What if I told you that I want you to
be difficult

You might be thinking “the last thing this planet needs is ANOTHER difficult person,” but I’d like to challenge your concept of what “difficult” truly means. What if we defined being difficult as reacting honestly, tuning in deeply to your emotions, and speaking up when necessary?

To be clear, “being difficult” as I am defining it doesn’t mean creating unnecessary problems, it means confronting issues head-on. Being difficult isn’t an excuse for indulging in unproductive, needlessly hurtful, or abusive behaviors, it means calling out the bad behavior when you see it. It means expressing and clarifying your needs and desires, even when someone else does not want to hear it. And it means setting boundaries, first with yourself, then with others, of what you will and won’t put up with from others in your life, even if it means walking away from the relationship. 

The scenarios presented in this quiz will help you take a hard look at your reactions to see where you land on the difficult scale.  It should only take about 10 minutes, and I’ll give you some tips on how to embrace truly being difficult. 

1. Your partner was laid off and decided they’d use the time to finally write their screenplay. Six months later, you’re coming home to a depressed partner and an unkept apartment; your savings have dwindled to nothing and no screenplay has materialized. What do you do?

 2. When the position to head your team at work opens up, you apply for the role, which you feel you are especially qualified for. Your friend and colleague also applies and is chosen for the role.

3. It’s Friday night and you and your partner are at a party. Midway through the evening your partner’s ex shows up. They spend the rest of the night talking and laughing, excluding you and everyone else at the party. You feel embarrassed, jealous, and ignored.

4. Your teenager, a gifted and serious pianist, announces they want to quit playing to spend more time with friends. This decision blindsides you.
5. Your assistant at work has been increasingly slacking off, making avoidable errors and being uncommunicative.
6. Your partner has taken up long distance cycling to relieve stress and now spends all day every weekend on 8-hour bike rides while you manage your three young children.

7. Your child, a freshman in college, is failing all their classes. You have a distinct suspicion that they have been partying and skipping classes.
8. You and your partner are expecting your first baby. Your mother-in-law, an interior designer, is expecting to decorate the nursery. You prefer a simple, low-key aesthetic, and the frilly, old-fashioned designs favored by your mother-in-law made you cringe. What do you do?

9. You have a longtime friend who is funny, warm, and smart. You just love her. She’s also scattered and often cancels plans at the last minute or shows up late. This didn’t bother you when you were younger, but now your free time is precious, and your frustration is rising.

10. Your partner invites the in-laws for dinner at your house without discussing it with you first. It sounds like they’ll be here in a few hours!


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