Next time you find yourself face-to-face with a challenging person you can ensure your mood doesn’t spiral downward by tapping into one—or all—of the following four helpful strategies:

1. View Your “Tormentor” As Your “Mentor”

View challenging people as your assignment. Ask yourself: “What is this person meant to teach me?” Every person in our lives has a lesson to teach. Some lessons include: to become stronger, to be more communicative, to trust one’s intuition, to be more self-loving, to know when to let go—to be nothing like this person.

2. Stay Centered

Remember: When you respond with hate to hate, anger to anger, bitterness to bitterness, you are ironically becoming part of the problem. Make the choice to remain peaceful and loving—so you resist becoming like your offender! In fact, I believe one of the bigger assignments a challenging person teaches is how painful it feels to be on their receiving end. Let this pain remind you how essential it is to not become anything like this challenging person! Keep in mind the wonderful words of one of my fave writers, Wayne Dyer: “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”

3. Focus on Gratitude

Remember: If you allow your mood to be at the mercy of unreliable people and unpredictable events, your happiness will be forever on a chaotic roller coaster ride. Happiness must always be an inside job. Whenever you are tempted to count all the many ways someone has done you wrong—instead count your blessings! Make a list of five aspects of your life that you appreciate. It is even a good idea to make this a nightly practice, and purposefully end your day focused on gratitude.

4. Say a Prayer

Keep in mind that if someone’s caused you pain, chances are it’s because they are dealing with a lot of their own emotional pain. Hurt people tend to want to hurt people. When angry feelings about this person who’s harmed you enter your mind, tell yourself: “We are all good, loving souls who occasionally get lost.” Pray for this person to find their way back to a happier place.

Karen Salmansohn is a bestselling author and award-winning designer with over one million books sold. She’s been on the Today Show, The View, Fox TV, CNN, etc  Her books -which offer a range of happiness and resiliency psychology tools – have been recommended on– including her best selling THE BOUNCE BACK BOOK and PRINCE HARMING SYNDROME which you can read more about at her site: