How to Deal with Difficult People


Dealing with people is an undeniable part of life. As you go through life, you may find yourself in a situation where some people make your life easier. They will be by your side and help you in whatever situation you are in. However, you will also encounter and be in a situation where you are forced to interact with people you find to be difficult.


Difficult people can take many forms. You must have met people who rarely cooperate, constantly complain, find negative in everything, or unreasonably hate others. Having interaction with these people can be incredibly frustrating. Sometimes you may wish you could change these people. Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, it will only be a waste of time because basically you can’t control how others behave.


What you can control, however, is how you react to these annoying people. You can choose how you want to perceive them and decide how you want to respond in their presence. By doing that, you can learn to tolerate — and even appreciate — the challenging people that cross your path. Therefore, you can learn some ideas for how you can handle difficult people in your life.


  • Understand the Behaviour


When you come across someone with problematic behavior, try to understand them instead of changing them. Try to understand their values, listen carefully to what they say, try to acknowledge their opinion, and whatever it is that drives their decisions. We do not know what someone has gone through behind their difficult behavior. It can be a trauma, vulnerability, or fear. Focus on understanding what the person wants and what they are trying to avoid. That way not only helps them relax but also encourages them to be more open-minded.


  • Talk to That Person


After trying to understand what drives someone’s difficult behavior, try to discuss the issue to find a solution together. Despite how someone intentionally or unintentionally mistreats you, always treat that person with respect and dignity. Try to respond and state your emotions or their impact on you based on their behavior. If you get it right, it can boost someone to realize that they treat you the wrong way. Sometimes, talking it out can help you reframe the circumstances to a place where you can facilitate a further positive outcome.


  • Set Limits and Boundaries


Setting limits and boundaries is a matter of self-respect. By setting limitations, you put parameters in place for being treated well, protect yourself from draining or toxic people, and ensure supportive and respectful relationships. Also, Be assertive. Don’t let that person mistake your kindness as a weakness. If that person goes too far and interferes with your well-being and privacy, tell the person that you don’t like it. When you communicate your limits, people will try to respect your perspective, value, and overall well-being. Stepping in a different direction when you are around people does more harm than good.



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