I am a lover not a fighter, so it was much to my distress recently when I came into contact with someone who, despite my hardest efforts, and all my ways to deal with difficult people, did nothing but want to fight. I am talking about unreasonable behaviour, a non compromising attitude and in essence being impossible to deal with. So it is through my own experiences and lessons learnt that I would like to share with you 9 ways to deal with difficult people.
1. Get out
If possible, one of the best ways to deal with difficult people is to leave their presence. When I realised that my house mate was not the person he originally made out to be, I was quick to look for a new place to live. No one deserves to be stuck in a horrible situation, so cut your losses and leave.
2. Did I Hear Something?
It may sound immature, but when someone is in your presence and you have no option to leave or remove yourself from the situation, then one of the most immediate ways to deal with difficult people is to simply ignore them. Like a child that tires of hollering for attention, the difficult person will soon realise you are not biting and scurry off to annoy some other poor soul.
Your friends may not be able to tell you how to deal with difficult people, but they can share your load every now and then. Speak to a friend about what is going on and express how it is making you feel; letting it out with someone you trust is far better than losing it with the difficult person.
4. Middle Man
As much as we love our friends they can often be biased towards our opinions. If you are in a situation and need to know how to deal with a difficult person then seek an outsider’s non biased opinion. Often it is reassuring to hear from someone level headed that we are not going crazy and that the situation is neither healthy nor normal.
5. Sucks to Be Them
The best advice I ever received on how to deal with difficult people came from a colleague of mine. The smart cookie had me look at the situation from a different view; she said, "No matter what he does, he has to wake up with himself every morning for the rest of his life. But after all of this is over, you get to move on and be you and he is still stuck with his horrible self." Now there’s some food for thought.
6. You. You. You
One of the simplest ways to deal with a difficult person is to take your attention off of the person in question and focus on yourself. Are you being consumed by the negativity of the situation? When was the last time you took a deep breath? You may not be able to control how THEY react to any given situation, but you can control how YOU react.
7. Soak It up
We can only work with the tools we have, so if you feel like a person or situation is getting the better of you then seek to understand and learn more. A tip for learning how to deal with difficult people is to read what experts have to say about it. Go to a book store and find a book that rings true for your situation; not only will you be equipped with more tools but you are once again directing your attention to what you can do, not what they are doing.
8. Feel the Burn
After 2 months of dealing with an impossible person on a daily basis, far from looking tired and worn down, I was not only more toned but far fitter than I was two months beforehand. When looking for ideas on how to deal with difficult people, always remember that there is nothing better than pounding the pavement or exercising in any other way you enjoy to release any tension and get those endorphins running. Set a fitness goal and have that person to thank when you drop a dress size or rock that new LBD with pride.
9. Dear Smelly
More often than not the difficult people in our lives are impossible to communicate with, hence why they are so difficult! Never the less, as my Mom always said – it is better out than in - so if you have something you want to express, then a great way to deal with difficult people is to write them a letter. Don’t worry; this is one letter you will not be sending, as you are going to write whatever you want, saying exactly how you feel and letting it all out. A lot of the time just being able to release our thoughts and feelings is a huge relief, and by the time we are finished writing we are ready to throw the letter away (or dispose of it in a safe place where no-one will find it!).
If you are struggling with how to deal with a difficult person or people in your life, know that it will end at some point and you can use this experience to grow and learn more about yourself . Does anyone else have any valuable pointers, inspiring words or tried and tested tricks for dealing with difficult people?