Difficult People...It Is What It Is
Whether it’s at work, the grocery store or somewhere else, everyone deals with difficult people from time to time. In these situations, it is challenging to stay focused and to manage the stress resulting from a negative interaction. And, if you add to the negative behavior, the resulting challenges are even greater. Some ways to deal with difficult people include:
- Keep your cool – Maintain self-control and keep the volume normal on your end of the conversation. If you maintain your composure, you will have better judgement throughout the interaction;
- Prevent Additional Friction – Unless it is something important, do not waste your time trying to change the mind of a person entrenched in negativity. Try to be diplomatic throughout the encounter;
- Strive to be Proactive, not Reactive – They are the difficult person, not you. Try not to take the encounter personally. Usually, difficult people create negative situations because of internal problems, not because of you; and,
- Separate the person from the issue – There are two elements to every communication situation: people and issues. An effective communicator knows how to separate the person from the issue. Try to focus on the issue, not the poor communicator presenting the issue.
Difficult People...Have a Strategy
Having a strategy to deal with difficult people is an important part of mastering the art of communication. As you become more confident in your people skills, you will gain greater confidence and become a better communicator with all people. At the end of the day, you should be thankful for all the difficult people in life because they probably show you the type of person you don’t want to be.