Today’s Thoughts : Dealing With Difficult People

Today I thought I’d share a few thoughts based around this much-loved quote :

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”

Actually, while this is commonly attributed to Dr Seuss, it seems this may be misattributed as it’s not cited in any particular work. 

This is a hugely popular quote, so I imagine most will have heard it before. I was thinking about it the other day because of a situation I found myself in. We know that to do ourselves a favour we should step away from any toxic people in our lives. But sometimes it’s not that easy. Nobody has the right to make you feel lesser in any way. Sometimes it’s misguided and misplaced attempts at encouragement or support. Other times it just comes from a place of ignorance and bitterness, a way for that other person to feel better about themselves by putting someone else down.

Have you ever experienced this? I imagine most will have, at least once, and many of you can probably name a person(s) who make you feel negative in some way.

 ♥

My Difficult Experience With A Difficult Person

There’s someone in my life that has always made me feel, well, worthless. I’ve lost track of the times I’ve cried as a result. My graduation, birthdays, endless every day situations. I don’t see or speak to this person all that often. They only get in touch when they want something. They don’t ask how I am. If the topic comes around to me, there are always ways to make me feel like I’m wasting my life, that I’m boring, that I’m not going to measure up. I say I don’t care, but of course I do. It’s hard not to. I just wish I didn’t.

I’ve tried. I’ve tried to be patient and polite, to ask how they are and take an interest in their life. I’ve also been made to feel as though I owe them a reason and an explanation as to why I ‘am the way I am’. I’ve said before on here that you shouldn’t feel pushed into telling someone about your health issues unless you want to, yet I did, I told them about the stoma without wanting to, but because of feeling I needed to excuse my loss of my job, my ‘boring’ life, and everything else. The response? “I knew someone with a stoma, he still travelled loads and did kickboxing, it didn’t stop him doing anything“. It was said almost encouragingly. But I knew – even if nobody else did – the unsaid end to this sentence was “so what’s your excuse?” I wouldn’t tell this person about any of the other health issues I deal with. They’d find it all laughable. They do know about the pernicious anaemia. Their first response? “Is it hereditary, will I get it?

This person can also be incredibly brash, ignorant and judgemental in general, on social media and to others ‘in real life’. They come across as being quite high and mighty in their beliefs, willing to criticise and judge and berate others very quickly if there’s something they disagree with.

I won’t go in to the ways this person makes me feel useless and worthless. It’s a long story and it’s not one I will bore you with here. This isn’t about me. I’m just sharing this much to illustrate the point.

 ♥

How Do You Deal With Difficult People?

Do you call them out on it, or do you mask your hurt & say nothing? There comes a point where you need to decide whether to say something and risk rocking the boat; this could contribute to repairing the rift, or it could cause a blow-out. Or, do you ignore, walk away and avoid? It really does depend on you, what was said/done, and the situation. It can be easy to respond in the heat of the moment and regret it later. How will you feel if you don’t say anything? What may happen if you call them out on it? What would be better in the long run? Will it help? Some people may be unaware of how they come across and will likely be mortified if they knew they’d caused hurt, so letting them know can be useful. Others, however, are aware of what they’re doing; telling them will therefore likely make no difference because they simply don’t care. You need to weigh up whether it’s worth it and whether it may be helpful to respond.

 ♥

I thought it timely to cover this as Christmas has a way of pushing us towards others and putting us in situations we may find uncomfortable. In some cases, almost intolerable. You can’t choose your family, and in social circles there may be people who you don’t get on with or who simply make you feel awful about yourself.

Sometimes we can really want to not care, but we do. Don’t feel pressure to discuss or reveal details about something personal, like your health issues, to someone unless you want to. You owe no reason or explanation, and we rarely get the kind of supportive response we’d hoped for in such instances.

If someone puts you down or makes you feel lesser, in any way, ask yourself why they’re doing it. Is it their personality, do they treat others like that? Is it perhaps coming from a good place, but totally misguided in how they come across? Do they do it because they’re just mean and want to make themselves feel better? If it’s the former or the latter, you don’t have to stand for it. Practicing self-care means advocating for your own needs, it means being assertive and finding a way to minimise the damage someone else can do to you that you simply don’t deserve.

 ♥

It can be very difficult when you’re thrown into a situation where that person(s) is, such as for gatherings at Christmas. If you can’t remove yourself from the situation then it may be best to try to ‘rise above it’, as the saying goes. Don’t doubt yourself, especially if others play down what’s being said or done. With a change of perspective and a bit of armour around your heart, you can gradually let comments bounce off you. They may leave a bruise, but that’s better than a gaping wound. Judgements, ridicule, manipulation, passive aggressive or snarky comments, it doesn’t matter if it’s big or small. It’s not worth your worry and your hurt.

If you’re dealing with chronic illness or chronic pain then you’ve been through enough to know you can handle anything. The person making you feel like crap? I doubt they’d cope with one day in your shoes. So this sort of stuff being thrown at you? No problem, you can handle it.

 ♥

Have you experienced this with someone, perhaps a friend, an old acquaintance, or a family member? Do you expect to spend time during the holidays with someone who makes you feel not so great about yourself? How do you deal with situations like this?

Caz  ♥

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99 Comments

  1. Ashley
    December 6, 2019 / 4:23 pm

    I’m sorry you have to deal with a pathetic person like this. You deserve so much better. 💖

    • December 8, 2019 / 5:23 pm

      That’s very kind of you, Ashley. Thank you 🌹 I didn’t want to make this too much about me as I know there are many people who put up with far, far worse, but I wanted to give some kind of example because it’s not always overt nastiness that can be hurtful. xx

  2. December 6, 2019 / 4:46 pm

    Great ideas! I live by, don’t let other’s problems become your own. I hope you have an awesome weekend. I really appreciate all your weekend well wishes. I’m writing this weekend so I don’t have so much to do during the week. I have several more post for easy to make holiday gifts.
    Hugs

    • December 8, 2019 / 5:28 pm

      Getting your writing done on the weekend to leave the week free sounds like a good idea. I wish I were that organised! Looking forward to seeing your gift crafting ideas. Thank you for the comment lovely xx

  3. December 6, 2019 / 5:03 pm

    I love your words of encouragement, reminding us how strong we are, telling us not to doubt ourselves. So sorry you have to deal with someone like this, but I’m glad you shared since this is unfortunately relateable for many people!

    • December 8, 2019 / 5:32 pm

      Absolutely, too many people will experience this sort of thing and it’s not easy. I think around Christmas it can be exacerbated if/when we get thrown together with those who make us feel crap, because we can already be stressed and exhausted. Thank you for the kind comment, Lily  ♥ xx

  4. Svet
    December 6, 2019 / 5:07 pm

    I guess not everyone belongs to be in your life. This post rise lots of unpleasant memories in my mind, where I wish I would be able to stand up for myself in a situation when I was treated badly. However, most of the time I was frozen and in shock and was not able to say a word. Looking back, I do think that people who devalue others have the issue themselves. You rock girl!

    • December 6, 2019 / 7:48 pm

      Great post! I had a similar situation where I had a friend for nearly ten years but then all of sudden once I started having chronic pain she was not supportive of my decisions and had the shake it off attitude. We tried talking about it and even went to a mediation but nothing worked. You do what you can to work it out but sometimes it’s not worth and you have to cut them out of your life if you want to be happy.

      • December 8, 2019 / 5:40 pm

        Sarah – Well you certainly tried. The friendship must have meant a lot to you to go through mediation. Sadly with chronic illness and chronic pain I don’t think anyone can ‘get’ it unless they experience it. Some can try their best to understand and be empathetic. Others not so much. You’re right, you have to know where to draw that line, and I’m glad you were able to do that because you deserve supportive people in your life  ♥ xx

    • December 7, 2019 / 10:43 am

      This is a hard situation to deal with. I try to get involved as less as I can with those people and focus on those I like.
      Have a great weekend, Caz!

      • December 8, 2019 / 5:43 pm

        That’s a good way to approach it, to try to focus on those people in your life that you like and are good for you. Thank you for the comment, Viola. I hope the week ahead treats you kindly 😊 xx

    • December 8, 2019 / 5:41 pm

      Svet – I’m so sorry you had such awful experiences. It’s easier to look back and wish things had gone differently, but these things also serve to guide our actions in future. It sounds like the time you’re thinking of was one that was quite unexpected, is that right? If it came as a surprise then it’s even harder to react as you’d like, because you’re caught off guard. If the same thing happened again, do you think you’d handle it differently? And absolutely – if someone devaluing someone else and making them feeling awful for no reason (not that a reason would be any excuse to do such a thing anyway) then it’s their problem, it reflects solely on them. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and I do hope this post hasn’t bought up too much trauma for you ♥ xx

      • Svet
        December 10, 2019 / 3:42 pm

        Caz – Yes, it was a total surprise to the situation I was referring to. If it happened today I hope that at least I would be able to speak up and let the other person know how this behavior is affecting me. And definitely not to put up with that. Have a good week, Svet

  5. December 6, 2019 / 5:18 pm

    Our brain tells us ‘Why would we even care what someone we don’t like or respect says?’ -But somehow we do and then we find out that other people have been upset by the same person!

    • December 8, 2019 / 5:45 pm

      Oh yes, I’m like that big time. I even say that I don’t care and couldn’t care less, but of course I do, far too much. And I’ve also discovered the same with others being upset by the same person, finding them as difficult to be around or deal with as I had! Thank you for your thoughts on this, Janet xx

  6. Sheema
    December 6, 2019 / 5:54 pm

    This was so needed, I was in the same situation a while back too hun. I discussed it in one of my posts, I’ve really learnt to stay away from people who are nothing but negative energy. I’ve been surrounding myself with optimistic, positive and kind souls and its made such a difference. I wish u had done this earlier but as they say better late than never. Sending a big hug 🤗 xx

    • December 9, 2019 / 10:35 am

      I’m sorry you know what it’s like too, Sheema. Keep surrounding yourself with those good vibes. It’s not always easy because sometimes it feels like we don’t have a choice (especially if it’s family, or a partner of a friend/family member etc). Making the decision to focus more on those that are good for you is a brilliant form of self-care. Thank you for sharing this. Hugs right back at you!  ♥ I hope this week treats you kindly.xx

  7. December 6, 2019 / 5:59 pm

    A terrific post…as for addressing the issue with the person involved: will they change? If not, it only adds to the stress…and as you point out: you really shouldn’t care what they say or think, based on how you feel about them and how you feel about yourself….

    • December 9, 2019 / 10:37 am

      So true with how we shouldn’t really care what the other person says/does/thinks. It’s hard not to sometimes though, no matter how much we wish we didn’t care. I do think the issue of whether we say anything in such a situation will help in any way is a good thing to consider. If it will do us good to say something, or if it will make a difference to that person that’s being hurtful. As you say, if they’re not going to change and it’s not going to do anything but add to the stress, then it’s likely not worth it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, John! x

  8. December 6, 2019 / 6:14 pm

    Hi, Your words are so apposite, especially as so often we are thrown together with toxic individuals at this ‘sharing, caring season’.
    Over the years I’ve had a bellyful of them; fortunately they haven’t made it to North Wales sheep country.
    They can be easy to spot as they often begin with ‘ I don’t mean to be rude but … / I hope you don’t take this the wrong way but … ‘. Basically their calling card should be ‘I know I’m a rude, self-opinionated, crass ass-hole but …’. Keep this in mind while they witter away and (hopefully) it will help block out their drivel.
    Thanks for another great post. X

    • December 9, 2019 / 10:42 am

      Hahah yes! 😂Prejudicial comments also often follow things like “I’m not racist, but…”, “I’m not homophobic, but..”. Not always, but the start of the sentence is often a good calling card as you say to what’s about to happen! I’m sorry you know the frustration of toxic people, and it’s hard to avoid difficult situations sometimes at Christmas. I hope your sanctuary in Wales remains free of toxicity! Thank you for the brilliant comment, Maz  ♥ xx

  9. December 6, 2019 / 7:44 pm

    Sorry about this for you, unfortunately I have a family member who for years our relationship has been ok for a while and than bam we get into an argument and it’s always the same thing, they bring up things from 900 years ago and what I did to them and bla bla, of course they never did anything just me, and than we stop talking for a while and than we start talking and the cycle would start again. Their problem is that they can’t let go of the past, I have apoligized for what they feel I did, but that has never been good enough, and I’ve also changed I’m a completely different person, but they cannot accept that. I finally decided after our last argument over the same stuff as always that I don’t want toxic people in my life, even family, and I asked them never to speak to me again. I feel bad that it has to be this way but it’s best for me and I can accept it. Great post thank you xoxo

    • December 9, 2019 / 11:14 am

      Oh Masha, I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through this. It must have been incredibly difficult to make that final decision to call time on the relationship; it’s especially difficult when it’s a family member. It reflects poorly on the other person, not on you, as they can’t show compassion or understanding or forgiveness over what they perceive to have been done by you so long ago. ‘Forgive and forget’, as they say. That takes strength and kindness, which they’re sadly not able to practice. This sort of thing can happen even without an event, or without you having done anything, hurtful or not. Some people can’t seem to move on, and some feel the need to put others down and find fault just to make themselves feel better. It’s self-care in motion when you can say you no longer want to put up with this kind of treatment and all of the arguments, and to move forward without that person in your life. It’s sad it has to be that way, but you’ve tried and that’s all you can do sometimes. You then need to do what’s right for you. Hugs to you, my friend. Thank you for sharing this  ♥ xx

  10. December 6, 2019 / 7:51 pm

    I will say if they try to make you feel bad then they are the ones that are miserable. They just want you to feel as worthless as they feel about themselves. I distance myself from those folks and I would be the one that would flat tell them how rude they are and that I don’t like being around them.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend, Caz. I think you’re perfect. ♥

    • December 9, 2019 / 11:15 am

      I like your pizazz, Sandee – you tell ’em! You’re right, it says something about the other person when they feel the need the put others down to make themselves feel better or more superior in some way. Thank you for such a lovely comment – I hope this week treats you kindly ♥ xx

  11. December 6, 2019 / 7:54 pm

    There’s was only one in my life – the kind that’s like “oh, have you done something different with your hair”? knowing damn well you’ve just come from the hairdressers, your hair looks great and she’s just jealous but she says it with a smile so that other people don’t guess what she’s up to. Arrgghh! After almost 20 years of this idiot of a sister-in-law, I finally told her “I don’t like you. Keep away from me at family gatherings, especially when you’re under the influence (alcohol).”

    I love it now, at weddings and parties – I say hello to everyone and now she just feels left out! Sad woman!

    • December 9, 2019 / 11:23 am

      Good for you, Carol!! That’s what I find so ingratiatingly infuriating – when people can do something that makes you feel crap, but it’s done in a way that others can’t see. So to everyone else this person isn’t being ‘that’ bad at all, and they can be given the benefit of the doubt but only you know what they’re up to. And of course if you get upset by it then you’re just overly sensitive. I think you did good telling her to stay away, that’s self care in motion right there!  ♥ xx

  12. December 6, 2019 / 8:06 pm

    Thank you for writing this. It’s sad that there are people out there who belittle us or make us feel less but it’s so hard to cut them out of our lives isn’t it. I too am in a situation with someone like this. Thank you so much for sharing your experience but I’m sorry you’ve had to go through it.

    • December 10, 2019 / 10:01 am

      I’m sorry you’re in a situation like this. Hopefully the thoughts in the post and in all of the comments can give you a little encouragement to do what’s right for you because you’re right, it’s not easy to deal with. I’m always around if ever you want to talk, Soph. I hope things go okay, however you manage this situation and the person making you feel this way, because you deserve better than that  ♥ xx

  13. December 6, 2019 / 8:16 pm

    I used to bring things to people’s attention, but lately (the past few years) I just leave them alone. I’m not trying to change anyone’s behavior and I think most of the time people realize they’re being an a-hole, unless they have a mental illness. Also, I’ve learned that I owe no one my company, time, or energy. I just don’t.

    • December 10, 2019 / 10:04 am

      It’s interesting that the way you’ve managed it has changed over time. I think I’m more prone to want to walk away these days, but only in certain situations do I feel something needs to be said (because either I’ll explode if I don’t say something, or I feel this person ‘needs’ to know what they’re doing). You’re right though, you owe nobody your company or energy, especially if they treat you poorly. Very empowering comment, I love it! Thank you for sharing 😊 xx

  14. December 6, 2019 / 8:26 pm

    Good post Caz. And of course we care and it get’s to us as we have feelings. If the person doesn’t bring anything positive to you and your life, and you feel you can go on being happy without them, maybe cut them out and or not communicate as often. Call them out? but what good would that really do? It’s a personal decision obviously, and you do what you feel will.make you happy and not cause any stress or upset. x

    • December 10, 2019 / 10:07 am

      Absolutely. As I was writing this I realised how hard it was to pick a side of the fence in terms of saying/doing something versus doing nothing and walking away. It really does depend a lot on the situation, but there are some things you can consider to help figure out which is likely to be the most useful and suitable. No matter how much we may wish we didn’t care, sometimes we just do and we can’t help that. It shouldn’t be seen as a ‘bad’ thing to have feelings either; it’s such a shame people can be labelled ‘overly sensitive’ for being hurt by the ignorance or rudeness of others. Thanks for the brilliant comment and your thoughts on this, Toni 🌷 xx

  15. December 6, 2019 / 8:48 pm

    The only way to get to such people is by not letting them get to you. Meet their denigration with indifference.
    Not only will they be baffled (and frustrated – they’ll probably try harder) but you will become stronger and it will become easier to ignore them.
    Another bonus is that, as they try harder to get under your skin, their nature becomes more apparent to bystanders.
    Their emotional abuse says so much more about them than they can ever say about you

    • December 10, 2019 / 10:09 am

      ” Meet their denigration with indifference” – that is a very eloquent way of putting it. You’re so right, many will try harder to get under your skin and if you can walk away and shrug it off, then it just annoys the other party all the more, making their rudeness and ignorance more obvious to outsiders. Thank you so much for your excellent thoughts on this, Cathy  ♥
      xx

  16. December 6, 2019 / 9:36 pm

    Some people are rather too “Challenging” thats for sure – My motto is If you cant beat them, avoid them! Not sure what that is in Latin! XX

    • December 10, 2019 / 10:10 am

      “Si illos Cant beat, ne eis” – according to Google Translate 😉 A good motto to live by! xx

  17. December 6, 2019 / 9:57 pm

    Oh Caz, you’re such an amazing young lady. It hurts my heart to hear that someone makes you feel “less than.” Knowing the right way to deal with such people can be difficult because as you said, you don’t want to regret it later. What you said about not doubting yourself is so important, because people’s opinions of us can only hurt us if we let them. When we can feel secure in knowing we’re doing what’s best for us, it helps us ignore those negative comments. My mom used to always say, “consider the source” meaning, if it’s someone whose opinion you don’t really value, don’t let it get to you. The problem is, that’s easier said than done. When we learn not to doubt ourselves, it becomes easier. Sending you lots of love and hugs sweet friend.

    • December 10, 2019 / 10:48 am

      Aww this is such a kind comment, thank you so much, Terri. You’re so right with that, we need the confidence to act in our best interests, to know what’s going on without doubting ourselves. Your mom was smart with ‘consider the source’ because I think it’s a key thing to keep in mind when deciding how to deal with it. Easier said than done, especially if it’s in the heat of the moment, but important nonetheless. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I hope this week is treating you kindly so far  ♥ xx

  18. Wendy
    December 7, 2019 / 4:13 am

    Hello dear Caz,
    That initial quote is utterly obnoxious(as I’m sure you agree), and I cannot believe that it has anything to do with Dr. Seuss!

    Setting boundaries has always been a challenge for me. I was speaking to my lovely assistant Rabbi today, at my Temple, and she asked me what I felt all people deserve.

    I came up with a list, something like this.
    A roof over their head
    Some measure of joy
    Inner peace
    Enough food to eat
    A sense of wonder
    Meaning in their lives
    Friends and family who love them
    Good health

    Well, she turned this all around, and told me that I actually deserve all of these things, too! It was strange to think about it in this way.

    I have a well meaning friend, who gets especially difficult when he drinks. He begins to lecture me on Christianity and Christ, and says some very disrespectful and condescending things to me. I tend to just sit there and take it.

    My Rabbi added, that we also all have the right to set boundaries. It can be especially hard when you don’t want to distance people, or hurt people’s feelings. It has to be done, though. Especially if someone is repeatedly treating you horribly, and without kindness.

    Next time this situation arises, I am going to try to say, “I care for you deeply, but you are insulting me, and I don’t want to listen to you any further.” Then I will leave the room. Harder to do than to write about, I know! It can be such a challenge to speak up for oneself, and to put one’s foot down, but it’s so necessary, as there are lots of mean people out there who’s main goal seems to be to ruin one’s day.

    You certainly don’t deserve the kind of treatment you are receiving from this guy. I would ask yourself what good are you getting out of the friendship? You have a hard enough time with everything you’ve dealt with, and continue to deal with in your life. You DESERVE to be treated with kindness and respect. xxx Wendy

    • December 10, 2019 / 10:53 am

      That’s a very good list. It really gets to the heart of the important things in life. I think they’re also things it’s easier for us to say others deserve, but harder for us to say we deserve them ourselves, so I’m glad she showed you that perspective. I’m sorry about your well meaning friend. Drink seems to make some people pretty obnoxious, doesn’t it? But it also suggests it’s a little more predictable, in as much as that when you’re next around this person and you know they’ll be drinking, you can likely anticipate some of this disrespectful and hurtful nonsense to be said.

      I think your way of dealing with it is a good one. You have to do what’s right for you and for that situation. Sometimes saying something is the better way if that person doesn’t quite realise what they’re doing or how they’re coming across, and if you feel you may explode if you don’t stand up for yourself and say something. Of course there are also times when saying nothing and walking away is ‘better’, but it’s swings and roundabouts. It’s never going to be easy. I hope you can read back your last brilliant paragraph and apply that to yourself – you also deserve to be treated with respect and kindness, so I truly do hope you’re able to hold on to these feelings and put your foot down the next time you’re in such a situation with this friend of yours. Thank you so much for such a compassionate, thoughtful comment and for sharing your thoughts on the issue  ♥ xx

  19. December 7, 2019 / 12:11 pm

    If only THAT person knew the real Caz… obviously they don’t cause they’d love you! I get it. It hurts! Yes, I have people treat me this way… it is a personal decision to confront or not. Will it do any good? Will you be better off for it? You have every right to stand your ground. Always remember, words have consequences… I got tired of those consequences. I got tired of putting my battle gear on every time I went to a family gathering. I no longer open myself to any conversation about my health in dicey company. (I’ve learned who is dicey over my 52 years.) just because they are family, or friends, or in some realm as a loved one does not give them the ability to have a brain and respond with empathy. Play your cards close to the vest. I always have 3 answers prepared as the questions are always:
    1) how are you? 2) so what have you been doing? And 3) what are your plans for … (pick a topic, could be anything.)
    Have something prepared, have a few questions prepared too. I get my feelings hurt a lot but I try to acknowledge that I’m hurt and convince myself of the offending persons stupidity! Chin up, my friend. It is a privilege to be in your life and not everyone deserves that privilege.💜💜💜

    • December 10, 2019 / 11:00 am

      I have never, ever thought that it’s a privilege for anyone to be in my life. I’d say that to someone else, but applying it to yourself..? Not as easy! Prepared answers – very good tip! Not opening up those conversations that provoke awful responses is a good point and it’s something I’ve tried to do too, it’s just not always successful if you end up faced with someone who knows just what to pick at and to keep needling until you pop. It’s hard with family, isn’t it? I’m so sorry you’ve had such experiences. You really shouldn’t need battle gear with loved ones of all people. Little do the ignorant people know how much stronger they’ve made you, that you have far more wisdom and compassion than they’ll ever have. You’ve made another good point with acknowledging your hurt (which I think is especially important as other bystanders in the situation often downplay that hurt, making out you’re overly sensitive while giving the offender the benefit of the doubt). Thank you for your awesome comment, Kim, it means more than you know. You’re a rockstar  ♥ xx

  20. December 7, 2019 / 3:25 pm

    These are nasty people, for whatever reason. I just stay away. I can’t afford to bring myself down no matter they’re excuse/reason for being ugly. Just can’t do it. Good luck with ‘whoever’ over the holidays!

    • December 10, 2019 / 3:15 pm

      Good approach, Jacqui! Thank you for sharing your thoughts 😊 x

  21. December 7, 2019 / 9:48 pm

    You have to do your best to stay away from toxic people. Hard to do when they are co-workers, your boss, and especially family. There’s no magic formula that I have found, but I’ve been known to change jobs and stop seeing family members.

    • December 10, 2019 / 3:18 pm

      I’m sorry you’ve had to take drastic measures because of toxic people. But at the same time, I’m glad you’ve been able to do what’s right for you because you don’t need those kinds of people in your life if they continue to hurt you in any way. Thank you for sharing this xx

  22. December 7, 2019 / 11:02 pm

    Beautiful and super important post, Caz. Thank you!! It’s so hard to deal with things like this while you’re in the thick of them. It’s awful, because their comments, actions or mannerisms hold so much power that they reduce you to pieces. And no one reserves the right to hold that power. It isn’t always as simple as eliminating them from our lives, either. I can say, situations forced me to eliminate everyone toxic from my life and while it was initially awful, I have found after several years that I no longer feel so badly about myself; that much of that shame and guilt they instilled has dissipated. To me, that speaks volumes. As always, a super helpful and important post-especially pertinent during the Holidays. Sending you much love and hugs, cause baby, you deserve it! Those haters know nothing!
    <3 Stace
    ps I can *finally* like and comment baaaaby

    • December 10, 2019 / 5:03 pm

      I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through, but I’m glad you were able to make the decision to remove toxicity from your life. It can’t have been easy. “Those haters know nothing” – I love that! 😂 You’re right too about being in the thick of things making it harder still. It takes self care to be able to stand up for ourselves and do what’s right for us, even though it can be very difficult and very painful. Thank you for such a thoughtful comment, Stace! And hurrrraaaah, I’m so glad you’re able to like & comment! Loved your Christmas gift guide post. Wishing you all the best with the wedding prep for your daughter  ♥ xx

  23. Michelle Tikalsky
    December 7, 2019 / 11:30 pm

    My family doesn’t know about my mental health. The close people that do know are always kind and helpful. If I did, I wouldn’t cut them out of my life. It’s not worth staying in touch with rude people

    • December 10, 2019 / 3:52 pm

      I’m glad at least there are people that now that you can be a little more open with and that they’re compassionate. We deserve better than to be subject to rude people. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Michelle. I hope this week is treating you kindly so far.xx

  24. December 8, 2019 / 2:36 am

    Some people are just not worth it.

    • December 10, 2019 / 3:56 pm

      Amen to that, you summed it up perfectly! x

  25. December 8, 2019 / 9:05 am

    Caz, this is a fabulous post. I think most people (chronically ill or healthy) have that someone in their life who makes them feel that way. I’ve had it in the past from people. One was a close relative who seemed to take pleasure in knocking me down or tried to make me feel guilty about my situation. I had to keep my distance for years. It’s easy to say we shouldn’t let someone get to us, but they do, therefore the best thing for me was to distance myself. She has mellowed now. She is elderly and now lives with chronic pain and I am sorry that she does, but it seems to have given her an understanding of what I have lived with. I put the past in the past and treat her kindly and I am sure she remembers that she didn’t do that for me.

    • December 10, 2019 / 4:00 pm

      I’m so sorry you’ve experienced this. That’s such a good example of ‘taking the high road’ though, especially as things have changed because you could easily have thrown back her words and attitude to highlight what it was like for you. Putting things in the past takes compassion, and you have oodles of that so I’m not surprised you’ve done this for her. You’re right, it’s a hard thing to deal with and as much as we may wish we didn’t care what others think or say, sometimes we can’t seem to help it. I do think it can be all the more challenging when it’s a relative, too. Thank you for sharing your experience, Liz – I hope this week is treating you kindly  ♥ xx

  26. December 8, 2019 / 11:24 am

    Great quote, words to live by 🙂
    Sorry you had to deal with such a terrible person. Some people are really insensitive. I always say we should never judge anyone else because you can never really know what someone else is going through.

    • December 10, 2019 / 4:02 pm

      I agree, you never really know what someone else is dealing with and even if you did, you can’t ‘feel’ their experience unless you’ve lived it yourself. Thank you for the great comment, Louise – enjoy your blogging break! xx

  27. December 8, 2019 / 1:59 pm

    This is a very encouraging post. We all have these people in our lives, and sadly that might never change. Sometimes they can be easily avoided, and other times they are blood relatives and so a little less easy.
    I’m sorry you had to deal with this, though. Some people really need to think before they say anything.

    • December 10, 2019 / 4:06 pm

      You’re right, sometimes they can be easily avoided but other times that’s just not possible, so it’s about weighing up your options for how to best deal with the person(s) and the situation. Thank you for the comment! I hope you’re managing as well as possible this week lovely xx

  28. Julie de Rohan
    December 8, 2019 / 4:26 pm

    Hi Caz, I’m sorry to hear about your experience but I’m glad you’ve shared it as I’m sure many of us can relate to it. The only way I’ve found to deal effectively with people like this is in Wendy Behary’s excellent book “Disarming the Narcissist”. In it, she talks us through the process of “empathic confrontation” – a way to deal with difficult people so that we don’t get hurt or end up feeling unhappy about our own behaviour. I couldn’t recommend the book more highly. I hope that’s useful.

    • December 10, 2019 / 4:12 pm

      I didn’t want to make this too much about me but rather to use my experience as an example from which to illustrate a few of the issues. But it definitely seems to resonate as sadly far too many can relate to this post. I’ve made a note of that book, I also know a fellow blogger who may be interested in that one. Thank you for your recommendation, it’s very thoughtful of you. I hope your week is going well so far lovely xx

  29. December 8, 2019 / 5:19 pm

    Beautiful Quote. But I am at a loss of words for the way this horrible person is treating you. I pray they recover from whatever mental illness this person is having.
    Be strong – You are more than worth anything and anyone.
    I personally love to read your beautiful, encouraging and friendly messages from you and I know you are beautiful inside and out and very strong person who looks very positively at everything. I hope you continue the same. Good Luck !!

    • December 10, 2019 / 4:15 pm

      Awww I don’t know what to say – while I think you have far too positive a view of me, this has made me smile. Thank you so much! You have a kind heart, and I hope you can apply the words you’ve written to yourself and remember them if ever you find yourself if this kind of situation with someone (which I hope doesn’t happen!). Thank you again. I hope this week is treating you kindly so far  ♥ xx

  30. December 8, 2019 / 5:31 pm

    Hi Caz,

    I have cut people out of my life who are toxic. Its important to do it for your own health but also to allow you to grow as a person.

    My life has got much better for it and when we occasionally bump into each other, they check I still have the same mobile number (I do) and then we part ways.

    Always +1 your mental health.

    Thanks,

    The Reverend
    http://www.thereverend.co.uk

    • December 10, 2019 / 4:18 pm

      I’m sorry you’ve experienced such toxicity, but I think you’ve done well knowing what you need to do and doing it by cutting them from your life. Sometimes that may sadly be the only viable option and it’s not easy, but it’s clearly the right thing so I’m glad you were able to do that. Thank you for sharing this! Have a great week 😊 x

  31. December 8, 2019 / 11:24 pm

    I think the only way to deal with someone who bothers you that much is to avoid him/her as much as possible. And when it isn’t possible, remember that silence is golden. Say hello, and don’t say any more than you have to after that. Sometimes we can confront toxic people and the situation gets better, but often we can’t. They don’t change their behavior, and we can’t stop letting their words and attitudes hurt us. So in those cases, just put as much distance between you as you can! And I’m so sorry you have to deal with someone who treats you that way!

    • December 10, 2019 / 4:22 pm

      Sometimes silence really is golden, and you’re right about how often confrontation can make things worse. It depends on the situation and the person in question, as well as how you feel about it. I think sometimes asking yourself ‘how will I feel if I don’t say anything?’ can also be helpful. Distance if possible is a good route. When distance isn’t possible, try to avoid and say little while trying to instead surround yourself with the positive influences in your life. Thank you for your comment, Ann 🌷 xx

  32. December 9, 2019 / 4:13 am

    absolutlely perfect post for holidays – & for anytime – who knows why folks are jerks. I suppose there isn’t just one reason. & I want to be superwoman, be able to neutralize everything they make me feel, but I can’t – often the best I can do is try to gage what my tolerance level is for being around them… as for speaking up, it just depends. am thinking at the moment of someone who I’ve talked to & realize that to talk further would just get me more wound up while achieving nothing else… seems to me that types of annoying come in clumps. lately have had a deluge of the sorts of ask me something, then want to answer for me too (& wrong) & then argue with me about my own experiences & feelings…. as for when it comes to illness, well, we should all be so lucky as for our bodies never to fail us…

    • December 10, 2019 / 5:16 pm

      I’ve found that sometimes there are people where you can keep talking and trying to confront their ignorance or insults only for it to wind you up further. It depends on the situation and the person. I’m sorry have and are experiencing this sort of thing. You deserve more than that from people. They’re really not worth your time and energy, and certainly not worth your emotions. I hope you’re able to manage them as best as possible in a way that preserves your feelings. Sending love, and thank you for your comment  ♥ xx

  33. December 9, 2019 / 7:35 pm

    It’s a tough one, and so many situations come to a head at Christmas, when we are spending time with people whom we otherwise wouldn’t.

    You don’t see it so much on my blog, but I have a bit of a reputation for being direct and letting people know exactly what I think. Even people like that have limits though. I find it especially hard if the difficult person is the partner of a good friend. I’d love to tell them all kinds of truths, but what if that means losing the friend as well, or putting them in a position where they have to choose? That’s not so easy.

    I was in one of those situations the other day when someone wanted to know more than they should. I stood my ground, even when they asked two more times. But I think there’s another part to it too. I let someone see that I wasn’t feeling ok about it, and allowed them to help me and cheer me up. In the past I’d just internalise the whole thing, but being open to let people help you is a good thing too – as long as you pick someone who’s not going to make the situation worse!

    I think it’s good you talked about this. I love Christmas and I enjoy all the festive activities, but I can think of several occasions where I’ve nearly lost my cool with someone on Christmas Day! It’s so important to know we don’t have to keep happy masks on – whether that means saying something calmly, or just walking away.

    Don’t let anyone make you feel worthless 🙂

    • December 10, 2019 / 5:21 pm

      I’m glad you can be more open and more assertive, I’ve grown to be more confident with things like this, too. I’m just sorry you’ve had to experience it. It really bugs me when people pick away at something when you’ve hinted (or made it blatantly obvious) that you don’t want to answer their questions further. It can be exhausting trying to be polite in the face of ignorance or insult, and it only serves to make us feel worse. You’re right, we don’t have to keep those happy masks on all of the time. Self-care in this situation can mean making the right decision for us that will save us the negative emotional impact, whether that’s saying something to the person in question, calling them out on what they’re doing and how they make you feel, cutting someone from your life, or ignoring and walking away on a particular occasion. We need to trust ourselves to make the call. If and when this happens again – which I hope it doesn’t – please know you can handle it, and do what’s best for you. Remember your own words and don’t let anyone make you feel worthless. Thank you for such a brilliant comment, Kirsty  ♥ xx

  34. December 9, 2019 / 9:04 pm

    Food for thought. For me, some old friends I haven’t seen in years when I was married have moved on and made new friends now that I’m single. During the Holidays if our paths cross, there are few hugs and many awkward moments. No longer in the click, I say my hellos to the old friends, but reach out to make new ones.
    A smile goes a long way and even puts the old acquaintance’s guard down while warming the hearts of new ones. “Be who you are…” a wonderful quote that helps as long as you believe. ☺️

    • December 10, 2019 / 5:24 pm

      That’s such a good way to deal with it, a bit of a c’est la vie thing going on there with being polite but not letting lost connections affect you, moving forward and making new friends and positive connections as you surround yourself with those that are good for you. Thank you for the great comment. I hope this week is going well for you so far 😄 x

  35. December 10, 2019 / 4:31 am

    Hello Caz I have nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I hope you will participate if you will. Good to see you here my friend Caz xx

    • December 10, 2019 / 5:25 pm

      Aw that’s very kind of you. I’m a bit behind on blog reading as it takes so many hours per day but I’ll get there eventually 😉 Thanks, James! Have a great rest of your week x

  36. December 10, 2019 / 1:56 pm

    I’m sorry you have to deal with someone like this, Caz. We all deserve better. Lots of great reflective points though. xx

    • December 10, 2019 / 5:41 pm

      You’re right, we all deserve better than to be made to feel ‘less than’ in some way. I’m glad you liked the post, and thank you for the comment, Rachel. I hope you’re keeping as well as possible  ♥ xx

  37. December 10, 2019 / 7:00 pm

    I’m sad that these people are a part of your life, and I’m glad that you’re protecting yourself.
    There is someone in my life like that. Well, not the same way, but difficult. The first thing is being aware. It took a couple of random people I was discussing it with for me to know that they had an issue. One person told me she was crossing boundaries. Another person labelled the behaviour as manipulative – that one struck me, for he hadn’t been trying to label anything, he was saying something completely different, but I can’t recall what the conversation was about for I go stuck where he was saying about her manipulative behaviour. When you’re aware, and you want it to be different, it can change. For me that means slowly learning to keep boundaries. Trying not to be alone with this person. Slowly actually keeping boundaries. Crossing my boundaries – letting her cross them – and from the discomfort afterwards realising that it’s what’s happened. I think life is a learning game, and you live, and learn, and live, and learn some more. Loving these people and wanting them as a part of your life makes it hard because you want the connection and need some distance to protect yourself. There’s never a perfect balance, just a better, and better balance.
    Anyways, ramble is way too long 🙂
    How’s your gift shopping going?
    Love, light and glitter Caz
    E

    • December 11, 2019 / 4:35 pm

      That’s a very good point, Eliza, the need to be aware first. That’s particularly an issue if someone is manipulative, or very good at underhand, less overt and more passive aggressive behaviours. I’m sorry you’re all too aware of such difficult people. Setting those boundaries is a brilliant step, and shows good self-care. You deserve better, so make sure you get it by adjusting that balance. Your comment is brilliant, it’s not a ‘ramble’ and it’s not too long. It’s perfect. Thank you for sharing!  ♥
      PS. Shopping has progressed 0%! Yours? I hope your crafting idea is going well with designing those different sides for everyone. xxxx

  38. December 11, 2019 / 1:04 pm

    Thanks for this Caz,

    It was helpful for me to read, as I go through this almost daily. I’m sorry you have to go through it too. The thing I try and tell myself, Is the same as you: they wouldn’t be able to handle it if they were in my shoes. In my case, I think it is the fact that this person just doesn’t understand and is unable to see things from another’s point of view. And, no matter how much I try to explain, it’s just not going to get through. Great post for Christmas, especially, as this is the time when lots of people see others who make themselves feel this way.

    Keep being a strong and lovely person that you are Caz 🙂

    • December 11, 2019 / 4:39 pm

      I’m so sorry you know this kind of person / these kinds of people. Dealing with it on a daily basis? That’s got to take it’s toll… Never doubt yourself Jen, because you’re made of tough stuff and there’s not a chance anyone daring to make you feel ‘less than’ would last a day in your shoes, nor would they act with anywhere near the amount of graceful gratitude and compassion that you do. I hope there’s a way you can rectify the balance a little as it doesn’t sound like this person in particular is going to change nor become less ignorant any time soon. You deserve better than that, and you don’t need more shit to deal with or negativity to wade through. I think you’re a bloody superstar, Jen, and some people clearly are not deserving of your light in their lives. Sending hugs  ♥

  39. December 12, 2019 / 4:25 pm

    I’m not one for swearing in the public domain so I’ll simply say… be the better person and rise above it all <3

    • December 18, 2019 / 4:10 pm

      You have more restraint than me on the swearing front 😉 You’re right, being the better person, however that looks in the specific situation, is the better route to take, which is important to remember in the heat of the moment. xx

  40. December 12, 2019 / 6:16 pm

    It almost always turns out that the perpetrator was not thinking about “you” , rather, is quite absorbed in self. That you cannot elicit a co-sympathetic response, tells to act politely, one-step removed. Their loss.

    • December 18, 2019 / 4:11 pm

      A very good point, Marilee. I think the expression of ‘it’s not you, it’s them’ is quite appropriate here. Thank you for sharing your thoughts 😊 xx

  41. December 17, 2019 / 6:14 pm

    Reading this bought tears to my eyes, I experience this with my family, 2 members in particular have led me to breakdowns because of how they have made me feel. I’m sorry you’ve experienced this Caz, if you ever need to vent, please do message me 💚

    • December 18, 2019 / 4:14 pm

      Oh Ami, I’m so, so sorry. Nobody should feel they have the right to make you feel like that, intentional or not because I think it’s pretty obvious when someone is upset or offended in any way. How did things go with those two members of your family, do you still speak to them? It’s so hard with family, isn’t it? It’s less easy I think to remove yourself from the situation or heed the advice of ‘removing toxicity from your life’ because it’s just not that straightforward. Thank you for your kindness, and the same goes to you – I’m always here, always around. I do hope that these individuals aren’t going to cause upset this Christmas if they’re around, you deserve so much better than hurt from people who I bet aren’t strong enough to even last a day in your shoes.  ♥ xxxx

  42. December 18, 2019 / 2:38 am

    Caz, you are such a brilliant writer. You really are. What a profound gift you’ve been given. You touch people, every single day. I’m not just saying that because of the topic of this post, either. It’s just the truth – every time you bless us with your art!

    This post breaks my heart in a lot of ways. I know you weren’t making it about you, but that doesn’t change the fact of how sorry I am this individual has failed to see the beauty that is you. Some people are ‘secretly’ jealous of your talents, abilities or personality and seek to tear others down as a result. Others are just so ignorant and insecure that they’ve failed to grow past a point of blindness to the feelings, needs and realities of someone other than themselves.

    Something I try to remember – often at that – is how people act has everything to do with what’s going on inside of them and very little to do with us. Their lack of interest or care in our lives has absolutely nada to do with our worth, value or purpose as a human being. Some of these individuals would love for the opposite to be true but that doesn’t make it so. Whether they see our value or not does not change the fact we are valuable, far more than they could ever begin to see in their lack of empathy.

    The majority of my family is toxic, hurtful and often damaging. It is exactly as you describe – put on that full armor, walk in knowing who you are and realizing that their opinion is just that – an opinion. It doesn’t have to be true. If you and I know the truth, deep on the unshakable insides of us, we can’t be moved. It’s almost laughable and sad when you realize just how deceived some people are. I genuinely pray for these folks – that their hearts and minds be opened to knowing the truth.

    You’re a blessing. You’re wonderful and your purpose here is huge. I wish I could take all of the sting away from their ignorance. You are special and always will be! All my love to you, Caz! ❤

    • December 18, 2019 / 4:33 pm

      Aww Holy, it never fails to get me in the feelies when you comment like this! You are so, so kind. And you are so compassionate about the situation I related to personally and yet you’ve gone/are going through what sounds like a very difficult time. I hope you can read back your beautiful words and apply them to yourself. I’m so, so sorry there are many toxic individuals in your family. Nobody has the right to make you feel lesser in any way. It’s harder when it’s family because it’s not a straightforward case of removing yourself from the situation and it can hurt all the more because these are the people that ‘should’ be there for us, that ‘should’ be supportive or at the very least polite and neutral.

      I think you’re right about the types of people that can be like this, too. Secret jealousy was an aspect I hadn’t included in the post. But absolutely, that or insecurity as you say, and they may not even realise the fault is with them, that they’re insecure or jealous or so pathetic that they need to hurt others or put them down to make themselves feel more superior in some way.

      The problem in situation like this with difficult people is definitely a reflection on them, not on the person on the receiving end of their comments or behaviour. It’s hard to not be hurt by it but that’s where I think many of us need more faith in ourselves, confidence that we can’t be moved or hurt or affected by people like this. They deserve our pity, not our tears.

      Sending lots of hugs to you, my friend. How your family can treat you any less than as an angel in disguise is beyond me. You have oodles of love for others so they’re missing out big time. I’m always here, if ever you need to chat or vent or anything at all. Thank you again for such a thoughtful, wonderful comment  ♥ xxxx

  43. December 23, 2019 / 7:20 pm

    I think trying to figure out why they’re doing what they’re doing is a great idea. Sometimes they don’t know they’re pushing your buttons.

    I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but it’s been said by others before multiple times, so I think it’s worth sharing. We all have better and worse days, but it seems that when I have issues with someone, other people have issues with that person, too. If I get along with them just fine, it means that most people do, too.

    • December 28, 2019 / 6:51 pm

      Good point and a lot of times we probably don’t even realise that other people are finding similar with that person in question, but if we knew that it would feel a little less personal to us. Great comment – thank you for sharing your thoughts! x

  44. Karen Figgitt
    December 29, 2019 / 7:56 pm

    Hi Caz, your post has reassured me I am not alone with this particular experience. Thankyou. I understand how painful it is to talk about your experience. There was a member of my OH family who I tried so hard with for over 15yrs but their toxic nature never altered. One good thing to come from my ms diagnosis earlier this year was the perspective it gave me on evaluating my life and the people in it. I chose to remove myself from OH family member. I communicated my feelings and decision to my OH who understands and is supportive. I am no longer connected by any communication channels and life has been so calming and relaxing since I made this decision. We cannot change a toxic prrson but we can chose who we surround ourselves with.

    • December 31, 2019 / 4:05 pm

      I’m so sorry you’ve had to experience this kind of thing, too. It’s not easy to walk away and remove a toxic person from your life, especially when they’re a member of family, whether you’re own or your other half’s. I imagine that wasn’t easy for you, but it surely is the best thing you could have done for yourself because you’re worth more than being made to feel ‘less than’. I’ve found chronic illness really changes the playing field where people are concerned as well. It takes courage to rock the boat and make these decisions about those that cause us harm and hurt, so I think you should be proud of yourself. Thank you so much for sharing this, I really appreciate it. I wish you the very, very best for 2020  ♥ xx

  45. DAVID A Folstad
    January 7, 2020 / 12:26 am

    Judging by the tons of comments, this post was relatable to a great deal of your readers, myself included. I have decided that I carry around the hurt, grudge and won’t do it anymore. I’ll putting it down, confrontation doesn’t help as you said. Instead I am determined to “plow around the stump” per se, as the stump won’t move.
    Another quote you might like is ” Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”

    • January 9, 2020 / 10:25 am

      You’re right, the weight of the hurt, resentment, all of what can come with this kind of issue, is a heavy load to manage. It’s usually just not worth it. “Plow around the stump”, I like that! It’s a good point to consider when there are some people that simply won’t move or change, where the only thing you can do is let it go and avoid and do your best to not let it affect you so badly. And I do love that quote – being ourselves is what makes life so interesting! Thank you for the brilliant comment, David. Wishing you all the very best for a brighter 2020 😊 x

  46. January 13, 2020 / 9:20 pm

    Of course it would be easy to say, ” tell them to fuck off”, or I will come kick their ass for you, but that wouldn’t really solve anything would it? What I can say is that you are a smart young woman. I do try to give people the benefit of the doubt when they say or do something hurtful, but I also usually say, “ouch” or I feel that was a low blow. When I don’t respond right away, I find that I let things fester until I get angry instead of hurt. I don’t like the person I sometimes become when I get angry, so I really try to avoid that. For the ones in my family, I try to avoid spending time with them anymore than I have to. If I can’t avoid them entirely, I try to stick around with others

    • January 26, 2020 / 10:40 am

      I’m sorry I’ve only just spotted this – I’m sorry it sounds like you know what this is like, too, especially with family. I think you’re right about how those feelings can fester. And of course it’s not always easy to avoid those people that are difficult or make us feel awful, but you do what you can to limit that time of exposure. Thank you for the great comment, Grace.xx

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