop being a trigger and be a support. Your nemesis will become your ally. Every thought of them will make you a happier, more present, better version of yourself.
And there's nothing “that person” can do about it. 😘