Another one of the 10 expert techniques to deal with difficult people is to take a look at yourself. As in turn your focus inward. Is there something that you are doing that is making dealing with someone harder than it needs to be?
How to Deal with Difficult People: 10 Expert Techniques
I’ve often had to deal with difficult people at work throughout my career. Sometimes it’s been my supervisor, other times it’s been my fellow associates and even other times, it’s people in other departments.
Then there are our families. I know it’s not just my family that can be extremely difficult to deal with. I’ve heard enough stories from friends to know that a lot of people’s families drive them to the brink from time to time.
And don’t even get me started on dealing with the multitudes of people we have to deal with at companies we interact with. Be it the cell phone company or the person that was supposed to fix my roof last year. I had to follow up every week for almost 4 months before they finally came and fixed something that should have been done in the first place.
There’s probably not an easy answer for why some people are difficult to deal with. The reasons are as varied as the people are. We are all different and sometimes, it’s shocking that we get along as well as we do.
Why You Must Deal With Difficult People
Initially, people go into shock when they are treated unprofessionally, so if you take some time to understand exactly what is happening to you, you are not alone. Once you are fully aware of what is happening, deciding to live with the situation in the long term is not an option. It will fester to the point that you are miserable going into work each day.
You become so angry and feel so much pain that your efforts to address the situation become irrational. It’s far better to address the difficult person early while you can maintain some objectivity and emotional control.
Occasionally, at this point in your relationship with a difficult person, you can back off and decide that nothing good will come from confronting this difficult person’s behavior. You may find this is the case, for example, when you rarely encounter the person, or you’re on a short term project that will soon end.
Make sure that you aren’t fooling yourself to avoid conflict, but cases do exist when you can avoid the difficult person and minimize their impact on your work life. But, it depends on your individual circumstances.
4 strategies to handle difficult people
We may not realise that we have supreme power over our own thinking and action, which contributes to how others around us behave. As Dr. Mike Bechtle advocates in People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them the Keys – “It means that we work on our side of the relationship, no matter what happens on the other side. We don’t change them; we change ourselves”
1. Separate the person from the behaviour
Following this as a practice every time you encounter a difficult person can help you to draw patterns – is it the perfectionist that bothers you or someone who’s too aggressive and loud, what about the extremely logical kinds who ignore emotional cues or people who stick to norms and fear disruption or maybe it’s the cultural misfits.
2. Widen your perspective
Self-awareness enables us to stand apart and examine even the way we “see” ourselves—our self-paradigm, the most fundamental paradigm of effectiveness. It affects not only our attitudes and behaviors, but also how we see other people. It becomes our map of the basic nature of mankind
Turning the difficult moment into a learning experience can help you make changes in the way you respond, ask questions and act around difficult people. Some of these small changes can be big enablers for reinforcing positive behaviour.
3. Don’t react, act
When you are upset, the natural tendency is to react without thinking straight. While not intentional, your reaction may give more power to the difficult person by acknowledging that they bother you. It causes fixation on a different problem than the one you intended to solve together.
4. Take the hard road