Seven Practical Ways of Dealing with Difficult People

Seven Practical Ways of Dealing with Difficult People

Difficult people might turn up in your personal life or your professional life; either way, there are good and not-so-good ways of managing them. In the article, we take a look at some of the best ways of handling difficult people by not taking them personally, building rapport, and lots more. 

Don’t Take it Personally 

Perhaps, the best piece of advice you can ever adopt is to avoid taking things personally. There are several reasons why not taking insults, badmouthing, or rudeness personally is a helpful strategy, but mainly, it protects you from having to worry about someone else’s daily moods. 

It’s fine to take responsibility for yourself and your own behaviour, but you are not responsible for someone else; they are. If someone is mean to you or cruel, it is on them, not you. Not only that, but we can also forgive them with our compassion when we learn how to turn the other cheek.   

Create Rapport 

Let’s say you are in your workplace, and someone is consistently rude and obnoxious to you. It’s strange because you’re not sure why this is or whether you have done something to upset them. You have even asked around to find out more about them, but it is not always your fault. 

When someone is rude and obnoxious, most of the time, it is their issue and not yours. Still, you can pacify the situation by making an effort with them. Often, when we get to know each other a little better, understanding and compassion start to develop, and the issues start to disappear.   

Stand Up for Yourself 

Whether you have a situation in your workplace or personal life, you should never tolerate inexcusable behaviour, and it’s important that you stand up for yourself so that it doesn’t happen again. There are subtle ways to deal with difficult people, but sometimes you need to be bold.  

Talk to the person in private or in a public meeting, depending on the situation. Let them know that you are willing to work with them, but you feel disrespected when they talk to you in a particular tone of voice or in a particular way. Escalate the situation if the behaviour doesn’t change.  

Practice Empathy 

The word “empathy” has its roots in the ancient Greek language. The prefix “em” means “in,” and “pathy” means “feeling.” The word can be roughly translated as “feeling with.” When we empathize with someone, we are feeling with them, leading to understanding and sympathy. 

If someone is being difficult or rude in your life or your workplace, you could find out if there is something going on in their lives at the moment. Perhaps they are going through a divorce or caring for a newborn baby that is keeping them up at night. Try to understand their situation.  

Practice Self Regulation 

It can be difficult to practice self-regulation when someone is gossiping about you, spreading rumours, or speaking to you disrespectfully, but two wrongs don’t make a right. In fact, if you lose your cool and play them at their own game, chances are it will come and affect you instead. 

People react differently to these situations; it often depends on the type of person you are and how you like to build resilience in your life. We can’t control what is said about us, but we can control how we react to situations. Respond with integrity, and the truth will start to filter through.    

Use Self Awareness 

Awareness is a powerful ally in your life, especially when you know how to use it to manage your thoughts and feelings and to understand the thoughts and feelings of other people. When you know how to use your awareness, you can manage any situation internally or externally. 

If you encounter a difficult person who says something to upset you, use awareness to notice the feelings in your body instead of attaching yourself to them and saying the first thing that comes to mind. Similarly, you can use awareness to understand and respond to other people.   

Get Support 

Remember, there are always people you can turn to for support and guidance. If you encounter a difficult person in the workplace, you have managers and supervisors to talk to; chances are they are already aware of the issues with a particular employee and can support you with them. 

If a difficult person or situation has arisen in your life, you can always turn to a friend, family member, or a professional therapist for support. Therapy is an excellent way to manage your thoughts and feelings about a situation, gain some perspective, and develop helpful resources.     

Josie Smith
Josie Smith
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