Difficult people are everywhere, no matter where you go, you’ll encounter them. To hide is not the best of solutions ; you might as well equip yourself with skills and tactics to deal with the problem!
We likely all lose our patience occasionally. But doing so frequently or inappropriately can harm your reputation, damage your relationships, increase stress, or escalate a difficult situation.
When it happens, take a deep breath and put into action these 10 proven strategies to deal with difficult people which will most effectively maintain harmonious relationships and preserve your sanity.
Below some strategies to help you stay calm when you feel the anger and frustration coming on. Don’t let frustration get the better of you!
1. Stay Calm
Count to ten, visualize something peaceful, or use affirmations so that you can handle the situation in a calm and controlled fashion. You can unload your stress later in a healthier way. No matter how much a person drives you crazy, you can’t lose your cool. Learn some strategies to help you stay calm when you feel the anger and frustration coming on. Don’t let frustration get the better of you!
2. Be Kind
By understanding what people expect to gain from using undesirable behaviours, we are in a much better position to deflect and defeat the difficult behaviour and move the person from problem identification to problem-solving. Difficult people don’t always want to ruin our lives. They may not be aware at all that they cause so much trouble. When dealing with someone like this, assume they have good intentions. Be patient and forgiving. It’s not easy, but try to imagine the struggle they’re having so that you can deal with the situation calmly.
3. Look for the Hidden Need
To deal with difficult people effectively, you need an approach that enables you to find the cause of their attitude. Often when someone is being difficult, it’s because of some unmet need below the surface. It may not have anything at all to do with the interaction you’re having. Sometimes, you can figure out what this need is, provide something that will meet it, and defuse the situation. For example, they feel undervalued for the wor
k they do for their boss. If you can take a moment to show a little appreciation, they may become easier to deal with.
Have compassion and be determined to deep listening. Sometimes people just need someone to listen to them. Listen to the person without being judgmental and show them some empathy. This alone could be enough to defuse the situation and make the other person more reasonable.
5. Ask Questions to Clarify
If you’re in the middle of a conflict, asking open-ended questions can uncover what’s lying underneath the undesirable behavior.Don’t pretend you understand just to get rid of someone. This will likely cause more problems ahead. Instead, ask questions to clarify.
6. Seek Support
It’s much easier to handle a difficult situation when you feel supported. If possible, talk to colleagues or others who have dealt with this person in the past to get some perspective. There’s a good chance others feel exactly the same way you do, but they may already understand the behavior or have a tactic for dealing with that person. At the very least, they can listen to you and empathize.
7. Talk to the Person Privately
Give them a chance to examine their own behavior and possibly change.Talk to the person privately wh
en you’re in a calm, patient frame of mind. Express to them how their words and actions make you feel. Don’t blame or seek a solution. In this case, you’re not actively trying to stop the problem behavior. You’re simply letting the person know the effect it’s having.
8. Take Action and Get Relief
Is there some action you could take that would provide relief? For example, maybe you could handle your emails or other communications differently. At the very least, the difficult interactions could then wreak less havoc in your day.
9. Defuse with Humor
Make the difficult situation into a joke and laugh it off. By making it light and humorous, you may be able to draw the other person’s attention to their behavior without being confrontational or emotional.
10. Learn to Say No
Sometimes, our natural inability to say no is the cause of conflict.Get better at saying “no” and turning down opportunities that will bring you into contact with difficult people.
Once you’ve figured out the most effective strategies for dealing with a difficult person, take note of what worked and what didn’t. Examine what worked in some situations, but not in others. There’s a good chance you’ll run into a difficult person like this again in the future, so be ready!
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PS: If you try the above suggestions and the person continues to cause you stress, it may be time to move on. If you’re able to cut ties do it. In cases where that’s impossible, like in the workplace, or family and friends, learn to set firm boundaries and stick to them.
The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.
FURTHER LEARNING : DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE BOOKS
Dealing with Difficult People will help you navigate the bullies, nit-pickers, manipulators and complainers who drive you mad at work. With example dialogue, techniques and tips, it will help you avoid horrible situations and keep your cool.By understanding the motives and individual behaviours of difficult people, you can learn to manage aggression, reduce awkwardness and remain the better person.
Updated for 2019, this 4th edition features practical exercises, useful templates, and top tips you need to get the best out of the worst, including how to deal with difficult customers, dealing with difficult people in the digital sphere, advice on beating bullies at their own game and how to deal with a boss who drives you barmy. #CreatingSuccess series.
2. Success Dealing With Difficult People – Available on Abebooks
Here is basic psychological advice and a list of do’s and don’ts when dealing with difficult colleagues, unreasonable clients, and hard-to-please bosses. Practical, quick-reference fact books thay you can put to immediate use. They are not lengthy theoretical essays on business and corporate topics. #BusinessBuddies series
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