There are people in everyone’s life that seem to serve no other purpose than to make life miserable. Call them haters, gossipers, enemies or any other term you like. They can make our life more difficult and prevent a lot of the good we deserve. One of the best ways to handle these people is to use them. Nothing frustrates one of these people more than to know their actions actually went to serve the greater good. How annoying would that be? Here you are, just doing your best to bring some negativity to the world and someone finds a way to turn it into something good. If that keeps happening, it might not even be worth spending your energy on anymore.

So, how do we use our enemies? Listen to what they say. Often they are the first people to let you know some area in which you are slipping. That is why I always recommend using these people if you are working to improve any area of your life. Say you want to start working out, or maybe quit smoking? Tell these people who would love nothing better than to find you not keeping your word. They will watch you closer than any life coach you could pay. They will do it for free and be happy to. They will actually be exciting to catch you laying around eating a doughnut or out back lighting up. Can’t you just see the joy on their face when they mention it to you (and anyone else in earshot I would imagine) Now don’t you just want to smack the smirk off that face? After all it is hard enough to make a change without them taking relish in your struggle.

Before you give into the warranted violence, there is a better option. I know, it can be hard to imagine something that would feel better than knocking the block off some soul who lives to point out the faults of others. Here is what I suggest, put a big smirk on your face and say something along the following lines, “Thank you. It is hard enough to do this, but with your help I know I will succeed. Thanks again.” First of all, they were not trying to help you and will find it terrible to know they did. Second, their grin will usually fade into a look of confusion or contempt. Both of these will feel better, at least in the long term, than physically wiping their grin off yourself. It also gives you more motivation on your own journey. In the back of your mind will be the thought, “I better not light up or that jerk Mark from accounting will tell everyone and take delight in my failure.” Then Mark goes from a pain in the butt we might be trying to work on, to an unpaid employee that will gladly work for free. We also know if we view Mark’s delight in our struggle as something that works for us, it will take a great deal of joy out of it for him.

Even the people who are the biggest pains in our lives can serve to be a great asset if we find a way to use their behavior to our advantage. This will also take a lot of stress out of our lives and help us to live an amazing life.

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