How to master the art of dealing with difficult people

Does the thought of going to work every day weigh on you?  Do you dread family functions because you expect to bump into some tiresome person? Was your answer a resounding yes? Is it because you are apprehensive about dealing with difficult people? If so, it is totally understandable.

It must feel like entering a battleground every time. Dodging bullets and bombs and oh, what was that? Ego shrapnel?! It happens. Unfortunately, it takes all sorts to make the world! So, when you have to step into hostile territory, how do you prepare yourself?

Avoid meeting them? Pretend they don’t exist with the proverbial head in the sand ostrich approach? Well, you can run, but you cannot really hide, at least not forever. At some point, you are going to have to learn how to handle these difficult people. So why not start now?

Try these tips to learn how to deal with difficult people.

How to deal with difficult people


Agree to disagree

Remember that everyone has a right to their opinion. In life, you are not going to meet only similar-minded people. So, you are bound to have some difference of opinions with some people. This is specifically true when you are working with difficult people. But, that’s okay. Gracefully, accept that there can be more than one point of view for any given situation. Don’t demand compliance and don’t try to change or convince anyone. It usually only backfires.

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Give up being reactive

Most fights in the world happen because people don’t listen to what is being said. Do you also tend to react first before understanding? It is not uncommon. However, remember that the first reaction is, generally, an emotional, impulsive and illogical one. It is not even, necessarily, your only opinion. So, the next time your ‘nemes is’ voices an opinion, really listen. Don’t think of rebuttals and counter-arguments simultaneously. Chances are that he or she will also show you the same consideration. This will help smoothen relations between you.


Be natural

Be yourself. Don’t act like you are okay with something if you are not. It is tough to keep up pretenses for long anyway. Especially if you are working with these difficult people day in and day out. One lie requires another and another to keep face. So, don’t put on masks and appear inconsistent. You cannot learn how to deal with difficult people if you, yourself, are not trust-worthy and reliable. State your stand and be firm, though not rigid.



Give respect to get respect

As you sow, so you reap. If you expect your opinion to count, you must respect the other person’s opinion first. Genuinely appreciate the merits of different perspectives and opinions. You might just be pleasantly surprised. This stance will teach you how to handle difficult people. Positive emotions like respect tend to bounce back to you in the same form, if not force.


Silence is really golden

You must have heard that empty vessels make the most noise. It is true! The more closed a person’s mind is, the more open their mouth is likely to be! So, ensure that you don’t subscribe to this rule. Open your mind and close your mouth. This will make you more likable. So when you share an opinion, it is likely to be well-received, even by the difficult folk. After all, the more scarce your words, the greater their value.


Stay in the present

Don’t hold the past as a mirror for your current or future interactions with anyone. This is what makes dealing with difficult people at work and outside a challenge. Give people the benefit of the doubt. People change, opinions change. Know it and allow it to be so. One of the best ways to stay in the present is by practicing meditation. If you are a beginner, try online guided meditations. These sessions will help you remain neutral and relaxed. The Sahaj Samadhi Meditation Program can also help you stay calm and collected when provoked.



Try to get along

It could be your boss, colleagues or clients at work. Or those unpleasant volunteers in your community or extended family or even coaches at your children’s hobby classes. You know they say keep your friends close and your enemies even closer! So, befriend the difficult person in your life. Once, you are able to see things from his or her view, you might be able to relate better. It will make dealing with difficult people at work and outside so much easier. All said and done, it is not easy working with difficult people. At the same time, it doesn’t have to give you ulcers! So find a working solution that suits your personality and surroundings. Try the Art of Living’s Happiness Program to help you deal with the difficult people in your life.




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