We all like to think that we are kind, gentle and patient individuals who keep our cool when confronted with prickly situations, things and people. But most times, this delusion is popped like a soap bubble whenever we run into a difficult person. It could be someone at work (your manager or colleagues), or at home (a sibling or mother-in-law) or in your friend circle. If you’ve been finding it hard to cope with such individuals, here are some helpful tips on how to deal with difficult people:
Also read: How To Spot And Deal With Jealous People
- Keep your cool: If you run into a difficult person while you’re already in a “situation”, try as hard as possible to keep your cool. When a situation is challenging, it is ten times more likely that you’ll be caught up in the heat of the moment and flare up. Avoid that by counting 50 backwards or employ any other method to stay calm. Better still, walk away from that situation to avoid unnecessary arguments.
- Have self-respect and dignity: It may so happen that in the thick of things you end up yelling back at the difficult person and this would put you in a bad light to everybody else. Yes, you heard me! So, have some dignity and fight the urge to knock ‘em down.
- Don’t be judgmental: The person that you find so difficult to deal with may be going through their own share of troubles and struggles. So don’t judge them and always give them a benefit of doubt.
- Look for any ulterior motive: It can’t be that someone’s giving you a hard time for no reason. Watch them close and try to look for hidden motives.
- Don’t offer anger for anger: Any signs of anger like raising your voice, pointing fingers, or speaking disrespectfully to the person will add fuel to the fire.
- Be assertive if need be: While it is sensible to be patient around difficult people, you must set boundaries. If the person is getting too aggressive, you must politely but assertively tell them to talk to you with more respect. “Please don’t talk to me like that” would be a good way to put it across.
- Instead of being reactive, be proactive: When you feel offended by someone’s words or deeds, come up with multiple ways of viewing the situation before reacting. Widen your perspective and realize that, whatever people do or say, it is more because of them than us.
- Use humor: Humor, although taken lightly, is a powerful communication tool. Use it well and in the right situations. If someone is ranting about something that happened to them or something that they accuse you of doing to them, reply with “That’s good!” and give a toothy smile. Trust me, it will make a big difference!
Also read: How To Deal With Adult Bullies
Although most of the aforementioned tips seem difficult or next to impossible to do when in the situation, give it a try and you won’t be disappointed.