Life would certainly be fine and dandy if we never crossed path with a difficult person, wouldn’t it? Let’s face it, conflict with someone, somewhere at some point in time is likely in your life time and personality clashes can be unpleasant to deal with.
Remembering that you can have no control over someone else’s thoughts, actions or words - only your own – is crucial when dealing with someone who pushes your buttons.
As you read this, you may possibly be thinking of a neighbour, colleague, ex, sibling or parent who challenges all of your sensibilities. Regardless of the who, take a deep breath and consider the possibility of employing one or more of the following tips the next time you encounter them.
1. Look at your behavior first – is there actually anything that you are doing – subconsciously or not – that may be actually aggravating the communication between you? If it’s possible that you are contributing in some way to the difficulties, then consider how you can modify your words or non-verbals when dealing with this person to relieve tension before it ignites.
2. Behave by example – when dealing with the difficult person, it’s advisable that your words and actions reflect what you are also hoping to receive from them. Ensure that you are seen to be doing what you are in turn asking for.
3. Always allow a difficult person to retain their dignity and self-respect. Showing up a difficult person in any way will only heighten resentment. Don’t demean them or be the cause of them losing face in front of others.
4. Try to understand them and their position, regardless of whether you agree or disagree. You may never accept their point of view, but being willing to understand their position and/or motivation may minimise conflict and/or agression.
5. Without stating the bleeding obvious, avoid communicating with difficult people whenever possible. Of course there will be instances where contact with a known difficult person is impossible to avoid. In such cases calmly remind yourself that the encounter is just a moment in time and it shall pass.
None of the tips above will make a difficult person any easier to deal with. You have no control over anything other than yourself and your own behavior. At the end of each day, being comfortable with your own thoughts and actions is all that matters.
Just keep in mind too, that Karma may one day step in and lend you a helping hand
How do you keep your cool when having to deal with a difficult person?