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‘Handling’ People

click here for a free psychic reading at PsychicAccess.comWhen people ‘handle’ me, it makes my skin crawl, literally. Why do people feel the need to ‘handle’ others? What is the difference between say being diplomatic with someone, being professional, or having boundaries, all of which are healthy behaviors, compared to ‘handling’ someone? The simple answer is energy.

Handling someone means you are a closed book, you have an agenda with a person and you want to accomplish that agenda, whether it is to get something from the person or to make that person go away (without you simply setting a boundary or being honest).

People who ‘handle’ others often do not know that is what they are doing; it is their unconscious ‘go-to’ behavior, their norm. Some ways of discovering if you are handling versus relating to someone, is to look at your other choices.

You may not realize that addicts always need handling. So, if you are an addict (of any kind — drugs, alcohol, sugar, sex, anything you feel compelled to do in excess), or if you tend to date, marry or make friends with addicts of any sort, you are more than likely someone who ‘handles’ others, as well as yourself. A handler type person will choose addicts often without realizing or admitting to themselves that they are an addict, because addicts do in fact need to be ‘handled’ until they come out of denial and start to participate in their recovery.

Learn to be what you are, and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not ~ Henri Frederic Amiel

People who bond with addicts (we can generically refer to this as codependency) tend to be control freaks, plain and simple. Yes, it is more complex than that but there is an element that is just that simple. And addicts can be controlled to some extent, more than most, because they are already owned by their addiction. So, they respond well to control, to a point. People who choose relationships with addicts (including picking a codependent, giving person) want to get what they want and will push, shove, lie, manipulate, flirt, cry, use sex and false promises and more, to get they want. Wait, isn’t that what addicts do? Yes! Being with addicts is also an addiction.

Look at your parents. Did you (or do you) have to ‘handle’ them to keep getting their support, or money, or to simply keep the peace? Then you were taught and even developed the neurological patterns and you are therefore hardwired to ‘handle’ people to get what you want (rather than maturely discuss, ask, negotiate). Do you carefully prepare for conversations with others, especially with people who have something you want, be it knowledge, money, power, or even love? Are you confused about what you feel most of the time? Then look inside to see how much you are ‘handling’ people, rather than relating to them.

People with low self-esteem often lie. They have to otherwise they could not get through a job interview, or get a second date. Low self-esteem leaves a gaping hole in your energy field and you will be like a bloodhound hunting to fill that hole by having children, getting a ‘cool’ lover or spouse, establishing yourself in some career you think is impressive (even if you are not at all talented enough or qualified for it) and many other coping mechanisms – all of which will require lying, to yourself and others, and ‘handling.’ You will have to construct a doppelgänger that is the ‘you’ who you want others to think or feel you are, as a way to try to continue to exist with the emptiness and pain inside of you.

This is just touching on this subject. If it has aroused you so far, time to get some help. What is the difference between handling, and diplomacy, and professionalism, and boundaries? Honesty! You have no agenda to get something from someone or any desire to impress another person. Instead, you always go inside first, get connected, and see what it is you need and want to keep your integrity for your Self and your path in life. You are strong enough to withstand reactions from others rather than plotting what might happen, and planning a strategy of coping as a ‘just in case’ policy.

Be yourself, don’t take anything from anyone, and never let them take you alive ~ Gerard Way

A person who has no need to ‘handle’ others, is those of us who have the strength and courage to be vulnerable, and to connect or not connect with another person. We come from a place of being helpful even when turning someone away, rather than the selfishness of ‘handling’ which seeks to protect a damaged self, no matter what the cost to another, or sadly, to ourselves.

Honesty is energy; it is the energy of connected authenticity. It does not mean you always know what to do, what to say or when to say it. It does mean you feel a certain way inside and you also know when you don’t feel a certain way inside.

Until you get some help, or until your spiritual practice is strong (a practice that teaches you to go inside to allow Spirit or Source to connect with you because you are now present and at home in your body, able to receive from Source) here is a practice you can use to start to shut down your habitual reaction of ‘handling’ others. This is also a practice that will help you to become more sensitive to others in spite of your low self-esteem, or your fear of being authentic.

Many traditions encourage you to walk in another’s shoes or to treat others as you would like to be treated. This exercise can give you a way to practice doing that. In dramatic or subtle ways, the contemplation may touch and open your heart where it has become fixed or frozen. Sometimes it is life-changing for people, as it was for one man who had broken off communication with his twin brother. After doing this contemplation, he contacted his brother and the two reconnected deeply after more than a decade.

Become the difficult person or a person you are afraid of. Or perhaps you feel you are using this person to get something you want. Take your time settling into this new persona. Then, think of the person you chose. Think of what you know about this person: their appearance, how they spend their time, what they care about, what is difficult about them for you.

Then, imagine that they are sitting opposite you at eye level. Place them at whatever distance feels right. Don’t worry about getting a clear image. It’s enough to just have a sense they are there. Notice whatever arises in you as you imagine the difficult person opposite you. What sensations, emotions, and thoughts come up? Allow whatever comes to be there. Take some time with this.

Boundaries are the lines we draw that mark off our autonomy and that of other people, that protect our privacy and that of others. Boundaries allow for intimate connection without dissolving or losing one’s sense of self ~ Amy Bloom

Next, in your imagination, change places with them; become the difficult person. Take your time settling into this new body. What’s it like to be this person? What do you notice in your body? In your emotions? In your thoughts? Again, take your time. Now, as you look at the person sitting opposite you (the original you) notice what you feel toward that person. What history do you have? Notice any sensations, emotions, and thoughts that arise. Now, specifically think about what you, now the difficult person, want from the original you.

If it’s okay with you and not harmful, imagine that, as the difficult person, you receive what you want. Notice how it feels to receive it. This step of the contemplation is optional. Now, trade places again, and go back to being your original self. Once again, look at or sense the person opposite you. What arises for you now as you imagine them? If you gave them what they wanted, how would that feel for you now?

When you feel ready, let the whole contemplation go and rest once again with your breathing for a few minutes. Having done the contemplation, just notice what you are experiencing, especially when you think of the other person. Notice what, if anything has shifted. Many people find that what the person wanted was something they could readily offer. Others find that it is out of the question.

This contemplation can help you let go of your fixed ideas about the other person or your agenda with that person. It can enable you to see them in a more rounded way and let go of any labels or stereotypes you have been holding about them. It can allow you to see your own greed and selfishness with this person. This may allow you be more openhearted and less difficult yourself.

About The Author: Nonna

Nonna lives in Southern California, and is a professor of psychology and a teacher of psychic development, energy work and meditation, who has recently finished her PhD. She has been a counselor for both humans and animals for thirty years, removing energy blocks through her expertise in the spiritual arts. She also has numerous years of study and practice with classic psychological therapeutic models, family work, twelve-step processes, nutritional and body/mind/spirit healing, complementary, alternative, and quantum medicine. Nonna is brilliant at unearthing the gems in every client's soul and polishing them to a fine finish. To release your own soul's sparkle, contact Nonna at

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