8 Top Tips for… Handling Difficult People

Whatever life you lead, there will always be difficult and stubborn people you have to work with. These could be public members, staff members or even your boss, but you should never let this hold you back or prevent you from being the best you can be. Instead, follow my 8 simple top tips below.

Dealing with Difficult People

1. Channel Your Positive, Inner Dialog

Positive inner dialog, results in positive outer dialog. It’s a fact. So before you stand your ground, tell yourself that you can do this and that you can do it without coming out on the worse end.

Quite often the only leap you have to take between where you are now and where you want to be, is belief, so ensure you are constantly visualising a positive end to the situation no matter how small it might be.

2. Clear Your Mind

Sometimes it’s hard to stay objective when the said difficult person is bombarding you with tasks/to-dos/reasons why you suck.

But focus, getting angry won’t help the situation from either side, so take a moment to write down (or at least think about) the problems and your goal for the situation.

Which reactions will help provide a solution? Which will make it worse? If you focus on being calm before you go over, then the chances are you will look a lot cooler, calmer and focused than they will.

Remember, no difficult person is worth getting angry over, so this is a vital, vital step for anyone dealing with people on a day-to-day basis.

3. Use Assertive Words & Phrases

The bully, who ever he/she is, wants to see you beg. But something they want even more than that is to see you loose your head and take the fall for it.

So now you know that, stop yourself from doing it. Ensure that your conversations are simple and focused, be assertive and stand your ground. But keep the smile tight and let them know that you won’t take ‘no’ for an answer.

4. Use Two Specific Words

If you’re not a quick thinker, a quick “well” before you speak can often given you three vital seconds in which you can get your assertive, calm counter argument in gear.

Additionally “ouch” is always a good one for responding to unfair criticism. Not only will it draw negative attention to the difficult person, but it will also remind authority figures that the treatment was completely one sided.

Simple tips like this can really make a big difference; so don’t be afraid to try them next time an older colleague starts.

5. Actively Listen

So far my tips have mostly been directed at people with awkward bosses or colleagues, but what about the public?

Well sometimes it’s worth actively listening to the complainer too. Ask yourself, is there something you can learn from their critics? Is there a solution? How can you change to make things run more smoothly?

People don’t always moan for moaning-sake. So remember that, although that certain issue might not bother you, it’s definitely bothering someone else. Take note, improve and start moving forwards. That complaint might just get you a promotion.

6. Be Confident

Being Confident with Difficult PeopleIf your body language, eye contact, facial expressions say ’I will not be walked over’ then chances are you will not be walked over. It’s important that, new or not, old or young, you always stand for what you know is right and good.

If someone is taking credit for your work or reporting you for something you didn’t do, don’t give in but also don’t panic. Hold your ground and be the person you think could get out of this situation in the best way.

Chances are you won’t feel as confident as you look, but it’s psychologically proven that it helps and if you can do it well enough, the people around you won’t have a clue.

7. Manipulate the Point

Your time is your greatest resource as a big dreamer; so don’t waste it on difficult people who want to hinder your amazing personality, skills and talents.

Find the point and manipulate it so that it faces towards a solution and emphasises with that person. No matter how hard this may seem, mirroring the other person (both with your sympathy and body language) is one of the best ways to demonstrate understanding, speed up the process of finding a solution and stay calm in an awkward situation.

You’re are better than the anger you feel; so combat it and spend as little time as possible around such negative energy.

8. Don’t Go To Your Boss Unless You Have To

Running straight to your boss when a colleague or customer has an issue will not only reduce your credibility as a whole, but your credibility as a colleague as well.

You will be an easy target and you won’t learn a thing. Instead focus on using what skills you do have to combat the situation and however bad it gets, remember, eventually, all conflicts come to an end.

So do the best you can, find a solution, learn from your mistakes and pour yourself something strong when you get home. I can’t say it enough but… you are 100% better than the anger you feel and your career is worth so much more than that one difficult person.

So keep moving forwards and remember these useful tricks!

Wrote by Aimee Hall