Are You Thankful for the Difficult People in Your Life?

I’m assuming that you are most likely thankful for the friends and family in your life. But are you thankful for the difficult or challenging people in your life? Or perhaps some of your friends and family ARE the challenging people in your life (hey, it happens!). In keeping with the theme of building our “Gratitude Muscles” let’s take a look at how we can be thankful for the difficult people we share the planet with.

Difficult people serve an important role in our lives. They challenge us to develop new people skills, deepen character traits, become better problem-solvers, get outside of our comfort zone and think “outside the box”. You know, things we wouldn’t necessarily “volunteer” for, without a compelling reason.

Perhaps, you have a difficult boss or co-worker that has challenged you to communicate differently in order to accomplish the goal you both are working toward. ¬†Or maybe it’s a difficult child that has made it possible for you to deepen your character trait of patience. Maybe you’ve had someone in your life that’s so difficult that you had to increase your ability of problem-solving. I think you get the idea.

The bottom line is: the people in your life (even the difficult ones) have played a part in helping to shape who you are. Let’s give thanks for them (and the challenges they present), too. Without the difficult boss, learning new people skills might not be necessary. Without the difficult child, our patience would not be strengthened. Without the difficult people in our lives, personal growth might not look so appealing. But usually…without the difficult people we wouldn’t be who we are today.

Who in your life, has “encouraged” your personal growth and development, by way of being difficult? What part of your growth are you thankful for? Let me know in the comments. Feel free to remain anonymous, if you prefer. And feel free to share this post with a friend (perhaps, even a difficult one).

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Posted in Cool Helpful Stuff, Featured
2 comments on “Are You Thankful for the Difficult People in Your Life?
  1. Deb Iannarelli says:

    OMG I guess I have alot more to be thankful for than I thought!!!! My 2 sisters and I had always had a difficult relationship with our Mother. We respected her, and loved her, and constantly were searching for her approval and love back. My Mom has never been the hug or kiss type. She was always a pretty rude, and nobody could ever do anything right, but her. I am sure we all know the type. I have lost both my sisters to Cancer. The sad part of that is that my Mother never gave them her approval, even on their deathbeds. It was always about her, and her pain. She turned a blind eye to their suffering and wanted to be the center of attention. It was, “poor me, I lost my daughter”, “poor me why did this happen”. Never did she go to their sides and tell them she loved them for who they where. It caused great sadness to them, and to me to watch. My brother always got all the love and attention for some reason. I being the youngest, and my belief in “Honor your Mother and Father”, always was the one there through her life to pick her up. When my Dad passed away, and both my sisters. My Mother has no faith in the God that I worship. She used to through my bibles away as I collected them growing up. Now my Mother is 91 and I brought her in 3 years ago to my home to care for her. I thought it was the right thing to do. Boy, she has sent havoc through my home. I am thankful to a loving husband who supports me. Nothing is good enough to this day. I make her 3 meals a day, take her to get her hair done, dental appoints, doctor appoints ect. She is still a very bitter woman as I have always remembered. She makes my husband and myselves life a living hell. But I can go on forever. What I have learned, is that I am a God fearing, strong and wonderful human being. No matter what she throws at me. I come back stronger in soul and spirit with every experience she gives me. I no longer need her approval, I approve of myself. I have become a survivor and I am not a Martyr(sp, as she is. She even gets angry when I am happy and askes why am I so happy, and what do I have to be thankful for. My answer is standard. I am happy I woke up this morning and have another opportunity to make it a great day. I am thankful for everything good and bad that comes my way. And it is very true, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I now have custody of my sons daughter who is 14. Her mom is brutal in the same matter to the girl. I can help my granddaughter on her path as I have helped myself. Love yourself and to thy self be true. I have evolved to a very strong woman and I am very proud of that. And thank you Lori, you are right, I am thankful for this bad situation with Mom, it has made me Stand Up!!!

    • Coach Lori says:


      Thank you so much for sharing that. That in itself, takes courage (could it possibly be another positive byproduct of what you’ve been through?) I LOVE that it is written here for all to see a shining example of how we don’t always have to become a product of our circumstances.

      That is a LOT to endure! You have clearly made choices that have had a positive impact on who you are. I’m sure on some days, it doesn’t “feel” so positive. But in the “big picture,” look at the person you’ve become through this! You seem to have clarity in your faith and who you are as a person (something we all crave, yet not everyone has). And you are passing that on to your granddaughter. You are using your unique experiences to “pay it forward.”

      And you are right…THAT certainly is a lot to be thankful for!

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "Are You Thankful for the Difficult People in Your Life?"
  1. […] If you are stumped by any of these questions, ask people around you, what they think. Take some time to consider what you’re thankful for within yourself. This is NOT a selfish use of time. It’s valuable time spent building your “Gratitude Muscle.” This is just the warm up. Consider it “stretching,” if you like. We’ll move on to building our “Gratitude Muscle” with others, in the next post. […]

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