Mindfulness and Difficult People: Learn 4 Mindfulness Techniques to Deal with Difficult People
By Debbie Lyn Toomey, Health and Happiness Specialist™
Much of what we hear about mindfulness has to do with how it can enhance the stillness of our mind, soothe of our nerves, and awaken our senses for stress management and wellness. But rarely do we hear about how mindfulness can help during encounters with difficult people.
No matter how many self-care practices we embrace, or stress management workshops we attend, we will always encounter people in our lives who have complaints in some form or another. I am sure that you have heard these things said to you or someone near you at one point in your life.
I want to talk to the manager!
You’re not listening to ME!
NO, I WILL NOT QUIET DOWN!
Mindfulness can help. It has helped me in more occasions than I care to imagine. When faced with difficult people or circumstances, mindfulness allows me to keep present in the moment and feel calm and in control of not only myself but also the situation.
If you are new to mindfulness the techniques shared here will seem like common sense to you especially during those regular days when things are going well. But what if your day is not going well and you are overwhelmed with work and someone approaches you all upset, wanting you to fix a problem. Often, an unexpected stressful moment can make common sense seem not so common. When our fight or flight reaction gets triggered it is difficult for our prefrontal cortex, the rational part of brain to think straight. In fact, the amygdala, the alarm part of our brain, takes over, making it difficult to calm ourselves down. If you are a mindfulness practitioner (or even a mindfulness dabbler) then the skills that you are about to read will be good reminders for you.
What is Mindfulness?
Before I share with you the techniques let me just briefly define mindfulness so as to avoid any misconceptions of what this practice is all about. Mindfulness is not yoga. Mindfulness is not a religion. Lastly, mindfulness is not about emptying our minds. It is more than that! I like to describe mindfulness as the awareness and acceptance of the actual of ebbs and flows of life— without attachment or judgment. It is purposely living in the moment.
Mindfulness Day In and Day Out
Hundreds of studies have proven that practicing mindfulness is effective in lessening chronic pain, depression, stress and so much more. Fortunately for us there are many ways to practice mindfulness in everyday life. We can practice mindfulness day in and day out if we want. In fact, anything we do in life when done with purpose and with full awareness of our senses can be considered a mindfulness practice like, bathing an adorable little baby, eating a piping hot cheesy pizza, or hugging someone you love.