How to deal with difficult people

Following direct life experience and some knowledge I derived from reading Harry Potter (sic!), I would like to share with you some insights on how to accomplish the difficult task of dealing with difficult people.

1. The core confidence
The key in dealing with difficult people is to work on your core confidence, to nourish that unbreakable part inside yourself, to acknowledge what truly makes you happy and be able to produce your own supply of joyful energy.
Dealing with difficult people can be draining because yeah, you guessed it, they feed on your energy. But you get to choose what you allow in or not. You are the master of your own thoughts, feelings and energy. And that is the free space in which you operate.

2. Choose your gang wisely
There’s a famous quote on the Internet saying that “you are the sum of the five people you spend most time with”. If your friends are cheerful, so will you be. If your closest company has a fixed mindset and spends time complaining or attending the Blame Game Championship, there are low chances to evolve. Moreover, if for instance your co-workers are bullies, there is a high likelihood you become like them. Copying behavior is the most common human strategy of learning.
The environment in which you function sets the tone for what you consider acceptable. If you stay too long in a toxic environment, you might think that’s the common rule, when in fact it’s not, it’s just a bubble. There’s a big world out there and you could as well be somewhere, flooded by sunshine and blowing soap bubbles.

3. Don’t take things personally
Difficult people have little knowledge of fair play. Expect personal attacks and put-down attempts, paired up with a misuse of logic. Derailing the purpose of the talk/gathering at personal level is the trap they try to pull you into.
There’s another old saying about “people who will try to cut off other people’s heads in order to appear taller”.
Don’t catch the bite and try to keep your focus. Acknowledge that what they are saying or doing gives a clear sign about themselves and that they are making noise to mask their own insecurities. The lack of fair play, the rudeness, the bad jokes and bad mouthing other people, all these define them, not you.
But you get to decide what level you want to operate at.

4. Fixing problems
You might feel sorry for them and attempt to fix their problems. But this is another trap, some people believe owning a problem increases their sense of importance. They want attention, not their problem fixed.
Best thing you can do is to empower them to fix their own problems.

5. Envy is not a sign of admiration and jealousy not a sign of care.
Competition and its consequences are engrained in the spirit of humanity. We have the biblical story of Cane and Abel, in which Cane wants all the love of God for himself only.
In Romania, we have a story in which two shepherds kill their co-shepherd out of greed and envy.
Christ knows who betrayed him and gave the poisonous kiss and they eat and drink and he knows what will happen.
There’s also another story of greedy children fighting over a piece of cake, without knowing what’s inside, as if getting their mouths dirty is a matter of life and death. Of survival.
There are several levels of consciousness and we can operate at any of these levels, from the instinctual to the spiritual.

6. Harry Potter knowledge applicable to your personal space
You might need an effective strategy to deal with difficult people and I have found some answers straight from J.k. Rowling’s imagination!
You will need: some good laughter and a happy memory.
The boggart is a versatile creature that can take any form, embodying the biggest fear of the person in front of it. What you need to do is to pull out the magic wand and use the charm: Ridikulus! Acknowledge how ridiculous the situation is and take a good laugh about it. And the boggart disappears.
The Dementors are creatures that suck dry hope and happiness out of people. What you need to do is to invoke your happiest memory, pull out the magic wand and use the charm: Expecto Patronus! There, with a bit of focus, you can be happy again.

I hope you find this text useful. If you have other topics you would like discussed, don’t be shy, write to me!
Cheers,
Laura

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New Media Language

(Following The Creative Seed, Sea Life and The Story of The Hidden Toucan)
-in which Laura tries to explain why she is looking for a new language-
1. She is looking for meaning in all directions. ‘Sens’ in Romanian means both meaning and direction.
2. She is looking for meaning also inside colours. All colours.
3. She can design dresses. With bright colours and meaningful prints. She can also design wallpapers, inspiration to search for meaning in the room where you live or in the one where you wash.
4. The hidden pair of toucans appears again. We can suspect her she has a playfulness level similar to the one of Julio Cortazar.
5. At the core, there’s always an abstraction.
At the core of all things, acts, emotions, situations there’s always an abstraction.
6. The existential bug.
There are funny, joy-saving situations, when the system is debugged without really knowing how.
There was a time when I was interested in psychology and I can say I have accumulated enough knowledge. But there is this danger of becoming self absorbed in thinking too much. Psychology is a way of seeing the world, but it’s not an exhaustive one, it’s just one way of seeing the world. There are many others.
7. I will start using a digital signature which is actually me in my favorite bathrobe. Why not, this is one advantage of the digital age. We use the tools that already exist. Things change fast, why not ride the art&technology wave in your favourite bathrobe?
8. A lady in a red dress holding an antique statue, representing a human riding a ball and holding a ball at the same time. Feel free to interpret.
9. A golden cat standing at the Ideas Gate.
Why a new media language is necessary will be explained in the next episode.

The pyramid of passions

I could become anything
But i like this state of possibly becoming anything
The future used to make my present anxious
When i envisoned it as bad
Narrowing down to one unpleasant possibility
Now I see the future as open
And the past as closed.
The life I live is a consequence of my decisions
A long chain of turning left or right
Of picking or refusing
Of accepting or denying
No one is responsible for my happiness, but me
They ask me if I have a secret
And I laugh
I have a entire pyramid
Of passions
A reminder to stay grounded
Cause I know how to enjoy life.

Anyone could have a pyramid
If they decide so
But not my pyramid
Build yours.

A flexible new media language and the mystery of the toucan

A flexible new language, new media & partially explained puzzle. Playfully designed for viewer interaction to feel free to fill in the space with meaning

5. Toucan
4. One toucan and another one connected through a seashell. Or maybe by means of a snail, a slow paced land creature, grass creature, garden creature, but still displaying the mysterious depth of the creatures of the sea.
3. The toucan on the right is a flamingo.
The toucan on the right is a dynamic metaphor of transformation.
The toucan on the right flies.
In his early childhood, the toucan on the right read a reinterpreted version of the Myth of Icarus.
1&2 these two snapshots of the two toucans seem similar, but they are different.
Different not only because of the different digital space they occupy, but also due to a subtle change of light.
∆t2-∆t1=the changing pair of toucans
∆t2-∆t1 the weather in our hearts changes, sometimes it rains, sometimes it’s sunny, sometimes what’s outside is not equal to what’s inside
1-9 a flexible new language
9. stay focused
8. a spiderweb used by the master of archery for his daily training. He aims high and he’s not obsessive, he’s focused. He’s also playful.
6. explanation intentionally left blank. Feel free to fill in the space with meaning.

A romantic theater play with rain, firefighters, freedom celebrations and cycling lessons

You need to learn how to turn, are you going to go in circles all your life? a grandfather asks his granddaughter in the park. She is learning how to ride a bike and going full speed in a circular area. Again and again. She’s laughing, the grandfather is smiling, I’m smiling, too.

Yes, I need to learn how to turn, I tell myself. Cause I went out of the circle and then I stopped, practicing again my favorite sport: contemplation. Inner and outer contemplation. The yellow taxi at the other side of the park, the white dog, the puppy. The man wearing red shorts running in the park every day at 7 and a half in the evening. Maybe he trains for the marathon. He’s taking a circular route, too. I smoke and I watch. I watch everything. What do we know about the inner life of an introvert, unless the introvert tells us about it. What do we know about the inner life of a cat, sitting at the window, all day long, in a house with a garden, where plants grew partially wild, but flowers still take turns in blossoming.

It’s been raining, I like taking the umbrella and venturing myself around the city. It’s hot and moist, maybe this is how living at the tropics feels like. Today, thunders and lightnings. Like in a Shakespeare theater play. You’re romantic, my friend says. She’s right, I am. I have the impression the public is waiting to see what the next step will be. They’re waiting eagerly and I like to prolong the suspense. I promised myself I will do only impeccable acts.

At night, flames and fireworks.
I should have been celebrating my freedom today, I wanted to take a walk on the main boulevard, in silence, wearing my freedom dress. My freedom dress is an ex day-to-day dress, which was retrograded to pyjama status. It was my sleeping costume, in Barcelona, one year ago, when a thief entered through the window. It was the dress I was wearing early in the morning when I walked to the police to tell them: I don’t have any luggage, money, cards, phone, identify. It was a lucid, crucial moment opening from the threads of time, when I realized I worried too much for imaginary things, but when it is really needed, even the worst situations can be solved. It was also about the emotional luggage, of course. And since then, I started dropping all the things that hindered me from being light, one by one.
I didn’t wear my freedom dress today on the boulevard, but I paid a silent thought to all the people learning how to turn. And at night, I had some apples with the firefighters, watching a street lamp that could or could not catch fire. Miss, with all this rain, there are street lamps catching flames all over the city tge wires are not well isolated. Fireworks buzzing at the corners of the streets in darkness. It’s almost funny, me and the firefighters watching a street lamp, on the day of my first contact with freedom celebration. It’s like a theater play.

Thunders, rain, flames and a romantic writer. Don’t worry, miss, you can go to sleep, we will be here all night long, guarding the light. And I close the door, thinking this might be the most romantic things a group of man ever told me.

Life, condensed into six poems and a story

I wrote pages and pages
Notes and letters
Love letters, motivation letters, biographies and statements
Documents and proofs I live, I feel and I exist
But in the end, it all goes down to six poems and a story:
Break the weakness chain with beauty
About people hurting other people ad infinitum
And feeding the void instead of feeding the cats from the fourth floor window
A story set in my memory
In my favorite month, May in Bucharest
When it smells like flowers everywhere and it sometimes rains
And people carry broken umbrellas or study art
And meet each other again by chance, in revelant moments
Just to wish each other
Good luck.

A poem
About a statue with a hole in its chest
Stuck on one of the longest boulevards in Bucharest
A very straight road, which I used to take often
A statue that reminded me of a prince who gave away his last sapphire
His eye
Out of kindness
And I couldn’t find anything better to say
To a statue
To a memory
To an island
Then pointing to the wings that paid him a visit:
There is a pigeon on your shoulder, Sir.

Another poem about memories, bubbles, expectations
A very typical day in the life of a poet
Living a stratified life
In which Lady Cyclops, a painting, doesn’t leave for Japan anymore
And I have no more tears to shed
Cause I have spent them all at her imaginary departure.
It’s okay
As long as we can still hold the freedom of our poetic imagination
Don’t worry, Lady Cyclops, you will go to Japan, I will paint you a ship.

A poem I wrote in Sibiu two years ago
After watching a theater play
I used to go to the theater often
I remember I once watched an entire theater play in German
Although I didn’t understand a word
Because I was too polite to get up and ask for translation headphone after the play started
But somehow I figured out at the right moment to move on stage when it was required
It was a nice change of perspective, to see a foreign world through the eyes of the performer.
I was living in a beautiful bubble back then
Although sometimes I used to fail seeing it
So I wrote myself a reminder:
Life as it is until it starts changing
With fireworks and snow sticking to my eye lashes.

Another poem, which is again related to the theater and my hometown and its touch of quiet magic
It is about the destiny of the poets
I have no great ambitions, Fernando Pessoa says, writing poetry is my way of being alone
Alone, maybe, but always searching
And ready to go around the world
Looking for the love supreme.
A poem in which I see myself with the luggage in my hand saying goodbye to the actors in my hometown
I, a fully grown imaginary person
Letting everyone know how Maya learnt how to swim:
Maya learnt how to swim when she understood
That every wave of anger and every wave of joy
Still belongs to the ocean.

The luggage appears again in another poem
This time in Barcelona
It appears for a little while only, because it gets stolen
But I pick up the chance to change my perspective again:
So I end up thanking the thief
For allowing me to experience a glimpse of freedom
Walking around in my pyjamas
In broad daylight, in Barcelona
Which was not that bad in the end
It is worse when we cling to things that are not that good for us.

And last but not least
The poem about the magnolia
Because I am a free spirit again and I allowed myself the tremendous luxury of watching a magnolia for one month
And paying often visits to Tomizză
With double zz, like in pizza
A giant orange cat, spending his lazy days on top of a purple car
In a neighborhood
In my inner city.

The magnolia, a story about the link between beauty and freedom

I waited a long time for the magnolia to blossom
And when it finally did, I was happy
I took a sit next to it and I watched everything in silence.
The news about the magnolia blossoming spread fast
And it was mid afternoon when the first group arrived
They took pictures and marvelled
How beautiful, they said.
The news about the magnolia blossoming spread fast
And more and more people started arriving by train, by bus
By flying carpet.
They queued around the corner
Equipped with binoculars and cameras to enhance their vision
To bring beauty closer
And to capture it
To catch for a little fraction of a second the time of beauty.
The news about the magnolia blossoming spread fast
And more and more tourists
Noisy and impatient flooded the streets of the neighborhood where the magnolia blossomed.
I was sitting next to it, observing everything in silence
I sometimes smiled, I sometimes frowned
And there were days when I welcomed them with a white parrot on my shoulder and told them ancient stories about delicacy
And the secret of the man who thought he owned a palm tree in a city where snow can reach half a meter.
This is not my magnolia, I said, this is my friend
If you want, we can all take a sit and watch it
I have prepared several rows of chairs for those interested,
For those genuinely interested
In beauty.
But please be silent
This is a very delicate tree, if it doesn’t like something, the flowers close
And you won’t even have the time to realise what happened.
Among the many passsers-by, there were some who knew how to respect the magnolia
And some who didn’t
There were some who got in front of it and tried to catch my attention with their noise and complaints
But I was already getting indifferent towards what is not worth seeing
So I had to use my magic power, close one eye and make them vanish from my sight
And they yelled louder and I just said calmly, I want to watch the magnolia, your hatred is not beautiful.
Among all the troubled visitors, there was a lady, who approached me
And told me a melodramatic story about the magnolia being her favourite flower in childhood and slyly asked me to cut one flower and give it to her.
Me to cut it and her to have it
And i almost fell in the trap
And I had to close both my eyes and dive deeply inside myself
I said no, you wouldn’t know what to do with it
And if I cut only one flower, my friendship with the magnolia will be over
It would be as if cutting the link between beauty and freedom.
I got back to my chair, I took a sit and went on observing the magnolia and world circus.