Now the one question I get that I’d love to get a nickel for every time it was asked is “how do you deal with difficult people.” Honestly at first I really didn’t know how to verbalize the answer because after so many years of dealing with difficult people it’s really just become second nature. Not that it gets any easier but you do get used to it. So I really had to think about it for a second and Organize my thoughts. So here are a few types of difficult people and REALISTIC ways on how I deal with difficult people.
- ) The “defender” – these types of people are defensive and have a comeback for everything, they don’t like criticism of any kind and you can’t even tell them they have a stain on their shirt without them getting upset. They also tend to be very argumentative, I find that a majority of these types of people have an underlying insecurity that they may be overcompensating for.
How to deal;
• Picking your battles; sometimes the argument is not worth your energy.
• If you have something to say to just say it, being blunt but respectful is the best way to go.
• You get your point across and give them an opportunity to give their response but just stand your ground and leave it at that.
• Keep your cool, these types are notorious for turning things around (usually with a low blow) but keeping your cool and not letting them get to you is more for you then them. Remember they also love to argue.
2.) The infamous “Negative Nancy” we all know these types, you can tell them you won the lottery and they will complain about the taxes and tell you how much the previous person won. They tend to either be depressed and don’t know it or truly unhappy in their life.
How to deal;
• Express to them how negative they are being, sometime they are genuinely unaware of themselves.
• See if they are okay, if someone negative it’s not that normal. There may be an underlying problem.
• If all else fails and they just are who they are, and blissfully unhappy you may have to cut ties. Being around people who are so negative can quickly become toxic.
3.) The ever popular “I knew that” or the know it all, they already know everything so why even bother right? No you’re wrong, as annoying as these types of people may be I have come up with a fool proof way to handle them.
• Call out the B.S., in a healthy way of course. When they are wrong about let them know.
• Ignoring it may not always be the answer. Sometimes providing facts and resources really helps I’ve done this on several occasions.
• Pick your battles though sometimes proving someone wrong isn’t always the best option, especially if they don’t actually care about the truth.
Overall the key to dealing with difficult people is picking your battles, remaining respectful and level headed. The notion that difficult people are just asshats may be true in some cases but sometimes they may have underlining problems. Don’t get me wrong it’s not an excuse but hopefully it’ll open up a small space of compassion in your annoyed heart. Patience is really a virtue when dealing with difficult people, but too much may do more harm then good. Point is, if you have something to say just do so, and realize you can’t always get your point across.