We've all crossed paths with DIFFICULT PEOPLE. The Bullies, The Haters, The Big Mouths, The Drama Queens, The Snobs, Etc.
Have you ever heard of the Kübler-Ross model? I'm sure you have! This is the model that explains the stages of grief. It's usually linked to the emotions of having someone pass away, but it's safe to say, this model pretty much explains what we all go through when we go through something very difficult. Let's briefly go through the explanation of this model. According to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, when someone we care about passes away, a person goes through these stages: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. She also mentions that it doesn't necessarily have to be in that order. Makes sense right? Awesome! So, that's the Kübler-Ross model in a nutshell. Now, think about it, these stages don't only happen with death, but it happens with every bad experience that shakes our foundation and humanity. In these kind of situations, there are 2 or more people involved. The ones who deliberately cause negativity for their own pleasure are difficult.
We've all crossed paths with DIFFICULT PEOPLE. People who are mostly aggressors. The Bullies, The Haters, The Big Mouth, The Drama Queen, The Snob, The Constant Complainer, The Two-Face, Etc. (By the way, I got all those terms from Jon P. Bloch's book, Handling Difficult People). I'm sure you know a bunch of them. I think the Kübler-Ross model is the perfect starting to point to explain the 'sensitive' subject of Difficult People.
Before anything else, let's make it VERY clear that we ALL make mistakes. Let's take out the murderers and against-the-law stuff, okay? In the 'NORMAL PEOPLE' scale, we've all done something that offended or hurt someone, but we've also been victims of people offending or hurting us. Common sense, right? Being the victims of something that hurts us to unexplainable levels, we eventually go through the stages of grief. We deny we're hurt - we pretend we're fine and show the whole world how awesome it is to be alive, but deep down inside you know it's all a lie. We get angry - this one is obvious. We bargain - we find ways to compromise with ourselves so the pain isn't so brutal. The most typical is making jokes or laughing about it. We become depressed - the pain is overwhelming and the situation is actually hitting you. We accept - we move on and we can now face the world with a positive attitude.
Here comes the awesome part and I hope this will save people a lot of damage when it comes to difficult situations, especially with difficult people. Since the Kübler-Ross model is proven by science [Psychology], I think the puzzling part about these difficult people can be found within the Kübler-Ross model explanation. I've been observing this for so long and I can't deny the common ground amongst these difficult peeps. A lot of them didn't cross the threshold to the Acceptance stage. People misunderstand the notion of Acceptance. Here's something from Psychology Today, "Finally, the word acceptance does not mean that we accept a damaging behavior. What it means is that we try to acknowledge the dark as well as the light so that by that acknowledgment, we can make necessary changes. Only when we treat something with respect and accept it rather than rejecting it can we bring about necessary change. Rejecting something brings about more guardedness and resistance, therefore creating more of what we don't like. Also, avoidance and rejection cover up the real problem." I don't have to state the obvious... but it's clear when people Avoid rather than Accept. This is very clear because these difficult people are unconsciously showing it for the whole world to see. What are these clear signs? They don't respect certain situations. They cannot acknowledge the dark as well as the light. Ergo, they haven't actually changed, despite them saying they have changed.
All of these things I've talked about go down to ONE SIMPLE POINT: You have to learn to accept.
Acceptance is when you know you're living a healthy and good life. You really can't fake these kind of things because it will eventually show. When you reach adulthood, this is important because life becomes complicated, but it doesn't have to be hard. Bad things happen, obviously. We can't avoid it, but we have full control of how we deal with these bad situations. People forget that. It's not up to anyone on how we DO THINGS. No one actually forces us to anything. You go to work because you know that's the right thing (because you have to pay pills and make a living), but it's also your choice to skip work. People can tell you to skip work, but the final choice is always up to you. It's as simple as that. Choose to accept.
Lying to yourself does so much damage to your mindset. We don't give it much importance because of the influence of media and society. Remember that you're only part of this society and it shouldn't affect your identity. As much as the topic of culture plays into our identity, you're still your own person. You may have committed huge mistakes or someone may have committed huge mistakes towards you, but at the end of the day, the truth about yourself comes out with how you deal with it. You know things are going to be okay because you've crossed the threshold to Acceptance. The best part is you made the choice by yourself. You're finally better. You can finally move on, forgive, and let go. Do yourself a favor, make yourself proud.