Love & Sex Magazine

Are You A Difficult Person ?

By Barbarajpeters @CouplesAuthor

Are You a Difficult Person?  – we all have our moments!


Certainly we all are difficult at times, many times in fact! How do the people, especially spouses, feel and react when we are at our worst? It probably isn’t a shining moment for anybody.


In my counseling practice I often hear complaints about difficult family members. In-laws and stepchildren many times are the poster images for this grievance. They seem to raise the bar for relationship conflict.


are you a difficult person

The other day I was talking with a client about her mother-in-law. She could not say one kind or gentle word about her husband’s mother. Instead she spewed a litany of negative comments, spiced with venom. As she began to talk faster and her face turned crimson, I signaled for a time-out and challenged her.


 I asked if there was anything, anything at all, she could say that was positive about this difficult woman who apparently plagued her every moment. My client was silent for a good while and then replied, “I like the way she treats my dog.”  


 I quickly answered, “The next time you see her, think about that.”


Can we learn something from this?


When your partner or lover is being difficult, how do you respond?  Do you consider why they might be acting the way they are? Maybe their bad behavior is caused by a lousy day at work, overwhelming burdens and stress, or maybe something as simple as the dog peeing on the carpet or a stuck zipper. We all can become exceptionally difficult at the drop of a hat. The wrong response from our partner can make things worse!


Keep in mind, bad moods wane as fast as they wax, to borrow a phrase from the moon. Here’s one way to handle the “grouchie” in your life, without being condescending or patronizing.


Try to remember what made you fall in love with your partner. Recall their tender actions so endearing and special. When you take the time and effort to think “happy thoughts” about the one you love, your demeanor will change, often changing the attitude of your partner without saying a word. It’s a mystery how this happens, but it works!


Screaming at a partner when they’re being difficult will likely lead to more screaming. But if you give them a smile, it’s usually a start to something good!


Now from the other perspective – how do you behave when you’re being difficult or unreasonably demanding? After you “get over it,” are you embarrassed by your words and actions?  Do you ask for forgiveness, or do you assume you don’t have to acknowledge your difficult behavior?


When it’s your turn to be difficult, accept it as part of the human condition and wallow in your grouchiness, at least for a while. Then find something positive to carry you from the quagmire of misery, ask forgiveness if you offended someone in your anger, and get on with your life. This is how you weather life’s storms as a couple and end up with a relationship that endures – the gift of a lifetime.


Even if you’re dealing with a mother-in-law!

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