Every day, whether we work outside or inside our homes, we deal with other people. While most people are pleasant to work with, some people seem to be naturally difficult. This kind of person can make life harder than it already is, and so, we need to learn how to effectively deal with them.
The first thing you must remember when dealing with difficult people is that it is highly unlikely that they are going to change. So, we must accept them as they are. We are not always the most likeable people to be around either, so others must accept us with our human weaknessess too.
The next most important thing to remember is that we must always–no matter what–stay calm and in control of the situation when dealing with a difficult person. This gives us the upper hand and that is what we want to have. How do we stay calm and in complete control? By remembering that this is simply a situation that we have to work through.
Don’t take the other person’s hostility personally as it might actually have nothing at all to do with you. They might be venting their pent-up frustrations out on you from something that happened to them an hour ago, a day ago, a week ago, a month ago, or even longer! Some people tend to hold grudges forever.
When dealing with difficult people, pay close attention to your facial expressions and their body language. Don’t frown, cross your arms in front of you, or show any sort of negative body signals. Relax as best as you can. Breathe deeply to help you stay calm. By doing this, you are not backing down from their verbal attack on you, but rather, you are taking control of yourself by not letting them rile you up. The difficult person will quickly see that their verbal attack, which is meant to cause you a great deal of upset and stressed feelings, is not affecting you like they expected it would.
You should not attack back, but, on the other hand, don’t appear to be weak or afraid of them either. Stand your ground and don’t let them push you around. Yet, don’t add fuel to the fire, so to speak, by verbally attacking them back. This is one of the key differences between being aggressive and being assertive. A difficult person is usually aggressive, but you are assertive and in control of the situation.
There are actually many types of difficult people and the world is full of them. From the busy body to the whiny baby to the know-it-all, these types of people can be hard to deal with.
Keep in mind that you cannot change these people too. They are who they are and you have to accept that. Not like them, mind you, but accept them nonetheless.
One of the most effective ways to deal with a difficult person is to “kill them with kindness.” This means that no matter what they do to you, or say to you, you smile and keep cool. You speak to them in a calm, cool voice. Try this technique and it will amaze you how it boggles their minds every time as they don’t know what to think of you. They simply cannot understand how you can be so calm and unaffected by their bad attitude.