How do you love someone when it’s tough to do so?
I thought long and hard about how to answer. In truth, we meet people in life who rub us the wrong way. Most incidents are easily resolved, some are never resolved, and then there are those people we love even when it is a challenge.
How To Love People Who Are Hard to Love
It is hard to be in the company of a person who is hard to love. We have immediate family members, in-laws, friends, and co-workers whose company we keep for personal reasons or because we cannot cut them out of our lives. We also have people thrust upon us. So how do we hang in for better or for worse? We learn to compromise, which can pay off.
1. Think First About Your Feelings
This is not a selfish decision. It is impossible to show meaningful love to a difficult person until you come to terms with your feelings. You know that we all have our perspectives and our own needs, which may not necessarily match the needs of others.
Nevertheless, I have continued to show love to someone who is hard to love not only for myself but for all concerned. After the age of 50, it is time to be good to yourself. Above all, you want to figure out a way to feel rewarded rather than frustrated.
2. Display Empathy
Emotional intelligence pays off in relationships. Remember, no one in the world is perfect. I put myself in the other person’s shoes. Maybe that individual is having a difficult day. Perhaps the person has a problem in their life. Maybe I am having a negative effect on them and oftentimes they are just plain difficult, yet still worthy of love.
3. Challenge Instead of Judging
Don’t judge or be quick to blame in a relationship. It’s important to talk and have a heart-to-heart or several heart-to-heart conversations. It is certainly not in the best interest of any individual to be judgmental, especially when you are trying to love someone who is hard to love. But it is wise and necessary to challenge the actions of that person. Don’t pretend. Be upfront. Bring the problem to the surface. They will oftentimes respect you if you do it kindly and with resolve.
4. Set Your Boundaries
When you realize the problems are about them, darling, take the driver’s seat, and set boundaries. There are degrees of love. Maybe you should keep this relationship at bay. Loving someone does not mean you have to be in their daily life, you can choose to have a relationship your own way, even if it is very limited. Similarly, loving someone does not mean you have to be their closest friend in the world.
5. Show Forgiveness
Your ability to love someone when it is hard to do so is in your best interest. Learn to forgive, as your emotional and physical health comes first. When you harbor anger, you suffer. When dealing with difficult friends or family members, its important to forgive and seek forgiveness.
Different Reasons People Are Tough to Love
There are times when walking away from a relationship sets you both free. Dear reader, this is another form of loving someone who is hard to love. There are times we walk away because loving that person is not meant to be, under any circumstances. That is called loving ourselves and taking care of our own needs. This practice is necessary and healthy. However, for the most part, there is a piece of everyone, even the most difficult individuals, that we can find a reason to love.
I remember receiving a note from a woman who could not get along with her daughter-in-law. She told me she had exhausted all avenues and asked me for my advice. I remember my answer, “Make friends with the other mother-in-law.” When family problems arise, you oftentimes have to be creative with your approach. The last thing you want to do is become estranged from your son, the grandchildren, and the entire family.
My College Experience
A good person can be hard to love when you do not have anything in common. I sat next to a girl in a college class. She would never choose me as a friend. I would never choose her. But, surprise! We wound up becoming best friends. We found a common thread. She took perfect notes. I graduated from Kankakee by the Sea High School and I was not prepared for college. One day, I leaned over to her and asked her if she would teach me how to take notes. She said yes. One day she asked me, “Would you teach me how to use make-up and buy the right clothes?” I said yes! We realized we were in sync in more ways than teaching one another how to take note and dress; we soon became close friends.
Loving Someone Can Be Tough But…
Quality time is important for a relationship. Often, time passes and you lose touch with friends who mattered to you in your earlier life. You meet one day and want to reconnect. It can be tough because years have passed and you have both changed. However, you still have one thing in common: the fun pastimes you shared together. These talks will bring back wonderful memories and you can go from there. Suddenly, you may find it is not tough to love your friend after all.
Loving someone can be tough for a multitude of reasons, and tough on you as well. I believe in giving these difficult situations a chance by looking for the silver lining in all people. Dear reader, more often than not, you will find it.
Have you ever been in a situation where it is tough to love someone? Let me know in the comments at the bottom of this page. Let’s discuss!
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