When I think of magic tricks, the visuals from the old show Arrested Development come to mind:

I have my share of difficult people in my life, and the only way to combat them is simple. MAGIC, but then also realizing that the difficult person can sometimes be me. LOL!

Here are 10 magic tricks that are easily repeatable to help me maintain boundaries while simultaneously maintaining your cool.

  1. SIMMER DOWN NOW. First I need to recognize that I have absolutely no control over any actions but my own. I am not responsible for other peoples feelings, but I am in charge of the way I take action with them.
  2. IF I AM UNSAFE, I NEED TO LEAVE. If I feel like my physical, mental and emotional health is impaired due to the relationship, it’s time for me to leave.
  3. DELAY EMOTIONAL RESPONSES. If I feel the need to respond in anger, I STOP. I seriously stop. The way that I can actively DELAY ACTION is by writing an email to the person, sleeping on it, then rereading it to a friend to see if I am reacting to it or responding to it. See there is the difference. If I am reacting to it, I am taking the rope thrown at me. And Lord knows, like Mary J. Blige, I want no more drama in my life.
  4. COMMUNICATE CLEAR BOUNDARIES. If I feel someone is crossing the line, I need to communicate it in an effective way. For example, I used to work on the weekends. This is what happened. Emotional turmoil and reactivity to messages on the weekends pulled me out of my family time. And it turns out that the reactivity had a ricochet as my family was also negatively impacted. It turns out my feelings directly effect theirs. Time off is time off, so setting your DO NOT DISTURB settings on your phone or BLOCKING NOTIFICATIONS TEMPORARILY helps me combat energy vampires.
  5. IF YOU PLAN TO FAIL, YOU PLAN TO FAIL. Relationships are a two-way street, give and take, both at work and in life. And my mindset is everything. If I plan to fail, I will fail. This is simple because my thinking made me do it. Life is hard and stress can test your triggers. Riding the waves are usually worth it, especially when you use great self care but also…
  6. …BE HONEST. Sometimes radical honesty is not necessary, as if you know it will hurt their feelings it may not be appropriate to say. But being gentle with myself is key to being or doing better. Because when I am better, magically everyone else is too!
  7. GIVE OTHERS THE DIGNITY OF THEIR EXPERIENCE. Blaming and shaming others is not a good way to get others to do what you want them to do. Setting achievable goals and clearly communicating them is a great way to sustain healthy relationships.
  8. RELINQUISH CONTROL. Although sometimes I think I have control of others, I actually have no control over anyone’s life but my own. I can do my due diligence with my kids, but they are going to be who they are whether I force them to do things or not.Same goes for other relationships like at work or with family and friends.
  9. APOLOGIZE WHEN YOU MAKE A MISTAKE. If you make a mistake, try and be gentle on yourself and gentle on others.
  10. NO ONE IS PERFECT BUT GOD (OR THE UNIVERSE IF THAT OFFENDS YOU). Thank goodness I am not perfect. I don’t have to control anyone but myself, and even that is a bit over the top as I have a God that loves me and cherishes me as me. Isn’t that great!

Taking responsibility for my actions is critical to becoming an adult. Refraining from gossiping or associating with negative people is critical to my personal growth.

What magic tricks do you use when dealing with difficult people?

P.S. Sometimes I find that the difficult person can be me too, lol!

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