Coping Strategies

How to cope with other people? Never let anyone get your goat, push your buttons, get you riled up, or annoy you. It’s no fun to be on the receiving end.

  • Having problems with others is normal. Whenever two or more people are together with different needs and wants, they can get angry and conflicts can arise. One of life’s many important lessons is to learn how to handle these conflicts well, especially when someone is angry at us. Knowing how to “de-fuse” a tense situation might save a life — yours or a family member’s. Forgive the offender, not for their sake, but for your own sake. The act of forgiving releases your anger and provides space for rational thinking and action.
  • Look to the positive people in your life for support. If you balance many positive and supportive friends against one or two negative influences, it is much easier to cope. If you don’t currently have enough positive people in your life, begin a focused effort to add positive people to your inner circle. If you don’t have personal connections, search for groups of positive people.
  • Remove negative people from your life. Yes you can, even if it’s your boss. You don’t need that job so much that it’s worth your health or happiness. Everything in life is a choice. Sometimes making a change is important, while other times just knowing that you hold the power to make a different choice is enough.
  • Don’t take it personally. Even when someone criticizes your actions or demeans your very nature, know that they are merely directing their inner turmoil in your direction. Someone else’s opinion of you is mostly irrelevant, and basically none of your business. Don’t assume that there is any validity to an accusation. Perhaps there is a valuable lesson buried inside the unkindness that merits objective consideration, but negative emotions are best just quickly discarded.
  • Release any expectations that the unkind person should have acted differently. Life is not fair, and you only cause yourself unhappiness if you hold an expectation that life or any individual should be fair or kind.
  • Be grateful for the wake-up call. Any time that someone or something grabs your attention is a good time to be grateful – even if the message is unpleasant. Something is happening that requires your conscious awareness. Perhaps you have a lesson to learn or an action to take. Perhaps it is time to remove another negative influence from your life.

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