Now that you have yourself sorted out, let’s focus on why it can be so hard to wish good thought to others. Quite often, we begin to dislike someone after becoming frustrated with them because they do not behave as we expect. Now, the first time this happens, maybe even the second, we are not at fault. We are still learning about them. However, from then on, it’s all on us. That’s right. We are the cause of our own frustration, not they. Why? Because we keep expecting them to be someone they’re not and quite likely never will be.

I’ll give you a current example in my own life. I have been involved with a certain organization for twenty-two years, either as a member of a committee or the Board of Directors, so I’ve interacted with quite a few characters over the years. This year, however, a new individual volunteered and, so far, has been the most difficult to deal with to date. That’s right, the hardest to deal with in twenty-two years. In fact, multiple other members of the organization have suggested removing him altogether. This in the span of 2.5 months! Perhaps in the end he will be removed and perhaps that will be best for all involved. In the meantime, I’ve chosen to interact with him based upon what I’ve observed to date:

  • His social skills are limited.
  • He does not play well with others.
  • He does not appear able to view himself or his role in the grand scheme of the organization.
  • He does not respect others’ knowledge, opinions, time or effort.
  • He does not concern himself with details, even if they are very important.
  • He does not follow through with his part in group tasks or honor his previously agreed upon obligations to others.

Lost cause? Maybe, maybe not. He’s a lone wolf with limited social skills. He should never spearhead an event, committee or meeting. However, I suspect he can complete tasks within his own time frame so, how about delegating nonessential tasks with fuzzy timelines and see how he does on those while others manage the day to day business operations? For example, getting bids on a project with an anticipated start date in 2020, not 2019. Will this work? I don’t know. What I do know is that I cannot expect him to behave as others in the same role have done in the past or I will simply frustrate myself, leading to anger and, at its worst, hatred of this man, and neither one of us needs that! Now it’s your turn to think about that difficult person in your life, and how you can alter your expectations to reduce your frustration.

Disclaimer: This blog is not designed to diagnose, treat, or prevent illnesses or trauma, and Dr. Emick is not responsible for your use of this educational material or its consequences. Furthermore, reading this blog does not create a doctor-patient relationship. The information contained within this blog is not intended to dictate what constitutes reasonable, appropriate, or best care for any given physical or behavioral health issue, nor does it take into account the unique circumstances that define the health issues of the reader. If you have questions about the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a condition or illness, you should consult your personal health care professional. As always, consult with your personal health care professional before beginning or changing any fitness or nutrition program to make sure that it is appropriate for your needs. Dr. Emick reserves the right to modify her positions on a subject based upon new research or data as it presents.