Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Best Ways Of Dealing With Difficult People

Unfortunately, throughout life we come into contact with many different kinds of people, and some of those people aren’t as great as others. If you have people in your life who are hard to deal with, read on for some tips on how to handle the situation.

Listen Carefully

It can be very easy to dismiss people who are acting in a difficult way. You may think that they’re being irrational and ridiculous and as such you may want to roll your eyes and disengage from the situation. But if you want to make it better, if you need to engage with this person because they’re a family member or a colleague, then you need to start listening. Listening to people makes them feel validated, and if someone is on the verge of losing their temper, being listened to will help them stay calm. It will also give you a better understanding of the situation. If initially you think their point of view is something that you can’t relate to at all, you may find that you feel differently once you have listened to them and worked out what’s really going on.

Get Calmer

If someone is upset or angry, the worst thing to do in that situation is to get upset or angry yourself. If you shout at someone, they’ll only shout back more loudly, and that means it’s doubtful the problem will get resolved any time soon. Remember that what you’re looking for here is conflict resolution, not to win a shouting match. So if someone is angry, get calmer: it’s like pouring water on flames, and forcing yourself to calm down will mean that you won’t exacerbate the situation in any way. It may be difficult to do, so a good way to make yourself calmer is to breathe deeply and focus on that breathing, while counting to ten in your head. If even that sounds hard: remember that it’s impossible to win an argument if you’ve lost your temper. Rein it in. Don’t embarrass yourself. Getting calmer is the healthiest solution for you.


Take A Step Back

One of the aspects of dealing with difficult people is that you can’t see why they’re making your life harder. What is it specifically about you that means they’re inflicting themselves on your day, when all you want to do is get on with things in a peaceful and cheerful way? The truth is that, generally, it’s not about you. If someone loses their temper for no reason, it’s rarely about you. It’s about what happened on the way to work. It’s about their difficult relationship with their partner, or their worry about their sick mother, or their dissatisfaction with their job, or their struggles with poor health that they can’t quite figure out. It’s about being worried or afraid about something. It’s about not wanting to show weakness and, as a result, putting up a front. But most of all: unless something specific has happened, it isn’t about you, so take a step back, and don’t take it to heart.


Consider Your Physicality

When you’re dealing with a difficult person, you need to consider your physicality. It can be easy to laugh or smile out of awkwardness, but you need to remember that might make a situation worse. Remember to give that person physical space - it might make things worse if you physically reach out and touch them, and of course in the workplace there are certain laws that indicate that physicality really isn’t a great idea.


Set Your Limits

Finally, it’s important to set your limits. If someone you’re working with is having a bad day and snaps at you as a result, that isn’t the worst thing in the world. It happens - we all have bad days and you have probably been guilty of it yourself once in a while. But if that bad day happens every day and there’s a pattern of behaviour that is bothering you, remember that you can set your limits and that you don’t need to deal with it. If your family member is continuously toxic, it’s okay to distance yourself: if your mother constantly treats you with narcissistic silent treatment, you don’t have to put yourself through the horror of spending every Christmas with her. If your co-worker makes your office an unpleasant place to be in, you don’t have to silently deal with it - you can speak to your boss, or go to HR about it. You should feel comfortable and safe in your workplace, your friendships, and your family. Set those limits, and stick to them.

Difficult people are a part of life, but there are ways to deal with them that won’t make things worse - and always remember that you aren’t obligated to deal with difficult people if it’s more than just a bad day.

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