Not my circus.
About a year ago I came across the charming expression "not my circus, not my monkeys". Not only is it a hilarious visual (yes, go on, imagine the people who frustrate you as being monkeys dressed like clowns...) but its so incredibly profound. At its essence is this.... Other people are not your problem. Its that simple.
Often in life we find ourselves being the ringmaster in what feels like a circus, particularly when there are people around you, who for whatever reason are difficult to deal with. Whether its the one who never has anything nice to say and loves to bring others down, the one who is always a victim of some or other drama... or maybe the one who just likes to create the drama.
These people are not your problem.
What I mean by that, is that whatever is causing them to behave in the manner that they do, is not about you. And its not your responsibility to fix that.
This often comes up when I'm coaching people on dealing with negativity or toxic people in their lives, because its something that we all face, and too often we get totally wrapped up in the issue created by those people and in getting angry that they wont change or do things the way we think they need to be done. There are people in my own life who are very difficult to deal with, and I have days where I want to shake them and ask them what the hell their problem is, but, as you'll know if you've ever confronted someone like that about their behavior, it only makes the situation worse and fuels the drama that comes with them.
The best way to deal with difficult people, is essentially to have compassion for them. To recognize that whatever is driving their behavior is most likely quite painful and its all part of a defense mechanism. Happy, confident people are drama llamas!
But, and here comes the BIG BUT...
That is not your issue to deal with, and their behavior actually has nothing to do with you.
So next time you're finding yourself on the verge of losing it with someone, getting upset over their behavior or trying to change them, remember. That is not your circus.
Those are not your monkeys to train.