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How To Handle Difficult Relationships

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

…Mark Twain

I have this co-worker who I really can’t stand. She is a sympathy seeker, plays up to the men, and worst of all she’s a bully to everyone else.  I am always cordial to her because I’m aware that she could turn on a dime and make me her next victim.

Needless to say, her total lack of emotional intelligence stresses me out! Whenever she walks into a room it make my blood boil and up goes the blood pressure. I tell you, it’s an emotionally exhausting relationship.

I knew I couldn’t go on like this but I felt conflicted about what to do. She was clearly unaware of how her behavior was making me feel. I felt it wasn’t right to be angry unless I decided to be honest. And, soon enough the opportunity presented itself.

She waltzed over to me one day with the intent to bully. She tried her best. She really did. She had demanded me to give her back something I had borrowed from her department and was currently using. She needed it NOW. Much to my surprise, the conversation went surprisingly well. She pushed for a bit. She pushed hard, in fact. But, I was really honest with her and she quickly understood where I was coming from.

Since then, things have been a lot better. Yet, I still tense up whenever she comes near me or, before she even opens her mouth. I had already written her off in my mind as someone to stay away from. But, I had also told myself to forgive her and start fresh. The truth was…I was unsure what to do next. I couldn’t seem to forgive her and move on.

Everyone deserves a second chance right?

As it happens a lot in life…those moments of coincidence…the same time this nuisance in my life occurred, I had been reading a book and there was a chapter on resentment. BOOM! There it was in black and white. “Holding a grievance or grudge separates people from themselves and separates them from truth and joy.” It went on to say that in reality, not forgiving others means that self-forgiveness and self-acceptance are absent.

My analytical, logical self could forgive this woman. That’s what I had already done. Emotional forgiveness though, takes forgiving a step further.  This book was telling me that what I needed to do was to replace the low-energy thoughts, low-energy words, and low-energy emotions I had with regard to this woman with high-energy thoughts, words, and emotions. I realized very quickly that this is what I was missing.

I had started out thinking about only my own thoughts and feelings regarding my co-worker, which is natural. Then I made the decision to forgive her and move on, but that’s where I got stuck. So, now my goal is to relate to and have insight regarding her, and replace those low-energy, negative thoughts with positive, high-energy ones.

And, even in writing this, already my whole opinion of her has softened. Perhaps she’s a lonely soul and playing the sympathy card is her way of attracting attention? Maybe her bullying other people makes her feel, for a moment, in control, and not so vulnerable to her fears? Both of those are where my good wishes could go out and do some good work.

Now my tough work of actively practicing it begins because…everybody deserves a second chance.