Give thanks for the person who won’t stop talking.
The person who shares their entire life story with you, including all the parts you wish they’d leave out. The person who constantly has to be socializing, draining your energy as they prattle on about their life’s problems. They teach you that everyone needs a listening ear, that listening is more valuable than speaking, and that you just might have that special quality that draws people to you — trustworthiness.
Give thanks for the person who won’t leave you alone.
The person who insists on being a constant presence in your life. The person whom you try to befriend only out of a sense of obligation. The person who gets attached too quickly and won’t let go. They teach you that loneliness changes you, that everyone needs a friend, and that people see a friend in you. They teach you empathy, the power of recalling your loneliest moment in the hope that you will come to understand theirs.
Give thanks for the person who insists that they’re always right.
The person who turns every conversation into a debate. The person who’s obsessed with winning. The person who won’t walk away until they get the last word. They teach you to critically examine your beliefs, they teach you patience, and they teach you that everyone is wrong sometimes — including you. They teach you the importance of recognizing flaws in your logic and the beauty of quitting while you’re ahead.
Give thanks for the person who constantly criticizes you.
The person who perpetually enshrouds you in negativity, pointing out your every flaw and mistake. The person who can never seem to say a single kind thing about you. They teach you to love yourself, even in the face of criticism. They teach you the importance of spreading kindness to those who need it. They teach you that those who have broken are those who need the most love. They teach you the type of person you hope not to be. They teach you how to prevent those around you from turning cold.
Give thanks for the most difficult people because they will teach you to be kinder, more empathetic, and more open.
Give thanks for the most difficult people because they instill the most valuable lessons.
Previously published on Thought Catalog.