Dealing With Difficult People

How to Deal With Difficult People
and Survive

At some point, we have all dealt with difficult people and challenging situations, as a result of some conflict or disagreement.  The only real way to avoid all of this would be to stay in your house and avoid all people for the rest of your life.  That is not a realistic option, nor a healthy one. 

Every time you leave your house, whether it is to go to the store or to your workplace, you are potentially going to run into someone you classify as “difficult.”  How you deal with conflict and difficult people or situations, can make a huge difference to your sense of worth, self-esteem and your enjoyment of life. 

In what follows, you will learn how to spot a difficult person, the different presentations of difficult people, and how to deal with these individuals without losing your mind. You need to think rationally when dealing with a difficult person, or you will get nowhere with him or her.  The key is not to become as difficult as the other person when conflict arises.  You can learn to deal with difficult people, while retaining your composure, by learning and practicing some skills and techniques which will discuss later in this ebook. 

Chapter 1:  What is a Difficult Person?

When you ask this question at your next social gathering, you are sure to get a variety of responses.  Many of you will also be able to think of someone you would classify as difficult – perhaps your neighbour, a co-worker, or even a family member or friend, or perish the thought, the person looking back at you from the mirror!

The Merriam-Webster dictionary online defines “difficult” as hard to deal with, to manage or overcome, and hard to understand. 

That pretty much sums up a difficult person.  You may also want to add the following characteristics:

Hard to reason with
Can never be wrong
Consistently unreasonable
Challenges everything you say or do
Makes you feel frustrated
Makes you want to avoid the person or situation

Do any of these sound familiar to you?  You can probably think of even more characteristics.  Just pause for a second, and write down what you would classify as difficult.
But are all people really difficult or could it be something else?

You may be surprised to learn that many people are not what would be classified as truly “difficult.”  For example, they may just be having a bad day and you catch them at the wrong time.  Or they may have just learned that someone in their family is ill, and they are having a hard time coping with the circumstances, so they take it out on you.  Sometimes, it can be a language barrier that causes a lot of misunderstanding. 

When you know someone who is acting out of character, it is easier to accept and forgive, and you are not likely to label that person as difficult.  However, it can be a bit more challenging to decipher when you have just met someone new, and you don’t know what someone’s track record is in regards to the treatment of others.  In other words, you don't know if this person is just having a bad day, or is always challenging to deal with.

What is going on in your own life can also affect other people, both in a positive or negative way.  For example, you may normally be an easy-going person, but an accumulation of stress may be taking its toll on you, causing you to react to others in a way that is out of character. You may be more defensive or more short-tempered than usual.  This can then result in a negative reaction from others, which in turn, may make that other person seem difficult to you.  Even worse, they may classify you as difficult, if they don’t take into consideration or know, that you are acting out of character. 

So, when deciding if someone is difficult, it is always important to take a step back and ask yourself a few questions:

  • Is this person normally difficult to interact with or deal with?

  • Are you the one who is getting defensive or annoyed with the other person, resulting in the other person becoming upset with you? In this case, you may incorrectly assume that the other person is the one who is difficult,

    when you are the one who is making the situation worse by the way in which you are responding or handling the situation.

A truly difficult person is someone whose behaviour negatively affects the majority of people with whom he/she comes in contact with.  They are not well-liked, nor do people want to be around them.  Difficult people treat everyone poorly, whether it be you, the waitress, or the customer service representative at your local store. This is their normal behaviour and they behave in this way at every opportunity.  Every interaction is uncomfortable and challenging.  Difficult people can be unpredictable, getting upset over little things that most ordinary people would not, and to disagree and argue with you over anything and everything.  That is what defines a truly difficult person. 
The above chapter is taken from my next eBook:
How to Win with Difficult People, and Survive
Which will be published later in 2018, if you would like to get prior notification please send me a message from the Contact Page: Click Here