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Difficult People; Some Solutions by Susan Kramer Santa Barbara Botanical Garden. Photo credit Susan Kramer.

text and photo copyright 1998-2011 Susan Kramer
Santa Barbara, California USA
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
published by Creations in Consciousness

1.  Introduction
2.  Relating More Harmoniously
3.  Our Best Effort
4.  Facing Competition

1. Introduction

We call a person difficult
when we get uncomfortable feelings in our body
while with them or thinking about them
Their actions, or what they say
screech across the grooves of our mind

We can protect ourselves from the uncomfortable affects of difficult people by:

          1. Avoiding contact with them;
          2. Observing what they do or say while maintaining neutral feelings and thoughts about them;
          3. Doing the opposite of being the mental observer by being surrendered and open to their form of expression, allowing new grooves of a different reality to be recorded in our mind and stored for reference. During this new recording we do not have to give up our own position or way of thinking—we are expanding our experience base.

Difficult people
do not have contact and personal experience
with their underlying state of harmony

2. Relating More Harmoniously

If we are the one others label 'difficult' and now want to get along with others harmoniously, we can take stock of the way we are handling situations in our life. We learn mainly by trial and error. After we have continual problems in relating harmoniously, we begin to ask ourselves why? After the reasons outside of ourselves are exhausted we begin personal self-improvement. This is the last resort, but the right place to get to know our underlying happy Self.

The sincere desire to know our Self—our Source—leads to experiencing our underlying harmony outwardly in our subsequent thoughts and actions. We begin having easy relationships in all aspects of living.

Beautiful uplifting music is made up of the harmonious blending of separate notes…

We are each like notes of music
acting in phrases
and when conscious of our grace and balance
forming melodies and symphonies with others
and everything around us

Outer actions
of our state of consciousness
From the underlying harmony
the best of ourselves
comes forth

3. Our Best Effort

When we give the best of ourselves we reap peace of mind and contentment, internally.

We can justify our time and effort spent in striving for personal betterment, because, the better we each become, the more people around us benefit—from our improving attitudes, caring thoughts and actions.

Time spent on ourselves
When that time is for our betterment
Our expansion in consciousness
Those around us benefit from our expanding consciousness—it is contagious. When a light shines upon us, we are made visible—we reflect that light. When the people around us have justified their time for betterment, and become shining examples of humanity, we, too, bask in that warmth, becoming more enlightened ourselves—through their example and the influence of goodness.

Justifying our efforts at work
or in any endeavor
Fulfilling our obligations
Rightly gives us satisfaction
Peace of mind
Growth in consciousness—
Becoming better people
Justifies the effort we put in
and take out
As brighter lights in the world

4. Facing Competition

Competition is a mission—a mission to get ahead of where we are.

In all aspects of living we face competition. We compete with ourselves when we want to better our position, or perfect an aspect of ourselves.

It is unhealthy competition when we push another aside to get our way—when we push  another aside, when they rightfully belong where they are.

In the workplace, it is healthy competition to compete against ourselves in order to learn new and better job skills—and in this way qualify ourselves to get ahead. It is unhealthy competition to try to oust another from their position by subterfuge.

The antidote for unhealthy competition is consideration for what serves the highest and most truthful purpose in the circumstance.

Trying to get ahead is great when it involves improving the quality of our own skills and then doing a job search to find that better job.

Trying to get ahead when we downplay another person, or try to take over another's position is unjust to them, and unjust to ourselves as the end result in either case, is that we lose our peace of mind, and rob the other of what was theirs. Another downside to unhealthy competition in that we reinforce negativity in ourselves at the expense of seemingly getting ahead. We are actually not getting ahead within our own character. We  are debasing the quality of the person that we already are.

To keep competition healthy requires that each person get ahead because of the work done by their own merits—not by doing what undermines another.

Promoting our good points is healthy, while at the same time we do not point out another's weaknesses. Improving our skills is healthy, so that we can naturally stand out in the competition.

Competition is present in all aspects of living
It is in the way we compete for survival and growth
that either improves the quality of our character
allowing us to feel peace of mind
Or debases us, when we push others aside
disturbing our own peace of mind
and causing distress in another's life
Healthy competition—
Improving ourselves
Improving our skills and character
Unhealthy competition—
Usurping another's character or qualities
Healthy competition—
Bettering our own character and skills
That we may shine at our best
And when faced with difficult people or difficult solutions
stepping aside; stepping astride
or plunging in to a new point of view


Stan Schaap and Susan Kramer. Click for site map.

Susan Kramer, M.A., M.Div. is an international author of more than 50 collections and 150 articles on music, rhythmic dance, ballet, philosophy, social issues, yoga and practical spirituality for children, teens, adults and those challenged, and with her husband, Stan Schaap- resides in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
web site
site map
further reading
Radiant Yoga for Teens and Adults
Radiant Yoga for Children
Love and Science, One in Consciousness
Reclaiming Personal Power
Intertwining Lives
The Rhythmic Movement Dance Series; summaries

updated April 17, 2001