How to handle difficult people – top 17 tips that really work!

how to handle difficult people

In every workplace, you will have difficult coworkers. Even, in your family, there may be some difficult members. So, dealing with difficult (even impossible) coworkers, bosses, clients, friends, and family members is an art worth perfecting. Dealing with difficult situations is challenging, yet rewarding. Here, this article will reveal to you tips on how to handle difficult people that allow you to increase your skills at dealing with negative people who surround you in your working world or personal life.

How To Handle Difficult People – 17 Top Tips You Must Know

1. Examine Your Behaviors

Are you sure other person is actually the problem and that you are totally true? Does a pattern exist for you in your interaction with coworkers? If you find yourself constantly feeling harassed or attacked, you might be unknowingly attracting the wrong people with you actions.

Do you realize that you have hot buttons which are easily pushed? Begin with examining yourself to determine that the object of your attention is a difficult person’s actions.

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2. Change Your Mindset

Realize that there will always be people in the world that might obstruct you. The advice here is to focus on what you could change: your behaviors and reaction to them. Is it said that the root of most negative feelings and emotions is echo. So, if you are confronted with a negative person, remember that you cannot change them, but you can at least change how you will perceive and react to them.

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3. Get To The Real Issues

Next, ask clarifying questions to help your difficult person open up and to make sure that you fully understand all he / she has to say. It is better if you can ask open-ended questions. They start with what, where, who, when, how, and may be why.

The importance of this stage of information gathering should not be overstated. It is able to help you bring the issue to the surface. Concurrently, it will help the other person think logically. After asking the kinds of above questions, you can summarize the conversation and confirm your understanding about the issue.

4. Beware Of Your Own Perceptions Of Others

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If you are sensitive to a lot of different ways that people around react and behave you, obviously, your thinking process for handling with them will be various in different people. In this case, the interpersonal intelligence plays an important role in the success of your handling. Interpersonal intelligence indicates a person’s ability to clarify the moods, feelings, or motivations of other people. Those people with high interpersonal intelligence might know how to successfully handle with each person that they meet according to their personality and temperament. If you lack of this possibility, you could develop it over time by paying attention to the way others interact.

5. Listen Carefully

It is tempting to only tune these difficult people out, yet this rarely and hardly stop them. If you try to ignore them or do not let them know that you are listening to them, they will talk and argue more and more forcefully as they think that nobody cares about them. Thus, the best thing you can do is to use your normal, good active listening techniques which you use for everyone to resolve that problem. Every criticism includes helpful information and an attack. If you do not hear anything helpful at first, keep listening until you do.

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6. Stop And Think Before You Say Anything

This is good advice regardless of the situation. When you feel attacked, the initial things popping into your head is hardly the most effective response. If possible, make it a practice to wait 24 hours before answering the criticisms. This will make people around you surprised by your maturity and reasonableness as well and they will listen to you for a change. how to handle difficult people scam

7. Use A Time Limit For Venting

When it comes to learning how to handle difficult people, keep in mind that there is a different between being a pessimist and having an occasional demand to vent. All people have tough times. In these cases, if you share your feelings, you will feel better. Make use of the “5-minute” rule when it comes to this. Let that person vent for about 5 minutes. After he is entered downer mode, then you can move on next steps.

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8. Ask Questions Rather Than Make Statements

Difficult people usually have strong opinions. In some cases, you are right, yet sometimes, they may be wrong. When they are wrong, you should not make your own statements. Instead, you should ask questions. By this way, you can help the person recognize the problems in his / her own position, with less chance of a confrontation.

In other words, you also should ask advice rather than giving the answers. Sometimes, the explanations you think of perfectly reasonable will sound like the misguided defense against the misperceived personal attack. Even, the explanations you choose will make you even wrong. It might make you feel like you won, but to other people, it means that they can decide to humor you than treat you like a rational human being.

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9. Guarantee Understanding And Communication

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Effective communication is so critical, especially when you are handling with difficult people. Sometimes, even many times, the argument will increase just due to communication breakdowns. The solution here is listening the other person when he / she is talking. Do it carefully in order to ensure that you understand his / her point before answering. Likewise, ensure that the other person also get your own points.

10. Stop Talking About It

When you have a problem or a conflict in the life, don’t you find that people just like talking about it? You tend to repeat the story to anyone who will listen to you. But, the fact is the more you talk about your problem, the more of that thing you will notice. For instance, the more you talk how much you dislike someone, the more hate you will feel towards them and the more you will notice things related to them which you dislike. Stop thinking and talking about it. Just do your best to repeat the story to other people.

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11. Put Yourself In Their Shoes

This tip on how to handle difficult people often makes sense. We tend to forget that we become blind-sided in some certain situations. Try putting yourself in others’ position in order to understand them more, and consider how you might have hurt their emotions and feelings. After doing this tip, you will have a new perspective on becoming rational again, and develop compassion for the other person.

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12. Know Your Limits

how to handle difficult people reviewIn fact, you will not be able or responsible to solve every problem. Once you have done what you reasonably can do, do not beat up yourself when the outcome is not your wish and does not satisfy you.

Do not turn the others’ problem into your problems. Your task now is to problem-solve, not to take others’ problems.

13. Turn The Tables

Normally, difficult people love to take the offensive, and they like to put others on the defensive. If possible, try turning the tables on that person. For instance, if a person says, “we are not able to do that”, you can ask, “what can you do?”. In case that person says, “we are not ready for that date.”, ask, “when you will be ready?” or “what keep you from being ready on the date?”

14. Show Appreciate When Appropriate

In case someone is a difficult person, when communicating with him / her, you will still learn some skills or get insight the situation. If that occurs, let him / her know you appreciate. Just be sincere. Nothing will turn people off more than someone trying to curry favor. Keep in mind that, if you intend to appreciate someone or express your appreciation to him / her, do it without smiling, as your words will sound more sincere.

15. Act, Not React

Oftentimes we wait until a person gets angry or depressed before we care about their spirits. If you know a person who seems to deal with difficult thoughts or emotions often, do not wait for a certain situation to help him / her improve their feelings. The best thing you should do here is to give him / her compliment for something they do well. Then, remind him / her of the moment when he / she was happy. This can help him / her relieve his / her problem or pain quickly.

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16. Show Your Confidence But Not Rudeness

If the other person is challenging your point of view, be ready with concrete evidence for supporting your perspective. If he / she ask questions about certain reasons for your action or behaviors, tell him / her main reasons for doing so. Yet, do not ramble on. Get straight to that point to make that person does not have time to pick through what you said as well as conjure up more reasons for challenging you.

17. Know When To Quit

The last but not least important tip on how to handle difficult people is quitting appropriately. Sometimes, you might need to take a step back and assess the situation. Choose the battle wisely. There will be many times where you might want to purse a conversation with someone to try to reach a certain compromise. Nevertheless, there are also times where you give up the conversation because their perspective might not change.

If you feel the above tips on how to handle difficult people are beneficial for you, then leave your comments at the end of this article to let us know what you think. We will respond all as soon as possible.

There are a lot of other easy ways to deal with difficult people, so if you want to know more, you should read the Coping with Difficult People book.

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