We all have people in our lives who challenge us.
These people can be overly critical, always think they are right, take credit for other’s work or successes, bring drama to every situation, blame others, or act like they know absolutely everything.
As is human nature, we often react negatively to their behaviors, actions and personalities because we find them aggravating. But instead of getting pulled into their whirlwind of negativity, try the following ways of showing them appreciation. Because, if we think about it, they are teaching us things about ourselves and how to better handle difficult people and situations. They push us, test us and stretch our boundaries of patience, all which, if we react with kindness, tolerance and gratitude, can make us a better person.
We all have relationships that are more challenging than others, but every relationship gives us an opportunity to grow and help others do the same. Every relationship teaches us something about love, trust, forgiveness, setting boundaries, taking care of ourselves, and taking care of each other.
Here are 10 ways to show gratitude to the people who challenge you.
1. Fully listen to what they have to say, instead of forming your rebuttal in your head and waiting to speak.
2. Thank them for introducing you to a new way to look at things, even if you still don’t agree.
3. Pinpoint something you admire about their commitment to their beliefs—even if you don’t hold them, as well.
4. Resist the urge to tell them they’re wrong.
5. Challenge them right back to be the best they can be, with love and positive intentions.
6. If they inspired you to push outside your comfort zone, thank them for encouraging you to take a risk, and let them know how it paid off.
7. Write them a letter (or a blog post dedicated to them) about how they helped you see things differently.
8. Use the lesson this person teaches you through your interactions, whether it’s patience, compassion, or courage.
9. Introduce them to someone who may challenge them and help them grow, as they’ve done for you.
10. Let them know how you appreciate when they challenge you in a loving, non-confrontational way—and if they don’t do that, be calm and kind when you ask them to do that going forward.
May your day be filled with gratitude and good things.
Article excerpts from Tiny Budda.