Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Dealing with Difficult People

First, I hope I am not the difficult one people have to deal with. Truth be told, we've all been there. Either we're having that kind of day, month, or even, a very bad year and someone in our lives isn't very pleased with us.

The best way to deal with a difficult person is to remind yourself of one very powerful thing: This isn't about me, and even if it is, this isn't my problem. Follow me here... what people believe is their business and not in your control. It's our job not to take their opinion or anyone else's personally. The philosophy here is that it doesn't matter what others think of you. The most important thing in life is your own self-love and acceptance. So when a difficult person is driving you a little nuts do everything possible to be transparent and let it slip right through you. Again, don't take it personally and remember this isn't about you - this is about them. Their difficulty is theirs and theirs alone, so never let their personal struggle hinder or hurt YOU!

Next, and this part takes practice, don't let difficult people lead you or keep you from leading. To be clear, difficult people can be defined in many ways. 

Exhibit A:

In the context of this post, I define difficult as a person who tends to be negative, hard to please and constantly complains. Those who act in this way sometimes dominate individuals, or worse, environments through their negativity. Don't let their approach dictate or dissuade yours. It's important to avoid being manipulated by drama because you're trying to "keep the peace" with difficult types. I often see individuals catering to these character types which helps no one involved. Now I fully understand this is easier said than done, but it's crucial for your own mental health. 

If we listen to our gut instincts, we're usually able to tell if we're being led by difficult colleagues or loved ones in an attempt to avoid their personality's wrath. Instead, remain strong and hold true to you. Speak up when you need to and always feel confident to push back (even if you have to do this in the most careful and calculated way).

Lastly, difficult people don't always understand just how difficult they can be. So remember to be patient. As you lead them without bending and catering to only their needs, you should look to praise them in the times of cooperation and validate their wins. Soon enough they may become conscious and hopefully motivated by those times when they're approach is well-received. Now this takes some ego-management on your end. The essense is to be the best YOU no matter what and feel confident  validating their best, too. Don't deprive a difficult person of praise holding against them those times they didn't make life easy. This approach only make matters worse.

To sum up: 
1. Don't take things personally with difficult folks. Their opinion is not your  problem.

2. Don't let difficult people or situations lead you astray in an attempt to avoid drama. This approach makes matters worse in the long-run.

3. Be ok with acknowledging the good and finding at least an ounce of it within "difficult" folks. This positive praise may work wonders and hopefully diminish drama. But remember, this takes a lot from you to check your own ego and give praise to someone who may very frequently drive you nuts.

How do you manage difficult people in your life?

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