I find that the world of social navigation is becoming more and more delicate. It’s easy to say “If this person isn’t going to work with me on this, then I’m done trying to work with them.” However, the importance of the task or the person, have to take precedence over those feelings of “I’m tired of trying.”

If you help people for your job, and they are difficult to work with, you need to find a way to communicate with that person as it works best for them. Being flexible with your communication style will open a whole world of opportunity to you that may have seemed impossible previously. This is especially true when communicating with upper management, even in small companies. Also keep this in mind for clients/customers. Chances are they are very stressed about what they are needing help with and they don’t mean to come off as negative or difficult as they are. Continue to be kind, and as helpful as you can. You will see/hear their attitude change and they will be very grateful for your patience and understanding.

If the person you need to work with is family, and they need help, sometimes you have to let go of hurtful words or actions, and find out what is best for them. If someone you care about is hurting, or going through something difficult, then their actions or words may not be conveying what they want to say. Our ability to effectively communicate is based heavily on our emotions at the time. And sometimes we need to put our own emotions into check when someone else is going through something a bit deeper and needs more patience and care.

This is not to say you should ignore your feelings. If someone is really abusing you or seems to be purposely difficult to work with, then step away for a bit and re-assess the importance of you helping that person. If they want to find help somewhere else, then let them. If they don’t really want help, but just pity, that won’t do either of you any good. They need to be in a place to accept that help. However, they may need that comfort before they can bring themselves to a place of acceptance for help. And being there for them during that time can be equally if not more important than the help itself.

As you can see, there are a lot of what-ifs, and caveats to helping others. The thing you must keep in mind is that you need to choose the healthiest route for you and the person you are helping, and often times, that is the patient, understanding, and caring route. Navigating this as skillfully as possible will help you see if you can continue helping that person, or if it becomes too unhealthy for your own state, then you should back away and re-asses, or leave things as they are. You cannot really be there for someone if you can’t first be there for yourself.

Please note: This is a quick-written post and isn’t as well formatted and fully invested as I would like to be. I hope you understand as I try to get myself into blogging/writing on a regular basis. You will see much more involved and planned posts as time goes on. Thank you.