Posts Tagged With: dealing with difficult people

Day 2796: Right and wrong

Members of my family are debating what’s right and wrong regarding our cat Oscar’s end-of-life experience.  Twice I have scheduled home euthanasia for Oscar on a Monday and twice I have cancelled that appointment to allow Oscar to move further along to a natural death.  It’s difficult to tell what’s right and what’s wrong with Oscar, because he

  •  continues to engage with us,
  • eats a little every once in a while,
  • rarely shows obvious signs of pain,
  • is very unsteady,
  • is so good-natured he rarely complains, and
  •  is so wonderful that we want as much time with him as we can get.

It might be right and wrong that I scheduled a phone consultation about Oscar’s quality of life tonight and another home euthanasia visit tomorrow (which I might cancel again).

Michael, Aaron, and I have spent many hours discussing what’s right and wrong with Oscar. We wonder if we are being selfish if we keep him alive and we wonder if we are being selfish if we euthanize him. Right and wrong can be subjective, especially in a situation like this one.

I’ve asked Oscar what’s right and wrong for him, but he hasn’t told me.

Do you see right and wrong in my photos from yesterday?

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That last image might show right and wrong ways to respond to a difficult person. With all that’s wrong in the world, it’s right to speak up and effectively act for change.

I sometimes worry that I’m doing wrong even when I’m doing right, so it was nice to get this feedback for my annual review from a doctor I work with:

Ann is the most amazing social worker in Boston. My patients often tell me “Ann is life changing.” She has an ability to connect and help any patient I send her way no matter their story or background. She has had a tremendous impact on even my most challenging complex patients. I would send my own family members to her in a heartbeat. She amazes me more and more each year. I feel so lucky to have her on my team. I have seen her in action a few times (providing therapy to my patients in front of me) and she is clearly a master of masters.
One patient told me “if the world had more Ann Koplow’s it would be a better place. My solution to violence and racism and suffering is to provide each Family an Ann.”

It may not be right for that doctor to claim I’m the most amazing social worker in Boston if she hasn’t met all of them (which she hasn’t), but I defend her right to say it.   I don’t know what’s right or wrong to say about that patient’s proposed solution to violence and racism and suffering.

Here‘s a song that starts with the lyrics “do me wrong, do me right”:

I’ll be lonelier when Oscar leaves us, no matter when or how.  (That last sentence is an “I” statement, a right way to own one’s feelings and minimize defensive reactions.)

There’s nothing wrong about expressing thoughts and feelings, so please express yours in a comment right below this post.

Gratitude always seems right, so thanks to all who help me blog each and every right and wrong day, including YOU.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Day 2553: Who is on your mind today?

Who is on your mind today?

Wonderful people?

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Difficult people?

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Shadows from the past?

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People who are reassuring?

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People who have a lot of nerve?  People you see during Thanksgiving?

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People who come together when the feeling’s right?

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People who make music?

 

You’re on my mind today, so

  • please let me know who is on your mind today and
  • accept my mindful gratitude on November 22, 2019.

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Categories: anniversary, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2512: What’s your least favorite word?

One of the photos I took yesterday contains people’s least favorite word, according to several studies.

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What is your least favorite word in those photos?  And, just to balance the negative with the positive, what is your favourite word?

Here‘s a favorite comedy routine that a friend recently recommended and which came up when I searched YouTube for “least favorite words.”

 

One of my favorite words is “thanks,” so thanks to all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU.

 

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2482: Difficult people

Yesterday, in a Coping and Healing group, non-difficult people talked about difficult people.

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If it’s difficult to see “difficult people’ in that list of topics, it’s on the third line, third topic from the right. Some solutions to dealing with difficult people are also on that third line: “self care” and “letting it go.”

Coincidentally,  I was researching difficult people the day before that group.  Here‘s a link to a Psychology Today article by Kimberley Key — “How to Handle a Crazymaker:  4 keys to keep from losing it when they start playing games.”  Kimberley Key’s 4 keys to dealing with difficult people are:

  1. Take an observer’s point of view.
  2. Maintain a healthy sense of self worth.
  3. Keep a healthy distance.
  4. Cultivate internal validation.

I need to deal with a difficult person at work today.  Blogging about that, here and now, is reducing the difficulty for me — I’m actually looking forward to the opportunity to practice these helpful skills.

Is that difficult to believe?

Let’s see if there are difficult people in my other photos from yesterday:

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Harley deals with difficult people by hiding under the bed.

Even difficult people can inspire good things.  It was because of a difficult person that I wrote my first original song, 16 months ago:

And a difficult person inspired my latest song, which I performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe last month:

How do you deal with difficult people?

Here’s another way I deal with difficult people: I get in touch with the gratitude I have for all the non-difficult people in my life, including YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 537: Barriers and Obstacles

Yesterday, barriers and obstacles  were very much on my mind.

What are the barriers to our getting what we want or need?  What obstacles get in the way of our moving forward, and why?  How do we judge ourselves and others, when we encounter these?  And are there other, more helpful ways to view these situations?

As usual, when something is on my mind, I see evidence and examples, everywhere I look.

Barriers sometimes get in the way of seeing clearly, figuring out what’s ahead:

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Sometimes, we just can’t figure out what’s there, no matter how we look at it:

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No matter what’s in front of you, there’s no shame in asking for more information, or other types of help.

Some obstacles can appear suddenly, leaving no room to proceed as planned:

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With other unexpected obstacles, sometimes we can see a way to stay our course, by slightly altering our steps.

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Obstacles can seem different, depending upon our perspective:

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For example, stairs are more tiring for me these days, so I see them differently. However, the stairs are the same as they ever were.  I just need to go more slowly, negotiating them.

 

Something might stop us, temporarily:

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But if we wait patiently, and proceed with care, we can keep moving forward.

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Sometimes, people might seem to be blocking our way.

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However, we might be over-rating a person’s importance and permanence, in our lives.

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If we give somebody too much power, we might lose track of what surrounds us.

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Speaking for myself, I tend to focus on problematic people — their thoughts, their actions, the harm they might possibly do.

It helps to let go of worry about that (and other things):

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It also helps to focus on supportive people around you:

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… even if you can’t come up with many names, initially.  Chances are, there’s a team nearby

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… even if they’re difficult to recognize, at first.

Sometimes, obstacles can block our ability to see the most obvious things around,

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but going a short distance can help us see more of what’s there.

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And while there might be lots of things telling us not to proceed,

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… sometimes we just have to cross a line, and keep on going.IMG_6061

Thanks to all those who deal with barriers and obstacles as best they can, to supportive people everywhere (named Mark or otherwise),  to the guys at my parking garage (who have told me that bird poop on my car is lucky), to creatures that poop, to anybody who needs help interpreting anything I ever write or say (because of inevitable barriers to communication), and to you — especially! — for overcoming any obstacles to get here, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 30 Comments

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