figuring out how to deal with difficult people in your life, you need
to make subtle changes to your thought patterns and incorporate a plan
for action. While you can’t completely eliminate all difficult people
from your life, you can minimize the impact they have. By incorporating
these tips, you can really improve your chances of having a good
encounter with an otherwise difficult person.
1. Don’t Take Anything Personally
The first thing you need to do in dealing with difficult people is incorporate a change in
this can be tough because many
of us feel angry ourselves when someone directs hurtful words at us.
But, it’s not about you. It’s about them and their reality. You can’t
change their thinking, but you
change yours. People often say
things when they’re angry that they don’t really mean and you might
just happen to be in the right place at the wrong time – and you get the
brunt of their anger or outbursts. Let it roll off if you can.
2. Breathe and Stay Calm
you’re confronted with someone who might be angry or sullen, one of the
best things you can do is don’t contribute to the other person’s anger
by escalating it with your own. Step back for a moment. Remember the
count to 10 and take 10 deep breaths
the situation. You can manage a difficult encounter much more
effectively in a calm state of mind. Furthermore, if the other person
sees you panicking or otherwise reacting to their words or actions, it
can cause the entire situation to get out of
3. Understand and Communicate
difficult people just want to be heard. Let them have their say and
then respond with empathy. Use phrases like, “I am sorry you feel that
way,” or “I can understand your situation and I sympathize.” The idea is
By doing so, you can open the doors of trust and communication. In effect,
you enable yourself to look at the issue through
eyes and change
point of view.
4. Separate the Person From Their Issues
when we have to cope with people who seem impossible, it’s important to
remember that they are not their issues. People
people themselves are
issues. Difficult people have mothers
and fathers and friends who have liked or even loved them for who they
are. Separating the two can help you to focus on the issue at hand and
not on the person him or herself.
The second step in handling challenging people is making a
plan of action
5. Display Confidence But Not Rudeness
you’re at work and your coworker is challenging your point of view, be
ready with concrete evidence to support your perspective. If she
questions your reasons for changing a policy, tell her your main reasons
for doing so. But don’t ramble on. Get straight to the point so that
your coworker doesn’t have time to pick through what you’ve said and
conjure up even
reasons to challenge you.
6. Use “I” Statements
because you deal with people who are difficult to manage, doesn’t mean
they can walk all over you. State your opinion and feelings, but do it
in a way that doesn’t put the other person on the defense. Use
statements like, “
I feel bad when you talk to me that way
“I don’t understand why our finances have to be so difficult
.” Be sure to start each statement with “I,” then your feelings, followed by either what the other person is doing or what the
situation actually is.
7. Go On the Offense
might feel like defending yourself when a difficult person challenges
you. Instead of going on the defense, try the offense. When you get a
question like, “
Why are you designing the presentation like that
?” you can respond with, “
What would be
approach? Why would you do it differently?
” Then, hear them out and work to a compromise.
8. Choose Your Battles
those impossible people in our lives know just how to push our buttons.
They might purposely say something because they know it will get to
you. A question like “
Why did you wear
make your blood boil. But, ask yourself if it’s worth the ensuing
argument. Does it really matter? This person will tire of trying to get
you aroused once they realize they
get to you.
9. Enlist a Neutral Party
even if we’ve tried all these tactics, a situation cannot resolve
itself. You can enlist a
neutral third person into the conversation. He or she can listen to
both sides and help each person gain a new perspective and help to
mediate. This can be another coworker, your boss, or even a counselor.
10. Some Final Thoughts
takes a little time and patience to change your thinking and develop a
plan of action to help you deal with challenging people. Just
remember, most difficult people have their own thoughts and problems and while they may be projecting them on to you,
don’t have to be a victim. Change your mindset, implement a plan and make difficult people become manageable.