42. Dealing with Difficult People

Dec 16, 2021

With the holidays creeping up on us, I’ve been thinking about those people we have in our lives that we might not love spending time with. We all have certain people that we deem to be difficult or hard to get along with, so today, I’m sharing a life-changing concept that will provide you so much peace, even in their presence.

The truth is that people aren’t factually across-the-board difficult. As humans, we’re wired to have negative thoughts about people that span from judgment to anger and everything in between, whether towards a family member or a stranger in the car ahead of you. But the great news is that you always have the choice to shift these thoughts, and I’m showing you how.

Join me on the podcast this week as I share my best tips for dealing with difficult people. Using these tools has provided me the opportunity to not only truly accept and love people for who they are, but also let go of needing to manipulate how other people think of me. And friends, this is the key to living a life of freedom and peace, no matter the situation.


Have you heard about my Morning Mindset Magic Checklist? It’s a free download I will send right to your inbox, filled with the exact things I do every single morning to set myself up for success. If you want in on it, simply click here to get it!


To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m giving away pajama and sock sets from The Slice of Sun that I have personally designed! ! They’re the most delightfully soft things you’ll ever put on your body and I’m giving away five bundles to five lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review the show on Apple Podcasts.

Click here to learn more about the contest and how to enter!


What You Will Discover:

  • Why people aren’t actually difficult.
  • The 3 components of any relationship.
  • Why we’re wired for approval from other people.
  • How you have the power to choose how you want to feel about the people in your life.
  • A tool for when you’re having a hard time not thinking negative thoughts about someone.

Listen to the Full Episode:



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Full Episode Transcript:


Hi, friends. Welcome to Fearless Infertility a podcast for women struggling with the mental anguish that comes with infertility. My name is Jenica and after suffering in silence for too long I was able to pull myself out of the dark, take control over my mind, and create joy during my infertility experience. I’m here to help you do the same, sister. Let’s dive into today’s show.

Hello my friend and welcome back to the Fearless Infertility podcast. On today's episode I'm talking about dealing with difficult people. This can apply to any human relationship that you have in your life. And I think that the way that we will be talking about it today will be completely eye opening and truly transformative for you in your life in taking back the control over how you feel in any circumstance with any relationship. Let's get into it.

Hey friends, I'm so glad that you are here with me today. I wanted to start out this podcast episode by telling you something very exciting in my personal life right now. And oh my goodness, there's no way you'd be able to guess. There's zero chances that you would be able to guess what I'm about to tell you, so I'm just going to tell you. I'm not even to leave you hanging. I know it's a cliffhanger, I know you're just on the edge of your seat.

So my purchase for Black Friday was a pair of brand new sparkly washers and dryers for my laundry room. And it literally feels like Christmas morning. We just got them installed this morning and I just feel so excited that I'll be able to do laundry two times as fast. It feels like a huge win for me.

And it's so funny because it just kind of makes me laugh a little bit. I get it, but it also makes me laugh. My 14 year old self would have been like, “Wow, that's very exciting. Not.” But my 34 year old self is like, “Are you kidding me? If you can buy more time, that is invaluable.”

And I was thinking today about what I spend my money on typically. And the two things that I always feel really great about spending money on are, one, things for my health. Whether that be my studio membership, whether that be vitamins, healthy food. For me that's something worth investing in. So my health is one that I'm like, you know what, I spend a lot of money on things that keep my body and my mind healthy because if you don't have your health, it's really, really hard to do anything that you want to do if you can't function in the way that you would like to function.

My whole Epstein Barr Virus experience in 2020 really helped solidify this point home for me because I wanted to fall asleep at 2pm every day. And I just had all these amazing things I wanted to do, but I was too tired to do any of them. So in really focusing on getting my health back, now that I have it back, I'm like we're keeping it. And so that's one of them.

And then the second one is services or items that allow me to maximize my time. And buying two washers and dryers are one of those things. And I feel so excited about it. I literally feel like I just want to sit there and I just want to watch them. I want to get a bag of popcorn and I just want to sit in my laundry room and be like, “Thank you. Thank you for doing it and I don't have to.” Honestly, it's a gift, really. And sincerely I'm just actually so grateful for it.

So that's my really exciting news for today. Another tidbit of exciting news is I have been loving, I always have loved the podcast, but I feel like it's even more fun as my brain gets better and better at coming up with topics that I think will really benefit you in your life. And we see what we focus on, and so for me I'm constantly thinking about you guys. I'm constantly thinking about tools that I can share with you that will then help you. And in my Fearless Infertility program, we take the tools that we learn here on the podcast and actually apply them to our lives.

And I just think it's so much fun because I have this whole big list of podcast ideas that I'm going to be sharing with you over the next few months. And one of them is in January we're going to be talking about goal setting. And it's going to be in a different way than you ever have experienced it before.

And I think we're all familiar with the goal setting that hasn't worked for us. We make these goals. We have very good intentions of following through with them and then come March or April we've kind of dumped them by the wayside and kind of ended up kind of where we started.

And so I'm really excited that in January of 2021, our workshop in the Fearless Infertility program will be how to actually apply the tools in your life that will allow you to accomplish your goals, not only in January, but always. And it's completely different, I think, than anything you've ever heard before. So I cannot wait for that.

Doors are currently close to the program but if you want to make sure that you are aware of when the doors open, just go to fearlessinfertility.com. You can sign up for the Morning Mindset Magic Checklist and that will add you to the email list and I will give you a heads up when the doors are open so you can sign up for that and accomplish all of your dreams in 2020.

All of the things that you've been wanting to accomplish, we can work on those together. And you will see your goals and yourself and a different way than you've ever been able to before. I'm really excited to introduce this concept to you.

Today's podcast review on Apple Podcasts is from reviewer mrjs2016 is the username. And then the title of the review is love, love love. She said, “Just starting my own fertility journey. This podcast has been exactly what I needed. Just starting out it is a scary journey. But this podcast has brought me so much comfort and peace. I have followed you for years on Instagram and I have just started listening to your podcast and it has made a world of a difference. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.”

Please email me at [email protected] with your size and address and I'll get you some pj's and socks sent out. And if for anyone else who is looking to bring more sisters into our infertility community, this is a really incredible way to do so. Kind of picture yourself in the beginning when you just found out you were experiencing infertility. And you probably felt pretty alone, you probably felt like you didn't really know where to turn to for support.

And there are so many women that feel that way. That's probably the number one thing that I hear as feedback for women experiencing infertility, is they just feel alone. And it doesn't need to be that way. These are tools that will help anyone experiencing infertility. And we really want to bring those sisters into our community. And a really easy way to do that is by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts.

And the reason why that helps is because when I get more ratings and reviews on the podcast, then the podcast becomes more visible and searchable for those women who are alone and really don't need to be. So I like to reward you as well because I believe in life being fun. And my PJs and socks are just simply the best. The PJ's are made of bamboo, the socks are magical, and I feel like you deserve those. So make sure to leave a review and listen every week as I give away a new set.

Today's podcast episode is something I've actually been thinking about for quite a while because it's been so impactful for me since learning this concept. And that topic is dealing with difficult people. And I think that we all have those people in our lives that we deem as difficult, that we deem as hard to get along with, that we view as being hard to be around.

And this concept, I'm not kidding you guys, has been life changing for me because it's given me all of my power back in really being able to feel however I want to feel when I'm around these so-called difficult people.

So first, I want to make it clear that people aren't actually difficult. You can label them as difficult, but when we are viewing someone as difficult it’s because of a thought that we're having about them that we think this person is difficult.

And remember the model that I teach, the circumstances are always neutral. So another human being outside of ourselves is a neutral circumstance. No matter what they're doing it's neutral because we may be thinking about them differently than someone else may be thinking about them.

So for example, say somebody does something that you don't like. Well, that same thing may be viewed by someone else as something that they do like. And so we see people in a different way looking through this lens when we can acknowledge the fact that our thoughts are creating our feelings about them. And so when we're thinking that someone is difficult, it's because we're having thoughts about them that would lead us to feel that this person is hard to be around.

So I want to talk about components of a relationship. And this goes with any relationship that you have, whether it's with your friends, whether it's with your in-laws, whether it's with your spouse. And there are three components of every relationship, the first component being what they think of me. The second component being what I think of them. And the third component is what I think of me in relation to them.

And what is the one aspect of that component triad that we spend the most focus time on? It's number one, what they think of me. And this is a concept that I think we've all dealt with since we really can remember and since we were aware.

I remember being in middle school and onward and I think middle school is like– Honestly, you could not pay me a million dollars to go back to middle school because it was rough with a capital R and a capital O-U-G-H. It’s just not a pretty situation, there's a lot of hormones happening. There's a lot of people that are just trying to find their place. And it’s just a sticky situation.

But I remember that was one of the real moments where I was so insecure because I really, really wanted people to like me. And I spent a lot of my time during those years really, really focused on what people think of me. And it's fascinating because we try to manipulate and control what people think of us, but that's also the component of relationships that we have the least control over.

So it's fascinating though, as well, and the good news is that although we can't control what people think about us, it is also the part of the relationship components that affect us the least. Because our thoughts create our feelings. And so if we have good thoughts about ourselves, then what other people think of us doesn't matter as often if we're putting more weight into what we think about ourselves.

And something to note as well is that what people think about you doesn't have anything to do with you. Because we know, now that we know the model, that thoughts are what are creating their feelings. And so any thoughts that they're having about us in their own brain is causing them to feel a certain way about us.

And, obviously, we all want to be nice people, right? Obviously, we want to show up in a world and try to contribute. But I think when we try to manipulate the way that others think about us based on our actions, we are trying to do something that is literally impossible. Because no matter what I do, people still have agency to choose the thoughts that they keep in their brain about me.

And something that somebody absolutely loves about me, the exact same thing could be something that another person absolutely hates about me. And so when we think about it that way and the fact that we really cannot control what others think about us, it honestly, for me, provides a lot of peace and a lot of reassurance that it's really not up to me. And in trying to control what people think about me and people pleasing is not helpful, and it's also just not realistic.

Would the world be an amazing place if everyone just loved us and approved of us all the time? Sure, it'd be really, really easy for us to feel good about ourselves in that way. But I don't think that that's the most beneficial way to approach life because A, that's not the actual reality of what life is like. And B, I think that we learn a lot about taking control of our own feelings when we realize that our own feelings and our own minds are the only things that we are in control of.

So just a little recap for that first portion, their thoughts create their feelings. And great news is that we don't need to feel the way that other people feel about us. And it really doesn't have any control over us unless we think thoughts that lead us to feel in a way that we are affected by other people's thoughts about us.

What I think of me is what matters. And what they think of me– I want to have friends, I want people to be kind to me. But I also know, based on how I know that the brain works, that that's not what matters in me feeling my absolute very best.

And I want you to know that it's very normal to think this way. Our brains are wired for connection and love. And there are obviously relationships in our lives that we would like to foster. And it would be ideal for these people that we want to have relationships with to also feel some sense of approval, and of love towards us as well. Now, it's not necessary however, for us to feel however we want. And this is great news because it really helps us to get the control back of the experience that we have in any relationship.

And I don't want you to beat yourself up for this. I don't want you to say, “Oh my gosh, I am feeling horrible. And I'm in control of it and it's my fault. And I shouldn't be feeling this way because that's not helpful.” I think approaching this with a sense of curiosity in what's happening in your own brain in whatever relationship you're experiencing is what's helpful and will allow you to approach yourself from a place of love, which is where progress is made.

And in being very curious about our brains know, like I said, that it's very normal for us to think this way. We are wired to be a part of the pack, because our primal brains think that when we are not part of the pack and when we are not approved of by others, that we are in danger.

And we appreciate our brains, because our brains are really trying to help us to survive, essentially. But we are not in a position of physical danger. What I'm talking about here is where we panic, and we get nervous, and we want to change our personalities or change what we're doing because we think that in doing so, we will gain approval from others.

And we know, now that we know the model, that other’s thoughts about us are determining how they feel about us, and they are 100% in control of their thoughts, gives us the freedom to step back and allow them to feel how they want to feel. And we can also feel how we want to feel about ourselves as well.

This has been such a game changer for me because I think for the longest time I was a people pleaser. And I honestly didn't really acknowledge this in myself, or even see it until probably the last six months or so because there are so many thoughts that are very tricky. They're very sneaky thoughts because they feel very happy, they feel kind. They feel like, “Well of course, I want others to be happy.”

But I've noticed in myself that in doing so I have tried to manipulate how people feel about me, not even for myself a lot of the time. Not because I'm like, “Oh, I just want people to like me.” It's because I want people to feel good when they're around me and so I have stressed more than I should in many situations in trying to act in certain ways so they would feel certain ways.

And now that I understand the model, I realize that's not possible. And it's really freed me up to be me and to give them the responsibility that they always had, I just didn't see it, that they can choose how they want to feel. And it's this beautiful thing because I can then accept people for who they are and how they want to feel. And also love me and honor me and my feelings and not realize that when someone's feeling a certain way, that it's not my fault.

That I can be kind and loving, and absolutely I make mistakes sometimes and I probably say things that are offensive to people if they choose to see them as offensive. And I will step in and know that I'm not a perfect human being by any stretch of the imagination. But I also know that I am not in control of other people's feelings. And it's this beautiful free place to live.

So what does this mean for us? I get to choose how I feel about certain people as well. So that second component of a relationship is what I think of them. And this, like I said, could apply to any relationship in your life.

So not only can I not control how others feel of me, the great news is that I can control how I feel of other people based on the thoughts that I choose to keep in my brain.

No one is making me think certain things about other people and I get to choose. And this is great because I can choose to have love for people if I want. And why this is so great for me is because I'm the person that's feeling the love, not the other person. I'm the person that gets to experience the love that I have for them, not them.

And there are certain times where I don't want to approve or feel love for someone. There are certain situations like when I'm hearing of somebody doing really evil things in the world, I don't want to feel love for them. But I know that if I can get very curious and very compassionate about their life experience, and not make it personal about me, then I can feel more love in my own brain and get to experience more peace.

And there will be times, like I said, where I don't want to. But that's coming from a place of awareness and knowing that I am consciously choosing how I am feeling about them based on my thoughts that I have about them. Versus blaming them and saying that they are making me feel this way.

No one can ever make you feel a certain way. And this is really great news because it really gives you all of the control to feel really good, loving thoughts whenever you want to.

And it's so fascinating too, I think, because I think oftentimes when a relationship has had a rough patch, say there's an incident that happens. And I think oftentimes we think that in feeling horrible about someone, that it's justified because they deserve for us to think that about them based on the argument or whatever it was that you got in.

But in reality, we are the only people who are feeling those negative emotions. The person that we are in the, you know, this made up argument with isn't feeling what we are feeling.

And so this leads us to the acknowledgment that they can feel how they want to feel. And we may not agree with other’s actions, and we may even choose to leave relationships, or set aside relationships and think that they are completed.

But we can also always at anytime that we choose, feel a sense of love. And I think that this is great news. I've really applied this in my own life because I am fully aware that any experience that I'm having is completely up to me.

And when I am miserable around someone, or I'm feeling negative around someone and I don't want to be around someone, that what that really means is that I just can't stand being in my own brain when I'm around this person. I can't control my own thoughts.

And this has been huge for me because it allows me to feel at home no matter where I'm at. And it allows me to let people be who they are going to be, regardless of how I think about it and regardless if I approve. It allows me in my own brain to allow them to be whoever they want to be. Because, newsflash, they will anyway. And I get to take ownership of what's happening in my own brain. Which means I can truly be at home and at peace no matter where I'm at.

And that specific concept of the fact that I really just can't stand being in my own brain when I'm around this person is very, very mind boggling. Because I'm like, why would I choose to live in my brain that feels miserable right now when I could choose to feel more comfortable?

And it's just like this opening, honestly I kind of feel like it's a new dimension of understanding where I'm like, “Oh, well, it's okay. I don't have to agree with them but I can still feel feelings of love in my own brain for myself and for my own benefit.”

And this really allows us to not be a victim to anyone else. And it really allows you to create whatever experience you want, whenever you want to. So people aren’t actually difficult. And as a recap, we are able to view them however we want for our own sake. And the portion of our component of a relationship with someone that we can control the most is what we think of them.

And what we think of them is completely determined by our thoughts. And there are certain people that may be easier to get along with. There are certain people that maybe you have certain qualities or characteristics about your life and life experiences that allow you to be able to connect with them more easily.

But if you choose to in your own life, with any human being, you can get very curious about what's going on for them. And I think that approaching them from a place of curiosity versus a place of judgment is really incredible because it allows us to see them in a way that feels so much better for us.

So for example, I know that we've all had situations where we're judgy. I think as human beings our brains are just kind of set up to judge. And I know that we've all had a situation where we've judged someone or we've said like, “Oh, I wouldn't have acted like that,” or whatever the situation may be.

Maybe someone's driving really slow in front of you. I mean that happens to me a lot, I feel like I have road rage. Something that helps me in that specific situation is getting very curious. Okay, well maybe they just found out really, really bad news. Maybe they're a little distracted because something is going horribly wrong in their life and they just got bad news about somebody that they love. And other times I just choose to be angry and be like, “Okay, this is just me a feeling an angry moment and this is how I want to feel.”

But I know that we've all had a situation where we've been a little bit judgy if someone’s behavior and we're not on board with how they're living their life. And then we hear about their background and about their story and we drop all judgment because then we have compassion. And so I think that that's a really great tool for you if you are are having a really hard time in seeing someone and not judging them and not thinking thoughts that lead to feelings of anger.

I think that's a really great tool, is to be compassionate and say, “I wonder what's going on in their life. I wonder what's happening that I don't know. I wonder if something awful has happened in the past or currently to them that's making it really difficult for them to act in a way that maybe I would prefer them to act.”

And so I think that's a really great tool to use when we're having a difficult time in being around “difficult people” who aren't actually difficult, or who we want to think are difficult. But we just always need to be aware that they are not difficult, it's our thoughts about them that make us feel that they are difficult. And so we are always in control 100% of the time.

I love you guys. I hope that this was helpful. And I will see you back here next week on the Fearless Infertility podcast, bye friends.

I know how tough it is to struggle through infertility. If you're ready to get ahead of the pain and frustration, the best way is to create an ironclad mindset. That’s where it all starts. I have the best free download for you, you’re going to love it. It’s my free morning mindset magic checklist. You'll get the seven tips I use to create my mindset each morning so I can create a life I love despite my challenges.

You will lower your anxiety and increase your peace. I spent a couple years of trial and error and finally came upon this list of actions I take or never take every morning, even when I don’t want to because they work every single time. Download for free at fearlessinfertility.com/mindsetmagic.

Thank you for listening to Fearless Infertility. If you want the best infertility support and community on the planet visit fearlessinfertility.com, see you there.



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