These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Prickly people in our lives

Beautiful things happen in your life when you distance yourself from the negative things.

I found this quote this morning on one of the FB pages I subscribe to. It really struck me, made me think about the truth in the words. 

If you remember, a while back I was struggling with a relationship at work. The person was certainly "prickly." I actually had only a few run-ins with this person, but I witnessed many unpleasant events (s)he had with others, and the atmosphere was just terrible. The fallout was really unpleasant and spread throughout the staff, and it was really, really hard to go to work each day because I knew there would be tension and friction. 

After several months of this, I was a mess. I wondered where it would go next. I still loved what I was doing, the work with our patients and their families, but the part of my job that related to coworkers was dreaded. The situation had everyone so upset that it was very, very hard to go into the office.

At a certain point I decided I just couldn't continue because things were getting worse in my own heart and head. I began to distance myself in any way I could from the situation. Some parts of the job can't be cut off. But where I could, I backed and backed and backed away. I also worked on canceling my negative thoughts (which were many) and replacing each with a positive thought, an affirmation or a little prayer, anything to pry the clammy little fingers of the negatives from their hold on me. And with time, it worked. I felt awfully isolated for a while, having only a couple people I could talk with about this, but gradually it came around to a better place.

Then, the person who was the root of all the problems for everyone was moved into my building! Up until then, I'd had the benefit of distance to buffer for me. I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to put up with it, being that much closer. Sigh. I continued with my resolve to remain free of the negative feelings.

It hasn't been necessarily fun, but this person has calmed down and is not particularly difficult. I've made an effort to be neutral and pleasant. In the beginning, there were a couple incidents in which (s)he was snide, passive-aggressive toward me. I ignored it, gave no response either positive or negative and just walked away. And it stopped. 

I can at least work with this person now. Our interactions are generally helpful, productive, or nothing. My level of trust is low .... in fact, very low .... because I've seen the quick, rattlesnake strikes. But until I see more of it, I'll continue to be calm and noncombative.  It's not possible to like everyone we work with, perhaps. But it's possible and preferable to put the junk aside when we can.

Everyone has struggles and needs compassion, especially the prickly ones. Offer kindness and care to everyone you meet; even the cold, the hostile, the lippy and the spiky. Place a saucer of kindness in front of them and watch their spikes lose their edge as they lap up your love. It’s not easy, but it is worth the effort.  ~ Soulseeds

It may not work on everyone, every situation, but I think it works on most.  It  takes two, of course. If one person is just hell-bent to be contrary, that's another thing. But even then, it can soften the difficult parts of the relationship, the prickles. It takes persistence (this was 8 months in the making!), but it's worth it, especially in these circumstances where we can't avoid each other. I'll avoid the negative things every time I can.


  1. Replies
    1. It does, MM! But one needs to have patience, too.

  2. I'm working on it the best I know how to right doesn't help that I feel I am dealing with the devil in human form. Baby steps of kindness I send his way... Do I get an C for effort at this point?

    1. Oh, I think you might even get a C+, baby girl! [wink] I know you're really trying. Remember it takes time, and as I said above, patience. Just keep it up and remember that what you are doing is for YOU. It is so freeing when you are able to reach the point of having complete separation in your heart and mind of what's yours and what's the other person's stuff. Those who don't meet halfway have their own burden/cross to carry.

  3. LC over at is having no luck signing on here. Somehow her google account isn't recognized by a few of the blogs she visits. She sends me email responses, and I've decided to post them for her. This one makes me feel better, knowing I'm not alone. Oh, I knew I wasn't, but it helps to be reassured like this:

    Lyn, You are an inspiring model for me. And I wish this conversation
    could have occurred via the Comments on your post. Your reply, summed
    up in your last sentence is wisdom everyone needs.

    About Prickly people:
    What a spiritual exercise you chose to pursue. I worked in an
    organization with a couple who must have been from the same gene pool
    as the individual you wrote about. They were collectively negative,
    critical and demeaning to others in multiple ways. The female of the
    pair also saw every blip in any situation as an on-purpose attack
    directed at her.

    Upon an emotional phone call regarding an effort that I was executing
    with the help of a number colleagues, I jovially chided her, reminding
    her that her involvement was essential and pointing out that if
    slighting her had been my intention, I never would have spent the
    effort and time with her to gather information about her research.

    For some reason neither she nor her husband ever again hit me with any
    of their infamous subtle or not-so-subtle insults, at least to my
    face. I did have to deal with other unpleasantness from them, but I
    usually could hit on peaceful countermeasures that kept my efforts
    that involved them moving forward to successful completion. I have to
    credit them for major expansion of my repertoire of professional
    strategies for dealing with obstructive, prickly individuals.

  4. And LC, as I've told you, you're an inspiration to me as well. Your recovery journey is something to be admired. Thanks for hanging in here. ☺

  5. I am a friend of LC and commenting to see what happens and if i can help her.

  6. Hi, Sandra. Thanks for the help. I hope you can figure it out.

  7. This reminds me of a time years ago that I worked side by side with a woman that just rubbed me the wrong way. I tried and tried to be nice to her to no avail. Things got so bad that our manager took me aside and we had a long talk. I was truthful and she then had a talk with the other woman. LOng story short, the store closed down about 10 years ago. Today, that very same woman and I are friends. We call each other and go out to lunch and thrift shop together. As it turns out that was her first real job. She had been busy raising children and never worked before taking the job TOO seriously for fear of getting fired.
    It's funny how life throws these things at us. People are strange as Jim Morrison once said! Although she was a real pain to work with, she turned out to be a really good friend. The End. Love Di ♥

  8. Di, your story reminds me of a time I hired a woman who I liked, was well qualified, but "different" in the interview. I couldn't put my finger on the difference, but I didn't hire people with whom I thought I'd be friends. The trouble turned out to be our communication styles. What I said, she interpreted differently than I intended and vice versa. The disparity of our styles was causing friction. Finally I had another therapist sit with us while she and I "talked it out." The third person would watch for signs of our miscommunication and do the "what I hear you saying is...." At the end of an hour or so, we both got it! We've remained in touch, friends since then.


If you have something to say about it, just stick out your thumb, and I'll slow down so you can hop aboard! But hang on, 'cause I'm movin' on down the road!!! No time to waste!!!