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How to Deal With Difficult People While Keeping Your Cool & Sanity

Difficult people are everywhere. It’s easy to lose your cool with them. But here are some tips to help you learn how to deal with difficult people.

how to deal with difficult people

To some extent, I think we can all be difficult people. Sometimes, when I’m in a bad mood, I’m the worst person to be around. But I wouldn’t say being in a bad mood every now and then would mean you’re difficult *phew, nice save, Natasha*. When I talk about how to deal with difficult people, I’m really talking about difficult people.

You know the ones. They are people who make every second around them a giant headache. You can’t stand being in the same room as them. You’re not alone with these feelings. But here’s the thing… you must learn how to live with them.

When I worked in an office, I couldn’t stand this one woman. She was just so horribly annoying. But I worked with her, so I needed to learn how to handle being around her. It wasn’t easy. Sometimes, she annoyed me to the point I couldn’t even look at her. The last thing you want is to turn this into a dramatic situation and cause a rift between you and the people around you. So, it’s time you took the high road and learned how to deal with difficult people.

[Read: 10 tips for setting boundaries with difficult people]

How to deal with difficult people

They’re a dime a dozen, but if you know how to deal with difficult people, your life will be easier.

#1 Take a deep breath. It’s easy to lose your cool, but that’s not what you want to do. Before anything, take a deep breath and try to relax. Nothing is going to work out in your favor if you approach them with aggression. Be calm, respectful, and in control of yourself. [Read: 14 mantras to live by and that will change your life]

#2 Understand the other person’s intentions. Do you think difficult people like being difficult? I don’t think so. There’s an underlying issue as to why they’re behaving like this. Try to figure out why they would be acting the way they do. Put yourself in their shoes.

#3 Listen. If you want to get to some sort of conclusion and have a decent relationship with this person, you need to listen. Listen to what they have to say and how they’re feeling. That way, you can compromise and possibly find a solution to make things work. [Read: Pay it forward – 20 easy ways to create a chain of goodwill]

#4 Talk to the people around you. If you have mutual friends or co-workers, why don’t you talk to someone about the situation? Maybe they have some information that will help you understand what’s going on or will see the situation through a different pair of eyes. They’ll be able to give you a better perspective on what’s going on.

#5 Tell the person your intentions. Now that the person has told you how they’ve felt, it’s your turn to express your feelings. Maybe, in their eyes, you’re difficult. So, let them know your side of the story. This will help them get a sense of the situation as well.

#6 Bring back the human connection. We’re all humans at the end of the day. Work on bringing back the human connection between you. It’s time to build a rapport. Invite them for lunch, get to know this person for who they are. Learn about each other; you’ll be surprised to find out how similar you two may be. 

#7 Don’t treat their anger with anger. We all know difficult people are annoying and aggravating, but you’re not going to get anywhere by showing anger. Avoid raising your voice, pointing your finger at them, or using foul language. All these actions will only add fuel to the fire. [Read: The power of your words can make or break your relationship with people]

#8 Where is the conversation going? Your conversation shouldn’t be three hours long with you just blabbing about irrelevant things. You have a goal, right? So, yes, you should let the person talk and express themselves, but you should also make sure it’s staying on the right track.

#9 There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. “Difficult people” are not cut from the same cloth. Everyone has their reasons for being difficult. So you cannot approach this person with a “one-size-fits-all” idea. You’ll need to figure out how to carry the conversation by talking to them and gauging the situation for yourself.

#10 Implement boundaries. If you’re able to have a respectful conversation, then it’s time to bring in some limits and boundaries. You have the right to draw the line and show them where it is. If you’re not comfortable with this person saying something to you, be assertive and express your feelings.

#11 Know when to stop the conversation. You started the conversation, but this is a difficult person, so it may not go down the way you expected. If you feel the conversation isn’t getting to a productive point, or they’re becoming heated, it’s time to pull back. If it’s your co-worker, for example, you can always talk to your boss. [Read: 10 simple hacks to deal with difficult people]

#12 Get rid of the stress. You made it through the conversation with this difficult person! It’s not easy, and you’re probably carrying a lot of stress. So, do something to release your stress. Go for a walk, read, listen to music. Do something for you.

[Read: 12 ways to effectively ignore someone who stresses you]

You’re going to encounter more than your fair share of difficult people. Instead of losing your mind, it’s time you learned how to deal with the difficult people in your life.

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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