Do you recall the last time you were face to face with a difficult person? Or someone said something intentional with the idea of hurting or irritating you? Lets be honest we are all going to deal with difficult people through life.
How did you react?
Did you handle the situation calmly and rationally, or did you take the bait?
Simple ways to deal with difficult people
Wherever you may go you will come across difficult people. These people are constantly negative, oppose your ideas and make everyone around them feel extra unpleasant.
Problems occur when you allow your emotions, rather than your mind, to control the situation. It is an instinctive drive which stems from the animal part of us.
The part that says when we are attacked we must always fight back.
Standing your ground
Although it’s important to always stand one’s ground there are many different ways to do this. For example, your adversary might be deliberately trying to get you to lose your temper, and if you do, you’re playing right into his or her hands, so try and defuse the situation instead.
When you are confronted in this manner, try and flip the situation around so that it favours you. If you are engaged in a bi-polar argument with another party who refuses to accept your position.
Perhaps a compromise can be reached which can be beneficial and profitable to both parties and allows both sides to save face.
Tips on Dealing with Difficult People
When you react with anger against someone, it is rare that any good can come out of it. Anger will trigger only anger and create an additional reactive response.
When you respond impulsively, you have invested energy in defending yourself, which will make you psychologically more compelled to defend yourself further in the conversation.
The conversation will become a negative downward spiral.
When you respond impulsively it may be an honest and natural response, but it’s not always the smart thing to do.
You may have noticed that when you attack or bite back, you get a feeling of smug satisfaction. That’s your ego. Your ego is what gives you that bite but it doesn’t really have much else to offer.
It’s not a cool character, it’s not a master tactician or shrewd negotiator, it makes you feel pride, but has little in the way of accomplishments.
It doesn’t want you to merely get even, it screams at you to get your revenge.
Leave the ego at home
The problem is the other person has an ego too, quite possibly one that eclipses yours. One that has taken complete control over the person so there is no room for rationality left.
Arguing with a person like this – the sort of person who’s always right about absolutely everything ever – is not only futile but counterproductive.
It drains your energy and exacerbates your anger. Nothing describes it better than that tried and trusted phase; banging your head off a brick wall.
One’s energy flows where their attention goes. The more you focus on something, the more energy you are going to put towards it until it expands itself.
Remember, you should spend your energy on your personal wellbeing. After all, energy spent on a negative conversation is a waste of energy and attention.
Plus, negativity subtly seeps into other areas in your life. If you are holding a grudge against someone you carry that energy around all day long.
When you don’t feel good, you will lose sight of clarity and what matters in other areas of your life as well.
Become Adept at Dealing with Difficult People
Research has shown that supportive and nurturing relationships are good for your physical and mental health. On the other hand, dealing with difficult people while maintaining ongoing contact with them can be detrimental to your health.
It may be a good idea to reduce or eliminate relationships filled with constant conflict. But what can you do if the person who is difficult is a colleague or family member or someone you can’t eliminate too easily from your life?
The following tips will be helpful for you to deal with difficult people on a day to day basis.
Maintain Neutral Conversations
Avoid discussing personal and divisive issues such as politics and religion or other similar issues that may result in conflict.
If you feel like the other person is becoming too personal or trying to engage you in something that will turn into an argument, change the topic or quietly leave the room.
Accept Them for Who They Are
People can change, but only if they want to. Most people don’t want to, and trying to change them, or impose your will or values on them is a foolish waste of time. It’s never going to happen.
So don’t attempt to try to change their nature or personality. It will only become a power struggle, inviting criticism and will cause the person to become even more defensive and difficult to deal with.
Be Aware of What You Control
It is in your power to change your response to the difficult person. For instance, if you feel like you shouldn’t have to accept abusive behaviour.
You can choose to be assertive and set boundaries when you find the other person is treating you in an unacceptable way.
Create Healthier Patterns
Keep in mind that most difficult relationships are a result of the dynamic between both people instead of just one person being the bad guy. It is likely that you are repeating similar patterns of interaction time and time again.
You need to get out of this rut by changing your response and forming a healthier pattern of communication.
See the Positive Side
Try your best to look for something positive in the other person, especially if it is a family member or friend. Your attitude will make the other person feel appreciated and it is more likely you will not behave like two cats waiting to scratch each other’s eyes out!
Remember the Person You are Dealing With
Whilst it is important that you see the best in someone, you must also keep in mind that this person is in fact difficult to deal with. Don’t act as if the negative characteristics don’t exist.
For instance, avoid sharing your secrets with gossip or look for affection from a person who is emotionally stunted. Just accept them for who they are.
Ask for Support
Get your needs met by close friends and family members. Share your difficult experiences with a trustworthy friend or journal your feelings.
Rely on people who have shown themselves to be supportive and trustworthy or even find a therapist to vent out your frustrations.
This will take some of the heat off the difficulty of the relationship. You can learn how deal with difficult people, its all about managing outcomes.