3 Tips for Dealing with Difficult People
Our ability to deal with difficult people has an impact on our happiness and success in life. It doesn’t take a special skill to deal with nice positive-minded people. The strong point of your personality and ability to communicate well in a competitive setting is really demonstrated in the way you deal with difficult people. So, how are you to respond when dealing with people who are short-tempered, irritable, angry, speaking against you, or worst of all, people who don’t have good intentions towards you?
The first thing you want to do is not let other people’s negativity affect you. Make a conscious effort to keep your cool. The less reactive you are, the better your judgment will be in handling the situation. There’s an old saying, “People can’t tell who the fool is when two people are arguing.” So, don’t feed the fire by arguing.
When you feel angry or very upset with someone, before you say something you might later regret, take a deep breath and count slowly to ten. In most cases, by the time you reach ten, you will have figured-out a better way of communicating your response, so that you can deescalate, instead of escalating the tense situation. If you’re still angry or very upset after counting to ten, excuse yourself from the situation if possible, and discuss the matter later with the person after you’ve calmed down.
In some situations where you’re unable to excuse yourself, it’s best to stay quiet, take deep breaths to calm yourself down, and just listen closely to what is being said. When you do say something, remember one of the best communication tools to take control of any negative situation is to ask questions. At a time like this, you don’t want to try to win the conversation being exchanged or attack the person’s point of view with a belittling comment, because that’ll just worsen the situation. Just simply ask questions in a non-threatening way and be genuinely interested in the person’s response and what he or she is thinking. For instance, you might ask, “Do you have a reason why you feel that way or think that’s true?” or “Where did you get that information?” or “How did you find that out?” Sometimes people have a good reason for why they do things the way they do and sometimes they have misunderstood some information they received or an observation they encountered.
Whatever the circumstance may be, maintain your composure by taking in deep breaths, don’t respond too fast without thinking, and ask questions and it will put you in control of the situation.
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