Friday, September 2, 2011

Art Therapy and Difficult People

“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”   Randy Pausch

There is a great deal of talk about the importance of being happy.  Positive Psychology  is based on the study and research of what happiness is and on how being happy enriches our lives. By using different techniques and means of perceiving what is right in our life instead of focusing on what is wrong, we become healthy, more balanced and of course happier. What is one thing that gets in the way of our happiness? Difficult people. We all struggle with people that we find difficult in our lives. For some people, it is the Know-It-Alls that drive them nuts. They are the people who appear to have an answer to everything and who are defensive if anyone else has an opinion. Then, we have the passive types who never let you know where they stand then criticize you and everyone else behind your back. We have to deal with the dictators who bully and intimidate their way through life. We can’t forget the yes people who are always agreeing and never delivering and the no people who can always point out something that won’t work. 
So what to do? First, identify which types bother you and which types you can live with. Once you have done that, pick someone who has frustrated you lately. Draw their picture. Write or draw what it is about them that bothers you and why. Pretend that you are the person and write down what you think they fear and why you think that they may be acting in this way with others. Now think of three positives things about this person. Think of three things that could help this person feel less threatened by people. Know-it-alls often feel unheard, how can you let them know that you hear them and still be able to have room to speak yourself?  Passive aggressive types often feel powerless and ineffective, how can you let this person know that you feel that they are talented and able? Dictators often feel threatened because they have been hurt in the past, how can you let them know that you are not a threat but also that you are not a pushover? Yes people have not found their own voice, how can you encourage them to speak up for themselves?  No people have learned that whatever they do will be criticized, how can you let them know that you will support them?


Elena said...

The Marin teen post was very interesting. And this one, I most definitely need to try this out and see what happens!

Karen Wallace said...

Glad to hear from you. Hugs Karen

Dr. Rick Brinkman said...

Good job. I l like the positive spin. Do something about it to change yourself and ultimately have an effect on them.

Dr. Rick Brinkman
Co-Author: "Dealing With People You Can't Stand, How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst", McGraw-Hill.

And my wife is an Art Therapist. I love the way you brought them together.

Karen Wallace said...

Rick, Thanks so much for your comment! Warmly, Karen


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