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Dealing with difficult people

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

Top Tips for Interaction with difficult people: Sometimes dealing with difficult people can be unavoidable. But, unfortunately, you are often required to deal with difficult people in your daily life. Whether it be your little siblings, work colleagues or even someone in the supermarket, the interaction can be exhausting and induce many emotions. In addition, people you find difficult tend to know exactly how to push our buttons and make us feel a bit out of control. So here are some top tips that can help you feel more grounded and perhaps more comfortable when interacting with difficult people.

1. Lower your expectations of people

You can't control what others do, no matter who they are. Simply lowering your own expectations of others can decrease your stress by not having to worry about what others are doing. Also, not having high expectations for others makes it more likely that they would exceed your expectations, increasing your overall happiness and creating a positive outcome.

2. Stay calm and focus on the task at hand

Unfortunately, there are some cases where you can't avoid working with difficult people and instead focus on the facts and task at hand. Although easier said than done, try not to add your emotions into the mix.

Perhaps you could try some breathing techniques from our website here

3. Find some common ground

Some unavoidable situations can be made easier for both parties if some common ground is found. For example, on a group task, you can bond over your shared goal of wanting to complete the set assignment, making every moment more bearable.

4. Be Clear and firm with your boundaries

While remembering to be respectful, you can also be clear about your boundaries and treat those how you would want to be treated. Don't forget that others won't know how you feel if you don't communicate effectively. It's important to share as most people don't understand their actions' impact on other people. Perhaps next time someone interrupts you, you could mention that you didn't like it as it meant you could finish the point you were making that you thought would have solved the issue at hand!

5. Try your best to ignore

Some problematic people will push your buttons just to get a reaction; try to stand tall and ignore them, as sometimes the best response is none. You have control over your mind and body not to react. The interaction is only temporary!

6. Avoid Negative behaviours yourself

Always treat others with kindness and take responsibility for your actions to become a better person by not succumbing to others' negative behaviours. The more confidence and control you have over your efforts, the easier others become to deal with.

Self Improvement

These handy top tips are all for your self-improvement. It's good to remember if you're ever uncomfortable dealing with a difficult person, it's usually just their behaviour, not the person you find difficult. This puts a positive spin on something that can be pretty negative! 'Difficult people are the greatest teachers' can mean various things. Some may view it as a lesson on being calm and resilient, while others may see it as a lesson about who you do not want to be. You can't change people, but you can certainly change how you perceive and work with them.

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