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Dealing with difficult people - How to deal with difficult people
Dealing with difficult people
Every day, no matter where we are, we always find people who are difficult to deal with, and if you are not a very assertive person, you will find this a rather tiresome chore. Most often, difficult people are negative, their negativity and cynicism frequently gets you feeling down. Some people are plain bullies and take much pleasure in making things difficult for others and making them feel worthless. Dealing with difficult people is never easy causing some people put off dealing with them for a later time as they feel it is better not to rake up trouble. Some others are afraid of provoking negative reactions and getting hurt. Ultimately, they brush whatever these people say or do under the carpet. A few others mentally and emotionally disconnect from difficult people and never actually handle the problem of dealing with them. Fear is a huge factor in facing such people - fear of being attacked, fear of being mocked at, fear of becoming a laughing stock and fear of looking small and insignificant in front of others.
How to deal with difficult people
Most difficult people are difficult because of certain issues in their lives, and oftentimes, it is a mask to cover up their vulnerability or insecurity.
Difficult people aren’t difficult because of the persons they are, they may be difficult because of their attitudes and the way they look at things. So if you can get round to showing them that there is a better way of looking at life, then that’s a great way to not only deal with but also transform difficult people.
One important key to deal with fear is to face it. No problem dissipates into thin air without having faced it. Firstly, you need to make a decision to face the person directly, which also means that you need to decide what exactly you want to say to that person. When you face a difficult person, you need to tell them very clearly, how you feel about specific instances and not make generic accusations. Accusations will only cause another storm to brew .
Tips for working with difficult people
Active listening is important in dealing with difficult people. The first step in conflict resolution is listening to the other person’s point of view. Very often, when there is a conflict, we neither listen to what the other person is saying nor do we make an attempt to understand his/her emotions because we are already framing retorts and responses to what they are stating and hardly pay attention to how they feel about the situation. Knowing where a person is coming from and why he/she is responding the way they are changes the way we look at things.
Looking directly into their eyes while talking would often unnerve such people. They either tend to look away or falter during the conversation. The eyes mirror the soul and you could learn a lot about the person just by looking into their eyes during a conversation.
Ask for clarification when the person makes some general accusations and becomes difficult to talk to. Asking pertinent questions often makes them think about what they are saying. Getting into slinging matches does not help. Telling the person that you do not agree with him/her and moving on would be sufficient. You need to be assertive with such people and developing assertiveness skills would take would help you in handling difficult people more effectively.
Keeping your cool during any confrontation is very important. It is only when you lose your cool that you let the other person take control over you. Being calm often confuses and brings out strange reactions from the other person – you always have the upper hand.
Agreeing to tread a neutral path until a better understanding is achieved would be a great way to start working through the problem. Most often, little acts of kindness and love, changes their perception of us. It may or may not work with everyone, but it is definitely worth a try.
Garner support from people at the workplace or at home where you face difficult people. It helps to understand from other show they face similar situations. Sharing notes on what works in handling such people often helps. A supportive network gives you the courage to face difficult people and helps you to be more assertive while you’re facing such people.
Sometimes you need to know when to walk away. Some battles are not even worth the fight. You would just be wasting your time and energy on such a person, but what is most important is the fact that you gave it a try - you faced your fears.
Oftentimes you may unduly stress yourself out by worrying about such people and their behaviour towards you. Trying to change a person may not always be possible, you could at best find effective ways of dealing with the person and keep them from affecting you too much. In any given population there are always these difficult people or bullies and this is a fact that needs to be accepted.
Self awareness - knowing who you are and being in control of yourself is very important in dealing with any situation in life. Letting people push the buttons on your emotions by making you lose your balance or affect your productivity is giving everything into the hands of others. When you are in control of your emotions and reactions, very few people are able to push your control buttons. Never let go of your positivity at any point of time.
Escalation to higher authorities, even though an option should always be your last resort.
Love can turn the world
After reading many of the comments on this page I added this video.. one of my favorites, I believe that love can change the world.
Acquire the skills needed to deal with difficult people
Difficult people will always be there wherever you go. Equipping yourself with certain life skills is important. Assertiveness skills, conflict resolution, ability to negotiate and influence others etc. could help you handle difficult people more effectively without having to run for cover every time you face them. The more you are able to face such people, the more self-confident and strong you emerge. So do not wish these problems away or sweep them under the carpet the next time you face them, handle them and you will be better for it.