Stoic Principles for Difficult People
By: Erwiena Kilawala
What does the word ‘Stoic’ mean?
A person’s existence in this universe is often linked up with scenarios and situations where they might have to maintain an aura of composure and behave cordially. That’s when the idea of stoicism comes in. Stoicism or stoic principles stand for finding a sense of direction and a perspective of one’s intimate surroundings and the world outside. These Stoic principles for difficult people help and render a person in an advantageous position.
Stoicism, originally known as Zenonism, after the founder Zeno of Citium, in Athens in the early 3rd century BC. The morals of Stoicism are highly known for accepting that virtue is the only good for human beings.
This philosophy was famously practiced by Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. He lead his life by applying the ideas in a way where he leads a life as an example to rest of the humanity. He said;
“When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil.”
An ardent believer and practitioner of Stoicism, he was able to live a meditative and well-balanced life. “The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
The Stoics also have this notion that certain destructive emotions result from errors of judgment, and their belief is that the people should aim to maintain a will and let nature run its course. And believe that for a person to live a good life one had to understand the rules of the natural order since they thought everything was rooted in nature.
What happens when we meet difficult people?
We sometimes question ourselves, which is self-reflective and introspective. Hence often try to find answers as to why a certain person is treating us this way or that, which might be slightly different than you would expect. At times we might fear what the imminent consequence can be if we react in an entirely different way.
When we try to break away from our comfort zones. Since we time and again meet people whose manner and methods of living are such that they push us to react in extreme ways. We need to psychologically scaffold ourselves so as to be in a better state of balance.
Our reactions can be emotional or can direct our actions or words which might not seem agreeable. Therefore, we must as part of maintaining tolerance and peace hold fast to Stoic Principles for difficult people.
Stoic Principles for Difficult People
The stoic principles include values such as ethics, morals, and ideologies. The Stoic principles have enabled people to maintain composure in difficult times, especially dealing with difficult people.
When we talk about Stoic principles for difficult people, we hold on to the idea of how difficult it is to live with certain kinds of people who are in the constant pursuit of making the existence of other people difficult. They are narcissistic, suspicious, angry, and meddle with other people’s lives. Their habits cause hurdles, psychological trauma, anxiety, stress, and irritation to other people.
A few ways to maintain a stoic lifestyle are :
- Controlling your perceptions – When we deal with difficult people, we need to direct our thoughts and perceptions towards positivity. For our mental well-being, we need to realize we all struggle with our own issues and insecurities.
- Direct your actions properly – One needs to take control over one’s actions and explore the possibilities in a level-headed manner. Taking decisions and acting upon it without thinking of consequences will not end fruitful results.
- Stop focusing on the faults of others – one should focus on what we can control, and other person’s perceptions and thoughts are not under our control, therefore, Looking inward and trying to remain in control of your own self is at the heart of Stoicism. The philosophy reminds us that external events cannot be controlled — no matter how much worry or anguish you pour into them.
- Other persons aggravation is not intentional – We often meet people, who are malicious, meddling, or, aggressive, it is due to their ignorance of true good and evil. Hence, Individuals are so deeply wrapped up in their own agendas, emotions and plans, that you and your feelings aren’t a consideration.
An Example to Live a Stoic Life
For instance, When joining a new team at a workplace, your work fellows would always have high aspirations and targets to achieve for the team and also individually. Whereas, you who have just got yourself adjusted to the new system of management might face a little politics here and there.
Therefore, you must not allow the actions and perceptions of others to direct your emotions into negativity. You must control your perceptions and understand everyone has their own ways of working and ideologies, and respect it. In order to have a more fulfilling working experience, try to build yourself up as an employee and as a human being instead of finding faults in others.
Everything we do, each and every day, is a choice. The truth is that everyone struggles to manage their time, and we all have an enormous amount of responsibility. But we don’t have to be a slave to stress, anxiety, and unpreparedness. Hence, the more strategies of stoic principles we experiment with, the more refined our lifestyles will be. Thus, we would be more at peace and live a sensible stoic life.