A friend of mine recently asked me “how do you deal with difficult people?” I simply said, “I don’t.” I revisited my response immediately and added, “well, I choose to ignore them, wherever possible, and I also have simple tactics to help me surpass people who make situations difficult.”
Before I begin with the tactics, I would really want to define what I mean by the term difficult: “someone who needs a lot of effort to deal with, or understand, perhaps may cause intentional hardships (yes, some do) or aren’t easy to satisfy.”
There are tons of difficult folks that we encounter in our lives, sometimes we’re the difficult ones too. Yes! It is true. When we do meet such a person, it can be chaotic, scary, and even nerve-wracking. However, when we do encounter the different kinds of difficult, hard timers, we need to listen first, remain calm, understand where the problem is stemming from and dig into the situation. Difficult people are often perceived hard to communicate with but there’s a fix that I arrived at for difficult tricky-sticky situations, the following should help:
- Know and set your own boundaries: Do you know where your limitations lie? Do you communicate them? If you’ve established your limits to another person, especially the difficult ones, you make your interactions much simpler. Let the person know firmly and politely what you can best offer them and where are your hands tied. If you can offer help to listen or suggest remedies, then do so but don’t go overboard, to the extent that you’d need to compromise. Knowing yourself well & setting your boundaries is important.
- Set your bar higher over irrationalities: The truth is you cannot reason it out with an unreasonable person. So, would you really want to waste your time? No. Right? You need to be the best judge of the situation and take a stand to be better than the other person. I don’t mean it in the sense that you feel superior to another person, however, you continue to ensure you’re still graceful, well-meaning and nice. You need to ensure you’re above the mark and that you’ve set your bar higher than the others in terms of your ethics, integrity, communications, and emotional intelligence.
- Remind yourself, you only have control over your emotions: This had been my biggest area to work on over the years. And truly, it is a lifelong process. We need to strengthen our emotional intelligence to be our best possible selves in any given situation. Largely, the people who really act difficult cannot control their emotions. Once you’ve consciously chosen to take charge of your situation, you will be in a better position manage the situation or the person.
- Understand that it’s useless to win any argument: Of course, you’d stand your ground where it’s important. It is important to know and realize that these guys don’t go down easy and crave for a fight. Yes! They do. I’ve had first-hand experience. And they might even put the blame on you. Remember what Dale Carnegie said, “you can’t win an argument.” It’s a losing game. So better be prepared to take a step back and focus on what truly matters, which is what brings us to our next point.
- Don’t stray away from your solutions based focus: Those who are difficult to speak to or understand, or to calm down, usually focus on the problems instead of talking about any solutions. They thrive on negativity. Being sensible in situations demands to find effective solutions to any difficult or challenging situation.
- Forgive easy to discard the emotional baggage: Truly, it is best to ignore such people and if they’ve troubled you or hurt you, be the bigger person to forgive them and move on with your life. There is more to us than to stick around with a person or situation that drains emotionally or physically. It can be done with a conscious decision to move on and get going.
Now, let’s see what you think: is there a special way by which you eliminate or deal with difficult people? Do mention your special tactics below.
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