The beauty of life is about the different kinds of people we come across every day whether it is at work, at home or any social setting. Different people color our world, which would be a boring place if all people behaved alike. Humans are social beings and in one way or another, we are tangled in different kinds of relationships. However, despite all our efforts to be the best person we can be, we are forced to deal with difficult people and the challenging relationships that develop from our interaction with these people. The truth is, you will come across a difficult person at some point in your life, or maybe you are dealing with one right now. However, if you are surrounded by difficult people from all angles, you are probably meeting all the wrong people and should reevaluate your way of forming relationships.
Types of difficult people
A difficult person can be from work, such as a boss who you have no idea how to deal with since everything you do is not satisfactory to them. This kind of difficult person is known as the tank, known for being confrontational, pushy and aggressive. It also could be a parent whose opinions always seem to differ from yours or feel they need to give you advice on every move you make in your life. These kinds of people are known as the think-they-know-it-all. Sometimes, your friends can be difficult in such a way that they seem to have negative opinion about your every move and have nothing positive to say, known as the cynic. Difficult people come in different forms, and behave very differently. There are those who always lie to get their way or manipulate you by targeting your weakness to their advantage. Others are toxic and carry a cloud or negative energy around them all the time and end up being needy and clingy. There are also those with bad temperament, the temperamentals, who react to the least form of provocation such that you feel as if you are walking on eggshells when around them. Last but not least, there is the unreasonable type who won’t use logic and reasoning to find solutions; known as the No-person.I am sure from the list above, you can relate a situation where you have dealt with such a person and remember how frustrated you were.
How is this person being difficult?
Difficult people exhibit some consistent behaviors that you can observe. For example, when you have a difficult boss who is proving difficult to work with, there are some behaviors you can observe. Your boss could be making unreasonable demands and failing to listen to other people’s opinions. In a situation that calls for combined effort such as completing a certain project, your boss could be uncooperative by failing to provide the necessary resources, or always pointing out problems and never offering solutions for them; always poking holes on your boat and yet they are demanding results of very high standards, who we refer to as an agendist. Working with such a person can be very frustrating and you may find yourself reacting in the most unfavorable and unsuitable way for the work place.
How we react to difficult people
The most natural way that you react to such people is by resisting them, which does not always yield good results. Resisting your boss will only make things harder for you at work, and you can only resist your parents or friends for so long. Difficult people around you make you defensive and irritable. Sometimes your day can be ruin as you end up having spent a whole day in a foul mood just because you interacted with this difficult person in the morning.
How to identify a difficult person
It is important to be able to differentiate between a difficult and a result driven person. In the case of your boss, differentiating the two can help you learn how to manage the situation. For example, a boss who is always pushing you to do better may not necessarily be a difficult person, since in the end; you find that you benefit from this push to become a highly productive person. On the other hand, someone who is always pointing out your weak areas and not helping you improve them is a difficult person that is always dragging you down, known as a cynic.
Dealing with difficult people
How you react to a difficult person affects you positively or negatively. As aforementioned, reacting can ruin your day or make you lose important people in your life. On the other hand, responding in a positive way can help you create a fruitful relationship with the difficult person. It is important to note that your attitude is everything; you can choose to take a difficult situation positively or negatively. You are in control of how these people affect you; you can choose to emerge the winner or loser. Before you respond to a difficult person, it is important to study yourself, and study the situation so as to come up with the best way to respond. Here are some ways through which you can deal with difficult people.
Since you cannot avoid difficult people entirely, it is important to be understanding of why the person is being difficult. For example, a boss may be unreasonable and refuse to accept other people’s opinions just because they are insecure about their abilities and leadership talents. By understanding this, you can learn how to pass your opinion to the boss in a way that does not undermine their authority.
Pause, breathe and think before responding
As mentioned earlier, you are in control of how a difficult person affects you. Since you cannot control the other person, you can control yourself. It is therefore important for you to take a pause, breathe and think before responding to them. This way, the response you give will not make the situation worse than it is; instead, it will be coming from a point of understanding and may help solve the problem at hand.
Lastly, seek help on how to deal with difficult people. There is no one absolute solution for dealing with difficult people, but you can arm yourself with knowledge and tactics such that you are always prepared should such situations come up, or if you are dealing with such right now. For example, there are courses, workshops and seminars on how to deal with difficult people that you can enroll in, and self-equip with this life skill. It will come in handy at work, at home and with your other relationships as well as helping you not to become a difficult person to others.
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