Ten ways to enjoy your life when challenged by someone’s negative behaviour.

With Christmas just around the corner, learning to navigate challenging behaviour is a wonderful tool to have in your wellbeing tool-kit, as it's a time of year filled with many social gatherings.


In the five years that I’ve been running my wellbeing workshops for mums, one of the most commonly asked questions is:



“How do I deal with this one person in my life that is causing me pain?”


In fact, I’ve been asked this question so often that it inspired me to create the following ten tips which I discuss at my events and share with my clients to help them deepen their wellbeing practice.


If you have someone in your life that constantly tests you, who gets under your skin or tries to draw you into an argument – I get it. I had a person like this in my life, too! If you’ve had enough and just want to feel good whether they are in your life or not, you can!


I’ve personally been implementing these ten tips for almost 12 years now and I must tell you that they have been my saving grace.


This person taught me how to forgive wholeheartedly, even when in my mind they didn’t deserve it, but forgiveness is not about the other person – it’s about self-love and how willing you are to forgive for you. I had to forgive this person, who I now refer to as my teacher, for stealing some Christmas presents that I had stored away for my 1 year old, blatant exclusion from ‘all girls are going’ type events as well as many run of the mill ‘mean girl’ behaviours such as dirty looks, backhanded compliments, gossiping and so on. You get the idea, it wasn’t an easy task to just simply forgive. I found it challenging to find a kind and authentic bone in her body so ‘seeing the good’ was difficult at first, however, I persisted and I did. So, I know it is absolutely possible.


Forgiveness, compassion, clarity and embracing my worth help me to stay grounded during each interaction. And I take comfort in knowing that I did the best I could (and still do) as I navigate this ongoing relationship with grace and integrity.  


The below tips helped me maintain my wellbeing and continue to thrive despite the negative actions and behaviour.

1.  Don’t take it personally. It’s never actually about you, even if it seems that way!


2.  Focus on one of their good qualities. Yes, they do have some, you just have to focus on them through your loving eyes.

3.  Be conscious of your energy. Ask yourself, “What am I emanating while I’m around them?” Take responsibility for your energy lovely.

4.  Know that they choose their energy. Accept that they choose their energy and focus on not lowering your energy level to match theirs.


5.  Forgive the past unconditionally. Start the relationship with a fresh mind and heart. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you condone past actions but you merely release the toxic bond that you have with them.


6.  Forgive them as you interact with them. Be in an everyday forgiveness mindset when you are around them and let go of the negativity in each moment.


7.  Don’t engage in negative conversations. Sometimes this means walking away and taking a deep breath. The more you disengage from the negativity, the easier it will get! Stand your positive, high-energy ground, lovely!


8.  Decide to own your happiness. Embrace your inner-power and don’t let anyone affect your mood. Remember your worthiness and stay grounded knowing that you are amazing.


9.  Don’t talk about them to others. Talking about them constantly depletes your energy. Choose to focus on people who light you up and talk mostly about places, events and experiences that inspire you.


10   Send them compassionate thoughts. They need your positive energy, as they are most likely not feeling happy, worthy or at peace within themselves. When you think about them, visualise kindness all around them because they need your kind wishes, much more than your negative energy!

Lovely, it can take a while to find your feet, to be honest it took me a while to get there, however, for many years now I’ve seen this person as my greatest teacher.

If you have a challenging person in your life, my hope for you is that you’ll one day see them as your teacher, too. To see the person in your life, who challenges you most, who may cause you stress or anxiety as your greatest teacher, is a brilliant way to reframe the experience with them and in no time at all your wellbeing will begin to reach new heights.

I'd love to hear from you lovely, let me know your thoughts in the comments below. And if you feel this blog may help someone you know, please share it with them. 

Love Rhi xo 

Let's Connect


Laura Mancini
Once again, thank you Rhiannon for reminding me about these important steps. These last couple of weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions and reading your latest blog has made me realise that I too must forgive certain people for their actions. When you taught me this the first time, things were going great and I stopped the forgiveness process as I felt all was well.  Unfortunately, there will always be people that are not very nice and will say nasty things, but I must remember that it is their issue and I’ll forgive so I can lead a happy life.
Rhiannon, you’ve been such a wonderful support and I really appreciate all that you do xx
Oh lovely Laura, thank you SO much for sharing your thoughts and a little of your recent journey. I really admire your commitment to forgiveness as it has a huge impact on how you feel...and is an everyday action that helps keep your wellbeing on track.
And yes, we can't control what others say or do, we can only control our response and how we chose to interpret their behaviour (which can be really tough sometimes)!

 I wish nothing but happiness for you Laura...and you have all the tools you need in your wellbeing tool-kit... just remember to use them each day amazing lady! 

Much love 
Rhi xo 
By - Rhiannon

Gael Prior
Thanks Rhi for this blog.  Very timely reminder with Christmas next month. Great to revisit these wise words from your previous Forgiveness session. Have passed on  (where appropriate) to Mitchell and Charlotte these life skills to help them deal with situations they encounter.  xxx
Thanks so much lovely Gael. I agree that this time of year is a great time to revisit the power of forgiveness.
 I love how you have shared some of your wellbeing learnings with your children. What a beautiful gift to give them! 

As a mum, if you can help build up your children's wellbeing toolkit as you build up your own...this is mama success in action! :) 
By - Rhiannon

Thanks Rhiannon for the great post.

I have two such individuals in my life who are related to my partner, so it’s not as easy to stop seeing them.  Although since they live interstate, the interactions are a lot less than what they could be (thank goodness).  

I completely agree with all the points you made. The challenge is that when they do bring out their mean girl attitude and bullying tactics (their MO is covert style so not as easily noticed by others), I find it hard not to get upset about it, but when you remind yourself that they feed off your pain, it becomes a lot easier not to let them have their way.

It’s a constant work in progress but as you correctly mentioned, these people are indeed our teachers so the silver lining is that they can help us with our own personal development.  

They project their insecurities onto other people so the mean girl attitude is about them, not you.  Hurt people, hurt people.

Thanks again for the great post. 

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and experience Valerie.
I absolutely understand where you are coming from...and sometimes the behaviour is so subtle it can be difficult to articulate.

Yes Valerie, they are most definitely our teachers which calls us to be our best selves regardless of what they are emitting in the world.
Wellbeing is an ongoing process and navigating tricky behaviour is simply part of living a whole-hearted life full of joy, learning and growth. 

I wish you all the best lovely and thank you again for sharing.

Take care 

Rhiannon x 

By - Rhiannon

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