How to Handle Difficult People

How to Handle Difficult People

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Difficult people can show up in many different forms. Some do all the talking, cutting people off and talking over others but never actually listening. Some are lazy, messy, or unreliable, and others have to get the last word into every conversation. Difficult Coworkers may constantly demean what you say and try to make you look bad while striving for power and the boss’s attention. We all know these people. 

We are often placed in the situation where we have to deal with challenging people. And having to interact with these people can lead to stress and anxiety and drastically affect your mood. If you’re working with anyone long enough, you are sure to encounter some conflict as you find a difference of opinion. If you don’t deal with the situation, there will most likely get worse.

Difficult people can be especially tough to deal with effectively. If your self-confidence and self-esteem are low. The more you build these easy, you’ll find handling this situation you might find yourself in. So let’s look at a few strategies for dealing with difficult people.

  • Not Be Reactive
  • Shift the focus
  • Active listening
  • Body Language
  • Separating the person and the issue
  • Learn from the experience
  • Use humor to diffuse
  • Handling a bully
  • Walk away if necessary
  • Master the art of communication
How to Handle Difficult People

Not Be Reactive

The most important thing is to keep your cool and not be reactive, no matter how animated the difficult person may be. By practicing self-control, you can avoid escalating the encounter, and we’ll be able to use your better judgment to defuse the situation appropriately. If you feel your blood boiling and think you’re about to burst, try taking a deep breath and counting to 10. This small amount of time could help your emotion settle enough to stop an outburst.

No matter how senior we may be in an organization or where we sit in the pecking order, we are all influenced by an emotionally driven brain. We are all affected by an emotionally driven brain. The effect of this is that when we’re in a conflict or perceived danger. The brain releases adrenaline and cortisol, which causes the body to be hyped for a fight or flight response. As a result, our ability to analyze subjectively, think clearly, and respond calmly are entirely compromised.

Shift the Focus

 Another great defusing tactic is to shift the focus back on the difficult person. Often, these people will be pointing the finger at you in an attempt to make you feel belittled and inadequate. Their entire emphasis will be to blame you and your behavior, pointing out the problem without providing any constructive solutions. This stance is purely from a position of wanting to exert control and dominance over you. If your responses are defensive, you’re only giving the problematic person the upper hand and letting the field power and control over you. An effective tactic to shift the focus and equalize power in the exchange is, to ask constructive questions. Keeping calm and directing the focus to what that person might consider being an effective solution. It will require your response to a proactive one rather than reactive for defensive.

Active listening

This strategy can really neutralize their dominance over you by redirecting the conversation, and you are attempting to take the lead for part of the exchange. When you’re not asking them questions in return, actively listening to the problematic persons’ tirade will set the scene for you to take control in the coming moments. If you zone out and appear not to be giving them your attention, there will only press harder and more aggressively while pointing fingers at you. Using good active listening will show that you fully understand. What they believe is a drastic issue, and then you’re in a position to take control and look for a solution.

 Active listening involves listening to their words rather than cutting them off or disagreeing mid-sentence, nodding your head to acknowledge that you understand what they’re saying. After they’ve made their point, repeat back the gist of what they told from their point. This concomitant sending stupid. So it would be best if you used a bit of common sense to summarize what they’re getting at as you address their complaint. And again asked questions to show that you’ve been listening. After applying these techniques, the difficult person will be more likely to feel that they’ve been heard and that it hasn’t gone in one ear and out the other.That way, you’re in a better position to shift the power of the conversation and put the spotlight back on them. Again, be extremely mindful of your body language.

What is communication?

An interesting statistic to keep in mind is that only 7% of communication are the words you’re saying. 38% is made up of your tone of voice and expression. At the same time, 55% is your body language.


 A quick way to further anger a problematic person, is to display body language that says you don’t even want to hear their problems. Try to face them well, keeping your arms open. Being closed up with arms crossed can show that you’re not open to their point of view. Being curled up and facing away can display a lack of confidence in yourself -giving of the vibe of weaker person. Think predators vs prey with these difficult people. But rather than fighting using subtle communication techniques to shift the power of conversation and ultimately disarm them.

Now, in some situations, you may initially have a great relationship with the person in question. But but they’re being difficult over a specific issue.Two factors make up a conversation.Topics being discussed and the relationship between the people having the discussion.Not being able to separate the two can lead to conflict and a breakdown in the relationship.

 Separating the person and the issue

By separating the person from the issue and keeping it from being personal. you will have a better chance of encouraging cooperation and keeping the respect of that friend. And always keep in mind -You may actually be your difficult person’s difficult person,Try and keep it in perspective. 

The DIFFICULT PERSON MIGHT BE YOU. as these techniques are essentially communication tools because we’re discussing how to deal with and diffuse difficult people, not punch their face in, right? 

Learn from the experience

It is extremely beneficial to take each one of these difficult situations and turn it into a learning experience.This way you are fine turning your skill at handling these situations and will become more adept in long run. As exhausting as it may be trying to deal with a difficult person, asking yourself “what can I learn and take away from this experience” will help you gain at least one positive outlook from the encounter.

Use Humor to diffuse

One of my favorites, which can be highly effective if used well and by the right person, is to inject some appropriately placed humor into exchange with a difficult person.By not being reactive but finding a humorous side of the conflict, you can show detachment from the issue and help to disarm the other person’s emotion.Of course, using inappropriate humor can have the opposite effect, so tread carefully. Nevertheless, humor really is a powerful communication tool that could bring out the truth and opinions while remaining cool, calm, and collected.

Handling a bully

Bullies will tend to target people they see as weaker and without much self-confidence;You may actually be displaying a weak exterior to those around you. Keep in mind that bullies generally cowards and weak on the inside themselves. Displaying a strong, over compensated exterior to make up for their shortfalls. often when someone stands up to a bully and exert confidence, the bully will back down. It is important to keep in mind that their reaction and behavior are usually about them, far more than it is about you or anything you have done. If you can manage to have a empathy for bully you are opening your perspective on the situation. And have a far better judgement in what to do next. Compassion is an attribute of the strong and evolved and it allows us to see deeper inside an issue and the person involved.

“when people don’t like themselves very much,they have to make up for it. So the classic bully was actually a victim first.”_ Tom Hiddleston.

Walk away if necessary

There are many times and situations where all the techniques in the world may not be of any assistance. in these instances- you may just have to walk away if necessary.don’t sabotage your career but completely walking away and having as little to do is that person is an option. Sometimes these people could drag you down with them into negativity and there’s nothing wrong with removing yourself from this environment. However, dealing with these people can leave you exhausted and carry over to your home life.In this case, it’s not about winning in exchange but removing yourself from that toxic environment.

Master the art of communication

Being adept at dealing with difficult people is really an exercise in mastering the art of communication.By developing these techniques, you will find that many difficult people have less of an effect on you and stand to exert your own dominance and confidence, with less stress and better relationships with the people around you. You are on your way to being the change and greater success in life.

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