Difficult people . . . no one goes through life without dealing with a few. Maybe they are loved ones, family members, colleagues, or even bosses. Whoever they are, dealing with them is complicated at best. Accepting them doesn’t make the problem go away, but physically removing them from your life might have serious legal consequences. So, what’s the solution? First, let’s take a look at the origins of difficult people.

Certainly the concept originated long before any present-day people arrived on the planet. Hundreds of thousands of years ago, some people saw others doing things that weren’t being done as they thought best, and they thought the others were wrong. Think of two cave dwellers arguing over how to build fire or make a wheel. Don’t you think one of them got called wrong?

“Wrong” is a label, among many others, and it arises when someone is doing something that causes us stress. The person who sets something on your desk in the pile labeled out-box instead of in-box, is wrong. Same concept. Think about it. Some cave person likely wanted to set fire with their fancy new flame to whomever wanted to make the wheel square, just as we might daydream of bopping our annoying friend with our fancy new phone.

What you’re probably wondering is not why people are difficult or how they became that way, but how to make them stop. You like your phone, and popular advice says bopping people is not good for the phone. Even if it might feel good for the soul at that moment, ...

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