Dealing with Difficult People

Trust me.
Trust me.
I mean you no harm.
I mean you no harm.

Strategies and Language to Use for Dealing with Difficult People - the Bellowing Bull and the Sly Sneaky Snake

What do you think? Can you make difficult people change? Probably not. The motivation to change comes from within. People have to be willing to change themselves. What you can do is use proven coping skills and strategies to change the way you react to difficult people. Whether they decide to change is their decision. How you react to them is yours.

First we need to examine – why are difficult people difficult in the first place? Almost any competent psychologist can tell you the answer. Because they get a payoff when they are being difficult. It’s a simple psychological fact – actions that are rewarded are the actions that are repeated.

If my difficult behavior makes you upset, and getting you upset is my reinforcement, my reward, then you can be sure I will continue to be a difficult person.

So, how would you deal with me? Well, when dealing with difficult people you always have four choices:

1. You can do nothing. You can suffer in silence or complain to other people who can do nothing.

2. You can walk away. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “You are nobody’s victim without your permission.”

 

3. You can change your attitude about the difficult person. You can learn to see them differently and listen to them differently, and then . . .

4. . . . you can change your behavior when you deal with them. When you change the way you deal with them, then they have to learn new ways to deal with you.

I have identified ten different categories of difficult people – they may be male or female. To make them easy to remember, I have compared them to animals. My apologies to the animals. In order to change your behavior when dealing with these difficult people. here are proven strategies and coping skills as well as the appropriate language you may use

 

The Bellowing Bull.

You know you are dealing with a bellowing bull when you hear language typically like this:

"You're a complete idiot, a moron, a genuine incompetent. You must be a genetic mistake. You have been working on this project for weeks and it's still not finished. I refuse to listen to any more excuses. You are . . . “ (yada, yada, yada)

Bulls are so insensitive to others they may use insults like - in the words of Rodney Dangerfield - "You're so ugly I'll bet when you were born, the doctor slapped your mother." The bull's attitude, if not physical behavior, expresses attack.

They are aggressive, abusive, adamant, angry, arbitrary, argumentative and arrogant. They are hostile, intimidating, inflexible, overwhelming, confrontational and critical. They don't just attack what you are doing or what you have done. They attack you.

What is their motivation for this type of behavior? Bellowing Bulls have a strong need to prove to themselves that their view of the world is always right. They have a strong sense of what others should do. They value aggressiveness and confidence and expect others to run from them - and devalue others when they do. By demeaning other people, they create a sense of self-importance and superiority.

How should you deal with this difficult person? Strategies and language to use:

• Stand up for yourself and say something without being aggressive. "Wait a minute, I'm not sure you heard what I meant."

• Give them time to run down. Look directly at them and wait. Do not react – this may be hard to do at first. When they lose momentum, jump in. Don't worry about being polite, just jump in. Get into the conversation any way that you can.

• You may have to interrupt and cut them off. If you are cut off, say, "You interrupted me." Say it again if you have to, and start talking.

• Get their attention. Call their name loudly. "Mr. Tyrant, Mr. Tyrant." They have to recognize that you won't respond like everyone else -by running or raging.

• If you are sitting, slowly, deliberately stand up or drop some papers.

• Get them to sit down. Most people are less aggressive when seated. Say, "Look, if we are going to discuss this, we may as well be comfortable."

• If the Bull doesn't sit, remain standing yourself.

Express your point of view using eye contact. Use language that does not express a direct attack. You are simply expressing your views. "I guess I feel differently about ..." or "My experience has shown ..."

Avoid a head-on confrontation. Don't try to argue. If you fight, you may lose. Bulls are good at fighting. Be ready to be friendly. When they can't overwhelm you, they may see you as worthy of respect and make friendly overtures.

Caution: If your supervisor or boss is a Bellowing Bull, you could win the battle but lose the war.

Sarcastic remarks I often make.  Whatcha expect? I am a snake!
Sarcastic remarks I often make. Whatcha expect? I am a snake!

The Sly Sneaky Snake

Sly Sneaky Snakes, like Bellowing Bulls, are insensitive to the feelings of others. They thrive on making rude verbal comments or a non-verbal roll of the eyes to make you look foolish. They don't attack you head-on like the Bull but take pot-shots at you with snide sarcasm and innuendo. They are skilled at using non-verbal whispers, knowing smiles, and eye-looks that say, "Pretend you don't even hear me."

What is their motivation for this behavior? Sly Sneaky Snakes have a strong need to get their own way. If they can make you look ridiculous, they can still feel in control without being over-whelmed themselves. They also believe it may not be practical or politically safe to risk an overt battle when there is another less dangerous way - covert sniping and sarcastic language.

How should you deal with this difficult person? Strategies and language to use:

• Smoke them out. Say something like, "What did you mean by that?" or "That definitely sounds like a negative reaction - is it?" You must say something so the sniping doesn't continue to occur without your response.

• Give the Snakes alternatives but question, do not assert. "Do you have another solution?" They may respond, "Who, me? No, I agree with you." Questioning gives them an alternative to sniping.

• Get other points of view. In a group, it is wise to ask, "Do you all see it that way?"

• Do not tell the Snake, "See you're wrong." Instead, ask, "Can you be more specific?" Snakes will usually back down and slither away. They don't want to risk confrontation.

• Try to solve the problems that may be uncovered. You can often prevent sniping by holding regular team meetings for the discussion of issues as they arise, and work out potential solutions together.

You may not be able to control the behavior of difficult people like the Bellowing Bull and the Sly Sneaky Snake, but you can control your reactions to them.

"God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it's me." – Unknown

Read my hubs on the eight remaining types of difficult persons: the Grenade Gorilla, Genuine Know-It-Owl, Bogus Know-It-Owl, Complaining Crocodile, Pleasant Puppy, Calamity Chicken Little, Uncommunicative Clam, and Compromising Chameleon. See links above.

You may also enjoy my Hub: Take the PIG Personality Test and four Hubs on Dumb Crazy Laws.

 

© Copyright BJ Rakow 2010, 2011. All rights reserved. Author, Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So. Readers say they learned to write a dynamic resume and cover letter, network effectively, interview professionally, and negotiate assertively. Includes a must-read chapter for older workers.

More by this Author


Comments for Dealing with Difficult People 119 comments

Sherry 7 years ago

Great, informative and clever article on dealing with difficult people! I really enjoy reading the articles you write.


drbj profile image

drbj 7 years ago from south Florida Author

I really enjoy your comment, Sherry, thanks.


toby  7 years ago

i enjoyed reading this and totally agree!


drbj profile image

drbj 7 years ago from south Florida Author

Thanks, toby, let me know what you think of the other 3 hubs on difficult people.


Niteriter profile image

Niteriter 6 years ago from Canada

You ought to get active in the forums, Doc. You'll have barrels of fun putting this stuff into practice. Lots of Bellowing Bulls and Sneaky Snakes around here!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hey, Niteriter - point me to the forums with the sneakiest snakes and bellowing-est bulls. Thanks for visiting.


frogdropping profile image

frogdropping 6 years ago

I use a one size fits all approach/tactic/MO - I withdraw and ignore. I know there's a bunch of different personalities but half the time you're wasting time figuring that part out. And probably still getting wound up in the process. So I just shut down. And bugger off.

Always does the trick. I'm not saying folks haven't followed me and tried to get me to engage but you know, my stubborn side kicks in. I can't do with being shouted at, raged at, treat like an idiot or ordered around.

By the way - buggering off is not the same as retreating. It is simply the act of removing yourself from the presence of an asshole :)


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, frogdropping, for both the visit and the creative explanation of the act of buggering.

Yes, I've known a few folks like the latter and my strategies for coping with difficult people, for me, have always been ways to cope with both difficult bosses and difficult employees.

In other circumstances, I, too, might use your M.O. Just wondering, are you an oldest or only child?


frogdropping profile image

frogdropping 6 years ago

Ahh I will email you my familial position. Not a very good one. Still, I'm free of childhood constraints, a good thing.

And I really do prefer to walk away, fight another day. Though when I say fight - I mean diplomatically and subtley.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Oh, yes, diplomacy is good.

Here's my favorite quote on diplomacy: When a diplomat says yes, she means perhaps. When she says perhaps, she means no. When she says no, she is no diplomat.

Ain't that the truth?


frogdropping profile image

frogdropping 6 years ago

..... yes ....


mailxpress profile image

mailxpress 6 years ago from New York

Hi,

Great series of Hubs. The Bulls yeah, I simply walk away. I don't give people of that type the time of day.

mailxpress


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, malixpress.

Walking away is often the only way to win. Bulls detest being ignored.

Thanks for the visit and the kind words.


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 6 years ago

Fantastic hub drbj. I would have expected more comments on this hub, surprised there aren't that many!! Well, this hub deserves much more. I loved the way you laid out this hub. Also, the clever characterization, as in "bellowing bull" and "sly sneaky snake."

I've come across both types :) My own approach has been to either walk away (when appropriate) or just listen and have them rant away till they run out of steam and start to look foolish. But, you have some great points here that I never thought of. I'd be bookmarking this hub for future reference.

Voted up and rated 'useful.' Thanks for this informative hub!!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Shil. I'm so glad I met you. You've made my whole day with your approving comments. Would you like to be my new BFF?

I"m delighted this information is useful for you and thanks for the "up" vote - it's been my pleasure.

Take a look when you have time at the other 3 links shown above which cover the other eight types of difficult people. Thanks again for your visit. Drop by any time.


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 6 years ago

Apologize drbj, I didn't see this comment of yours until now. Well, I'd be glad to :)

I did make a note of the other related hubs in this series that you have on here. I hope to read up on them soon.

Thank you for your wonderful hubs again drbj!!


suny51 profile image

suny51 6 years ago

These are wonderful lessons on human psychology,which are not given in management courses,but learnt through the experiences

of life,big one.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

The hubs are my pleasure, Shil, you are most welcome. Thank you for your visits and your entertaining and very gracious comments.

Be cool.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, suny51, you are SO RIGHT. There are many valuable lessons to be learned from reading and education, but some of the best lessons are learned from our experience.

It is said that good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.


billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

Great hub drbj - it is always the sly snake that gets me - they are smooth and each time you think you think this isn't one of those snakes you can trust this guy. The bellowing bull is the easiest - bullies basically and easily predictable. Earplugs are good for these :)


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, billy, for your perceptive comments. Yes, the bully is easy to spot; the snake, because he or she IS a snake is more difficult.

No doubt about it, snakes are sneaky, snippy, snide and sarcastic. And rarely overt.


lctodd1947 profile image

lctodd1947 6 years ago from USA

drbj, love how you express these important matters. You are correct in saying that if we can't control our reaction to others; the sparks will fly. There is a strategy for being able to confront the bullies in life and I think I had rather meet the one that is out with it, than the sneaky ones. Having worked in a Corporate situations, I have seen a lot of this.

I love self-help and motivational. Thank you for sharing.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, lctodd, it is my pleasure to share what I have learned first-hand in the corporate arena. Yes, it is far easier to deal with bulls or bullies because you don't have to guess what's on their minds.

Dealing with sneaky snakes is another matter entirely. Just like the bulls, they also want to control, but in a sly subversive, under-handed manner.


aktifistri profile image

aktifistri 6 years ago from China

Aahhh, thanks drbj! I like this hub a lot since it gives idea of how I could see myself and others in a simpler and clearer way.. sometimes reading a thick and theory books are boring, but here you are able to make it brief and still in a very descriptive way!

You know living with social-networking like facebook where I spend like 40% of my net-life, i encounter varied characteristics represent on it's wall. It could be very annoying when some of hundreds 'friends' are very harsh, rude, and just like know nothing about manner in public. Reading this hub is one way of understanding more about different people and learning how to deal with some of them who are difficult. The funny thing is, regarding marriage life, my husband sometimes says I am a difficult person, while I sometimes feel he is the difficult person! Hahaha..anyways one thing I am glad to know is, both of us always willing and do our best to understand more and improve ourselves time by time.,. :D Again thank for the hub, drbj!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, aktifistri. Welcome back.

One of the most difficult lessons we have to learn when dealing with difficult people is you can't change THEM. You can only change the way you perceive them and deal with them.

And sometimes, as you pointed out m'dear, the difficult person is us. Take a look at Part 2, 3 and 4 and discover more about dealing with the other 8 difficult personality types.

Thank you for the visit and wise comments.


hateit! 6 years ago

great Hub ! i really enjoy reading your hub . It can help a lot of people who's dealing with difficult people like me.

God Bless you :)!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Nice to meet you, hateit! I think. Thanks for the interesting comments. So you think you are difficult? Maybe you are a pussycat in disguise. Because the "God bless" doesn't seem to fit your self-description.

Delighted to have you visit. Come back any time.


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada

boy, geez, are you trying to describe me ona bad day? I have to admit I can be the bellowing bull... I try my best though to refrain from such things... thanks for enlightening me on my need for improvement =)


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Becca, m'luv, the bellowing bull could never describe you even on your worst day. Assertive, perhaps. But bellowing, no way. You are much too clever for that.

Still, it is always good to be aware of the various types of difficult people in order to be better prepared to deal with them.

Because as I know you know, sometimes (tho rarely) we can be the "difficult people." :)


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada

ha ha! I suppose, really I have improved, my kids did a good thing for me... 'tis true! and yes but rarely we can be difficult people, but my dear we try oh so hard not to be!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

The biggest hindrance in recognizing our own faults is the way we view ourselves or as Robert Burns so well described it:

"Oh, would some power the "giftie" give us, To see ourselves as others see us! It would from many a blunder free us ..."


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

I love this hub. Great stuff. :) I think I have run into at least one of these kinds of people...and secretly perhaps AM one of these kinds of people.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Jim - I'm delighted to have you visit and the "great stuff" comment is most endearing and welcome.

And my lips are sealed. Your secret is safe with me. Heh, heh.


equealla profile image

equealla 6 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

My mom was a belowing bull(sorry mom) and I am the eldest of four siblings. Can that tell you something. No bull intimidate me, I am practiced in bull fighting. You are spot on with that technique!

Great article, rated up and useful.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Now that's difficult - growing up with a "bull" parent. As the oldest sibling, I'm not surprised you have learned superior skills in bull fighting. You probably have a black belt in that skill.

Thank you for your lovely comments and ratings.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

(Note to Readers: jeanine501-- left this comment a few days ago which I have reproduced omitting the name of the person she was referring to.)

"I am so grateful for this information. I have been dealing with the WORST person on earth for the past 3 months. It was to the point of quitting my DREAM CAREER because he is my unprofessional colleague. In addition, I AM on the break of SUICIDE because of the SLY, EGOTISTIC, and MANIPULATIVE behavior CREATURE named (Mr. X).

I put his name on here because he deserves an award for the best MOFO of all time and the most DANGEROUS "thing" to ever come across. My life has been miserable and very negative because of him. He has done so much DAMAGE to not only me but the whole TOWN. And YES, you better believe it.

I cannot stress the sick actions and obtrusive manners he has demonstrated at our COMPANY, SCHOOL STAFF and STUDENTS. so clever and EVIL HEARTED.

I have tried all of the approach of talking to him as friendly to silent treatments to changing my responses and talking back as HARSH as him. BUT like you said they don't care about us and ALL they want to do is ATTACK US PERSONALLY. Sometimes, I wonder why I even bothered to respond. But then again it was work and SHIT opens an opportunity for them to DO MORE DAMAGE.

I am very determined to write a book on this REMARKABLY IGNORANT, INCONSIDERATE, and MALICIOUS "thing" (because it's NOT human - humans have feelings) named (Mr. X). I mean he did inspired me to title the book, "THE HUMAN PREDATOR." And I do want to research more about HIS KIND of PEOPLE - LUNATICS. Plus, I truly and really want to find a REALISTIC SOLUTION to get rid of them so the WORLD can be a better place.

PEOPLE ALL AROUND the WORLD please BEWARE about this INSANE, BLOODTHIRSTY, and IMMORAL "thing" named (Mr. X). He has brought the WHOLE TOWN, where I WORK abroad at, to its KNEES.

AGAIN, I want to thank you for your data and knowledge about these DIFFICULT people. Indeed, I'm GIVING you VOTE UPS because this was very USEFUL. When I need references or pointers for my RESEARCH and BOOK may I contact you on a professional level? My email address is above. Thank you in advance."

Yes, Jeanine, you may contact me.


Dublio profile image

Dublio 6 years ago from United States

Nice twist on the various types of toxic people. The pictures certainly make it easier to remember the different types of people. :3


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Dublio, for visiting and your gracious comments. Delighted you enjoyed the mnemonic device of matching illustrations to the text. I'm a fairly visual person - most people are - so I find that method makes it easier for me also to remember what I read.


lisadpreston profile image

lisadpreston 6 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

What a wonderful hub. You really know about people for sure. You gave a brilliant analysis of the types of difficult people and then, clear ways to deal with them. Very informative and different from what we usually hear. I like your style and look forward to the other parts to this. LP


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, LP - it's a pleasure to meet you here. Especially since you write such complimentary comments - all true, of course.

I have learned that the more we know about why difficult people act as they do, the easier it is to find ways to deal with them. Thanks for visiting and the gracious remarks. Look forward to meeting you again.


2patricias profile image

2patricias 6 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

Pat writes: I shall be reading the rest of this series, on the basis of this one.

I have a long history of having to deal with difficult people - most of them related to me. The best advice I have been given is to accept that they will not change. However, I am too often manipulated by them, so will be reading your other hubs.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Pat, good to have you visit. Yes, it is difficult, if not impossible to change others, but we can change the way we deal with them. That's the whole idea of this hub and Parts 2, 3 and 4 as well.

You might also want to read http://hubpages.com/business/Abilene-Paradox-Why-D...

Thanks for stopping by. Good luck.


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 6 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

Great info -- I never read the people being linked to animals - raging bull=driver type personality - Snake - analytical type personality. Both drivers and analyzers make decisions based on facts not emotions.

What animals are amiable type people and expressive type people?

Tip - link your hubs on this topic to each other... it will help readers find the other hubs on this topic.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Neil. The Pleasant Puppy represents the amiable type individual and the Compromising Chameleon and Bogus Know It Owl may be expressive types.

I have linked my hubs - thank you for reminding me. Will do so on the other three hubs also. Thank you for your visit and helpful suggestion.


anaday profile image

anaday 6 years ago from Ireland

It's practical and funny!

Great!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, anaday, nice to meet you. Thank you for stopping by and finding my hub practical and funny and great.

I noticed you are new to Hubpages so you might like to read my hub 'Comments and Traffic' - http://hubpages.com/t/1570da


Entourage_007 profile image

Entourage_007 5 years ago from Santa Barbara, CA

Great article, this would have been especially helpful when I was a waiter at a restaurant, you really need to practice patience when you get a table full of difficult people. Confrontations only lead to trouble in the restaurant industry.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Entourage, you are so right. I have always believed that those who work at serving customers have some of the most difficult jobs there are. It takes consummate patience and skill to handle difficult people - especially when they are hungry!

You are wise to have discovered this early on. Happy New Year and thanks for the kind comments. :)


Rocco 5 years ago

WOW!!! You really hit it right on here. I especially like the part of relating people to the bulls. Keep on writing these hubs. They are excellent and very educational.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

With your great comments, Rocco, you have to come visit more often. Have you met many bulls in your life? Hypothetically speaking, that is.

Thank you for the "excellent and educational" - makes my day.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

The best way to handle people who are hard to deal with is to steal their toilet paper.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Yes, Micky, that is a creative solution. :)

The only caveat would be NOT when they are visiting your home!


Adela Rasta profile image

Adela Rasta 5 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

Excellent hub, an interesting read, and a clearly explained view of difficult people and how to deal with them! Going to your Part II now, to get more inspiration!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

So nice to meet you, Adela. Thank you for the gracious comments - all true of course.

Yes, by all means, visit Parts 2, 3 and 4, get inspired, and then let me know what you think.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Funny! I am a difficult person myself, but of neither type. I don't like stupidity. I don't like ready answers, so I navigate off course most of the time. I might ask a question that is least expected or give an unexpected response that throw people off.

I don't do it out of meanness, I am trying to find the ground for understanding. If it is apparent that a person cannot adjust his/her behaviour quickly, I walk away.

The point is that it is my responsibility to adjust to other people, I cannot control their behaviour and I am not trying. I completely agree that other people might rage or backbite, but the outcome of "battle" depends on our ability to find the best way to deal with the situation. The power is ours, the control, the total control over our own behaviour is ours. Nobody can make us do or say anything.

It is our fears, conformism, false assumptions and lack of knowledge. I hope more people will realize how much power they have.

Thank you for your hub, your effort.

Cheers,


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Nice to meet you, kallini. From your comments, you appear to be an assertive personality which is the optimum way of behaving in present society.

You are absolutely correct. We can NOT control the behavior of others. The biggest issue with assertiveness is not putting down the other person with your responses as that would become aggressiveness.

You may be interested in my three hubs on assertiveness. Read "The Abilene Paradox" first.


TattoGuy 5 years ago

Omg I am the sneaky lil snake, no wonder I am always making an asp of myself lol, loved this one ; )


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Oh, no, Art - you sneaky? Would never believe it. Maybe your old Gran would, but never me! Thank you bunches for loving this one. :)


pol1ce profile image

pol1ce 5 years ago from the Right Place

Nice Hub.

I think people are dificult because they are afraid of life!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Nice to meet you, pol1ce - clever name!

Yes, I agree that some people may be afraid of life and some people may just be afraid (passive) about saying what they really want to say.

You might be interested in reading my three hubs about Assertive Behavior. The first is "Abilene Paradox - Why Do We Say Yes When We Mean No?"

Thanks for the visit.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago

Excellent hub with such useful tips. Since difficult people are all around and constantly popping up, I will bookmark this and share it on stumbleupon. Rated up and useful.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Good to see you, toknowinfo. Thanks for stopping by and your kind comments. I will be honored to have you bookmark this hub and share it on Stumbleupon. Thanks for the useful and the "up."

You might also like to check out my other 3 hubs on Dealing with Difficult People, parts 2, 3 and 4.


Docmo profile image

Docmo 5 years ago from UK

Sound advice and an excellent start to this series, drbj. Great tips indeed. I will continue my quest through your chapters to fin, identify and label those difficult people I know! voted up/awesome.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

I do appreciate your visits, Docmo, and your insightful comments. Yes, even the most pleasant people can be difficult at times. It takes patience, understanding and a knowledge of what makes them 'tick' to deal with them.

Sometimes we are the difficult people. Thank you for the up and awesome.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Oh my goodness! So spot on! I've worked for a few bulls in my day:). You have validated the way I found easiest to deal with these folks. In one ear and out the other!

I'm hooked! I'm reading the other hubs:)!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you for your generous praise, RealHousewife. It's a pleasure to meet you. As you pointed out, in business we are often surrounded by bulls (and snakes) and need to know how to deal with them. Thanks, too, for being hooked. Look forward to your reactions from the other hubs, too.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I was just taking your test! Ha! Your hubs are super fun and awesome. You should really get paid for this!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

What a gracious unsolicited testimonial, RH, thank you! I do get paid - just not in 'coin of the realm.'


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I can see what you mean! Hub people are so dynamic and smart. I always feel like I'm getting free education here and I'm saving a ton of money staying out of the bookstores now. Win/win!


Ashantina profile image

Ashantina 5 years ago

Love this!! I am learning to not react to these types of people [].. sooo hard mosttimes! But as you mention it is all about control/power.. and not feeding into it.

Up/funny/ and v useful.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Win/win, RH? You got that right!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Welcome, Ashantina, how nice to meet you? Love you for loving this, and you are so right. It is hard sometimes not to give in to aggressive people (bulls) and manipulators (snakes), but with practice you have the POWER! Thanks for your generous comments and the up. :)


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

See I'm just darned delighted with your hubs, I may end up one of 'the difficult' ones because I won't hush! Thank goodness you are trained to deal with the likes of me! LOL!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Don't you dare hush, RH. I know where you live. Well, not really, but I like to make things interesting. You? Difficult? I don't believe it for a minute. I like to think of you more as an admirable inquiring mind.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Oh you have it right again! I wanted to be a psychologist, but personal things got in the way. I adjusted my plans and still enjoyed my work, but I still love the science of it. I am fascinated with the brain in general. I wish we could unlock all the secrets about it.

I do admire you Drbj!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, RH, I do agree with you about wanting to unlock more secrets about the brain. The more I learn the more I realize I need to learn more. That is what is so fascinating to me. And with the internet available, no one needs to be challenged about almost any subject. The information is there for the reading.

Thank you for being such a faithful commenter.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

You're very welcome. Thank YOU for being such an interesting hubber:-)


Mrs. J. B. profile image

Mrs. J. B. 5 years ago from Southern California

I just love reading your hubs.

I must say though that sometimes when dealing with "difficult people" when I was in a naughty mood, I used to throw a few logs on the already burning fire.. Once the inferno was burning at it's best, I was satisfied and went on my merry way.

Now I just walk away. I do not need the headache! Stop laughing at least I am honest!!!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

How did you know I was laughing, Mrs. JB? Do you have that supernatural ESP power, too?

You may have been naughty by adding to the fire, but I do commend your honesty and your reformation.

Thanks for stopping by and let me know what you think about the other 3 hubs on difficult people.

P.S. You love reading my hubs? Then we're even; I love you.


K. Burns Darling profile image

K. Burns Darling 5 years ago from Orange County, California

I am the primary caregiver to my father who has Alzheimer's disease, I have two teenagers, and a three year old.... I spend my days and nights surrounded by difficult people! Your hub is a work of insight and usefulness! I look forward to reading more hubs by you!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Oh, my dear K. Burns Darling - what an angel of compassion you must be. And not one, but two teenagers? I do sympathize having gone through that stage with children, too. Actually it was four.

Thank you for your most gracious comments, m'dear, and do let me know what you think of the other three hubs in this series.


Aceblogs profile image

Aceblogs 5 years ago from India

Thanks for the tips ! well i am in banking sector and i deal with lot of weird people on day to day basis , and i beleive that we should mould ourselves as per the clients we entertain , because people understand the language in which they speak and act only !


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Nice to meet you, Aceblogs, welcome to Hubpages. Like you, almost everyone who deals with the public encounters 'weird' people from time to time. But on a day-to-day basis? If that's the case I don't think I would be cut out to be a banker.

I agree that people understand the language in which they speak and act, but if we are clever and pleasant, we can shape their behavior little by little. But we have to want to make that effort.


Eoapard 5 years ago

What a waste of life to deal with a difficult person , i have found the worst ,

The only solution is to have nothing to do with them ,yet brake away with silence .

Never let them have any control over your life , Theres no beating these people they

manipulate everything to there advantage , A bad start leads to a bad end,

Time alone is better than time wasted, Have a good day .


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

It's true that difficult people are trying to manipulate you. But often with practice and knowledge, one learns to deal with the difficult person. I understand what you are saying but what if the difficult person is your boss? You may not want to just walk away.

Thanks, Eoapard, for your visit. May you have a good day, too.


Improving You profile image

Improving You 5 years ago from Estero, Fl

After reading this article, I look forward to running into a Bull or Snake!

Usually, in any interraction, the person with the most flexibility in behavior holds the power. Sometimes just changing the other persons state, by using humor, making a shocking statement or asking a shocking question will end a tirade.

Great hub. Enjoyed it.

JLS


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Nice to meet you, Improving You. I really relate to your name since I've spent a large portion of my life attempting to improve professional folks. Even succeeded with a few. You are so right that when we can change our behavior, in a number of different ways, we may also be able to change the behavior of the Bull or Snake - or other diffcult people. Thank you for your visit and enjoying this hub.


TroyM profile image

TroyM 4 years ago

I really enjoy your article!Thanks for the tips !


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, TroyM, for the visit and enjoying this article. No thanks are necessary for the tips. It was entirely my pleasure. Do take a look at the other three hubs in this series.


ishwaryaa22 profile image

ishwaryaa22 4 years ago from Chennai, India

Wonderful hub! An enjoyable read! I met 1 or 2 bulls and few snakes long ago when I was a kid and teenager. Thankfully, though I am not submissive, I tactfully dealt with them to avoid further problems. I practised this to quite some extent. Now, I learnt to deal with complicated people. You gave more useful tips and I sure follow them. Shortly I will read your more hubs in this series.

Thank u for sharing. Awesome and Interesting. Vote up and socially shared.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

It's a pleasure to meet you, ishwaryaa. Delighted that you found these tips on working with 'bulls and snakes' awesome and interesting. It does take patient practice to deal with difficult or complicated people, but as you have learned, it can pay off. Thank you for both your visit and the Up.


tmg 4 years ago

really interesting & empowering, i have been struggling with a couple of sly snakes at work, it has been very frustrating and stressful. i should learn to trust my gut feelings. it seems i was right about them & wished that i had confronted the rolling of their eye's or sly remarks like "oh please" lol i am so going to deal with this in the way you suggested. im going to take a look at the other three hubs shortly :-)


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Nice to meet you, tmg. Delighted you found this and you are so right, the information will 'empower' you. Often we are victims of bulls and snakes simply because we don't understand what motivates them and the most effective ways to deal with them.

Please let me know how your encounters work out and if you have any questions, contact me (via my profile page). Would be interested, too, in your reactions to the other three hubs in this series. Thank you for finding me.


Shooting star 4 years ago

Thankyou for your useful insight about bully people n sniping snakes. I have friends who are like this . And the most hurtful part is , I have lost precious time n energy in knowing them. And now abandoning them seems more fruitful then continuing to accommodate them.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

How nice to meet you, Shooting star. Thank you for finding this information useful. Yes, many people adopt these particular styles as their way of dealing with people and at the same time getting what they perceive as the 'upper hand.'

You might also want to check out the other three hubs in this series. Thank you for your visit.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 4 years ago

Hi drbj,

You are so smart in the way you write and in your advice. Great hub. Going on to read part 2 of the other animal types. rated up all the way.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, toknowinfo, you are so clever to recognize that. Heh, heh. It has only taken a lifetime of experience to learn the information I impart. Yes, please do read the other 3 hubs in this series. And thank you for the all the way Up.


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 4 years ago from Canada

Thanks for the tips drbj. And I won't take it too too personal. I have to add that I have no coping skills with these types. Takes all my strength to tolerate, as in find the exit, and run like the wind. I always run away. Of course in a job situation this has resulted in isolation and resentment, and a lot of quick career changes. Life is too short. My answer was to become self employed. In more recent years I was lucky to find an employer who trained workers to treat each other with respect, but the sneaky snake won out in the end, and it sure wasn't me. I just got so tired of it, I couldn't find a way to resolve the situation, but I feel better, no longer feeling the venom of the sneaky snake. Regards, snakeslane


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Luckily I don't have to deal with difficult people. I've learned to tune them out instead. Great tips to use for those times when they won't go away!! :)


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

My condolences, snakeslane, that you encountered so many 'sneaky snakes' in your work environment. As you say, life is too short to fight continuous battles. Sometimes self-employment, when possible, is the only healthy solution.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

You are most definitely ahead of the game, Linda, if you have learned the best behaviors to tune out difficult people. Thanks for the visit and finding these 'great tips.'


B-Dawg 3 years ago

drbj,

I can tell you that if you are a black male people of all races are much less likely to mess with you. I am convinced that if the average white man disguised himself as a black man for 6 months hat he would notice a big difference in how much more respect he gets. Black skin would be a SHIELD for the white man. Peace.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

Nice to meet you, B-Dawg. Thanks for sharing your interesting observation. That may be true especially if one is disguised as a muscular-looking man, black or white. But is it respect? Or avoidance? Just wonderin'. Peace backatcha.


B-Dawg 3 years ago

drbj,

The black man has more street cred basically. A black bully will think twice about stepping to a black male because he knows the black man is more likely to know how to handle himself. White people are much less likely to mess with a black male simply because of racial politics.

Also a black male has much more flexibilty on what he can and can't say. The white man is always complaining about race card and double standards but I can tell you black skin would be a quick fix to all his problems. Black skin also attracts lots of FINE women!

If a white man wanted revenge against a black man he would be much better off to do it as a black man because of hate crime issues. Black skin is the answer to all the white mans problems. I am surprised and will continue to be surprised that the white man has not tried to get a race change yet! Peace


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

Thanks for sharing your interesting point of view, B-dawg. Wouldn't it be an amazing world if we could just relate to people as being neither black nor white nor any other color, but simply human?


B-Dawg 3 years ago

drbj,

Yes it would but that is not going to happen. My idea is more likely to happen than that idea. My new years resolution is to get the idea out there. I am not having much luck on the internet but I am going to leave random notes in bathroom stalls kind of like the (how to be saved) ones.

I want to help the white man. I sincerely beleive that black skin would help many white men. I think white males are treated unfairly for something they had nothing to do with and I think black skin is the answer. Black skin would be a shield for the white man. A gift for the white man. I am half black myself and I know all the secrets and I am going to let the cat out of the bag. Peace.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

Peace to you, too, and good luck, B-dawg.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

Great hub, drbj. We have all had our share of these in our careers. While I was blessed that my supervisors were not horrors, I had coworkers who some how got up on the wrong side of the bed EVERY day. They were the type that I wanted to turn around and go the other way when I saw them coming.

Using techniques like you have suggested and others I was able to survive, thank goodness. Now in my private life I continue to come across challenges and will keep in mind these suggestions...

Sending you Angels again today :) ps


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

You are so right, Patricia. It is not only our supervisors, managers and co-workers who may exhibit these difficult behaviors but those in our personal circle as well.

Happy you survived with these and other proven techniques. Sharing these suggestions is my pleasure. It's also my pleasure to see you hub-hopping, m'dear.


brian 3 years ago

OMG, I totally agree with b dawg. Black skin would be like a body guard for the white man in our society. I think every white family should have 2 or more black males in it for protection. It would also be a good PR move.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

brian - you might want to meet up with B-dawg - he appears to share some of your views. BTW, I can understand your 'protection' angle but would have to be convinced about the good PR. ;)


brian 3 years ago

PR angle. Lets say a black person pulls the race card on you. A black person could help you smooth things over for you better with a black face. They could testify that you are not a racist with better credibilty. A white person could not help you as well. Everybody talks about how white people do not stick together. Well the truth is a black face can protect a white person much better against a black person.

Example 2 lets say a black neighbor is playing their music too loud and you are trying to study or something. You have 2 roomates a white male and a black face male. Wouldn't you feel more comfortable sending a black face to ask them to turn down the music. There is so much value in having a black face in a white family. Also black skin helps with the ladies.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

Interesting analogy, brian. Will have to take your word for it regarding your ultimate statement.


brian 3 years ago

Drbj,

If only george zimmerman was black. Black skin would be like a shield for zimmerman right now. All I know is I would feel more comfortable if I had black skin if I was a security guard. Black skin is like a security guard for the security guard.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

Mebbe so, brian, mebbe so.


brian 3 years ago

Drbj,

Thank you very much for all your responses. My question to you is do you know how a white man can live as a black man. Robert downey jr did it in tropic thunder. Maybe a black spray tan? I really want to bring pigmentation into the white community. After the zimmerman and martin aftermath if I had It my way I would take every cop and security guard in america and paint them black! No joke! How are the cops supposed to do their jobs with all the racial politics?

Black skin would be like a race card proof vest for a cop.

Black skin would be like a security guard for a security guard.

Black skin would be an al sharpton repellent for zimmerman.

Black skin would be an insurance policy for some white men.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

brian - you asked how can a white man live like a black man? In 1961, a white journalist, John Howard Griffin, posed as a black man (a physician gave him medication to darken his skin), and wrote about his 6 weeks experience in a non-fiction book, 'Black Like Me.' If you read it, you might find some answers to your question.


HPL 3 years ago

I think you guys might be on to something. I mean if a black security guard would have shot Trayvon martin we would not have to worry about riots and racial tension. Maybe america should find a way to put a black face on their protection units. Then if something goes wrong there will not be as much of an issue. Black skin would protect the law when they are trying to protect us.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

Bias and prejudice have been a part of the human condition since the beginning of time, HPL. To date, no one has found a way to 'make it go away.'

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