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Practical Tips For Navigating Relationships With Difficult People

Difficult people can be unavoidable, and everyone experiences them at some point or another. A not-so-friendly colleague, a narcissistic family member, or a messy roommate are some examples. Although these types of people may be unavoidable, dealing with problematic people can affect you negatively. It is crucial to take care of yourself in order to maintain healthy relationships with anyone.

There are different ways to navigate through your relationships to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s best to approach relationships with challenging people the same way you would a red light, stopping first before you proceed. Here are some practical tips to help you navigate relationships with difficult people.

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Put Your Best Foot Forward & Integrate Daily Gratitude Exercises

When you spend time around people who make you feel safe, it’s easy to show up as your best self by becoming excited at the thought of seeing them or maybe having a story to share. This isn’t as easy to do in relationships with difficult people. Approaching an arduous person can cause dread and even sour the interaction before it can be sweet. There are ways to counteract this by being the bigger person and placing your best foot forward. Before you approach the person, smile at them or ask them what they did last weekend.

Gratitude is expressing what you’re thankful for and focusing on the positive things in life. Practicing gratitude can be as simple as thinking about five things you love about life or listing what makes you grateful. Focusing on the good instead of the bad aspects of life leads to a healthier mindset.

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Get Enough Sleep & Try Meditation

Taking care of your physical health is necessary when navigating relationships. Sleep is a huge factor in determining how your brain functions. Getting little to no sleep can cause irritability and anxiety. Not getting enough sleep can negatively impact your interactions with others, especially with difficult people. Go to bed at a decent time and limit distractions before bed.

Challenging relationships can cause anxiety and stress. Practicing meditation improves the relationship between the mind and body. Improving internal communication within yourself is a great way to decrease symptoms of anxiety and stress. Meditation can be as easy as practicing breathing techniques or completing a guided meditation. The more you practice meditation, the easier it is to get to a calm zone. Practicing meditation is a good technique to try once in a while when you need to tolerate a difficult person often.

Practice Acts Of Empathy & Hold Yourself Accountable

Empathy is the ability to sense other people’s emotions. Cultivating this skill as humans is important because it helps us understand one another better. Practice acts of empathy by working on your listening skills and allowing yourself to be in someone else’s shoes.


It takes two to tango, and sometimes the person dancing with two left feet is us. Sometimes we can be triggered by people or things, making us react in a certain way. This is neither their fault nor ours, but it is necessary to be aware of triggers when interacting with others. The first step to holding yourself accountable is to become more self-aware.

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Find A Happy Medium

Unfortunately, not every relationship can work out. Agreeing to disagree can be the next best thing. Everyone is entitled to have an opinion; however, this does not mean one is better than the other. Finding a happy medium in a difficult relationship is a great way to keep the peace while still gaining insight into the experience.

Relationships aren’t always easy, but they make life worth living. Follow these practical tips to help you approach your next relationship with a difficult person.