How To Deal With Difficult People: How To Handle Difficult Family Members, Friends, Bosses & Coworkers
Difficult people have certain personality trait that makes it hard to get along with them. These people can come in the form of a relative, colleague, neighbor, customer or employee so it is inevitable to avoid interaction with them.
How to deal with difficult family members
Some family members are hard to please. They always look for every means to make us suffer. As much as you want them to be different you can’t force them to change but these tips will help you get better at diffusing the situation.
Reflect on how you feel:
Take deep breaths to manage your reaction to the situation.
Find out why they are out to get you:
Try to find out if you were the one that caused them to act that way. You could ask them directly or try to find the reasons on your own.
Say your mind
Ask them to stop acting that way towards you.
Avoid possible interaction with them
Be prepared. Know what pushes their button and just try to ignore everything they do because not every fight needs to be fought.
Don’t act defensive
You might want to argue to prove your point but that won’t help the situation. Just let the person think he/she is right.
Avoid subjects that will lead to an argument
Most family members bring up topics that will get you angry so it is best to not give them the satisfaction.
Set your boundaries:
Take a break from them. Don’t give them to liberty to encroach on your personal time.
Cut ties with them if you can’t continue enduring.
How to deal with difficult friends
Dealing with difficult friends can mess up our peace of mind but here are ways to avoid negative interactions with them:
- Speak up:
- No matter how we care for our friends we shouldn’t let them bully us. We have to be honest with them about the way they act towards us.
- Try to find the reason for their attitude. Maybe you can help them overcome any issues they might be facing.
- You can take a walk if your emotions are all over the place.
- Don’t take what they say personally. They may just be trying to let out steam.
- Don’t lose your temper: It is best to be calm when addressing a difficult friend. Flaring up won’t make the person to stop acting difficult.
- Don’t let them be toxic: As hard as it may seem try to create some distance before it gets to that point.
- Ditch them: Leave the friendship if their attitude gets too much.
How to deal with difficult bosses
Working for someone who never values your work or treats you badly can take a toll on you but here are ways to help you manage and make the best out of the situation.
Don’t be rude or disrespectful because of the person’s attitude.
Reacting will only bring more tension in the work environment and make it hard for you to work well.
Don’t allow it affect your work:
No matter how bad your boss behaves towards you, still try to be in good terms with them. Continue to work diligently and don’t give heed to whatever they do.
Be one step ahead:
Most times your boss might add more workload for you just to prove that you are incompetent. So the best thing to do is to anticipate the tasks for that day and get it done on time.
Limit your interaction:
It is frustrating to work for someone who seems to have no respect for boundaries. You’ve just got to set them yourself to avoid further interactions.
Identify what triggers their behavior:
It could be because you did a bad work or that they are never in a good mood. Finding out the cause will help you understand how to deal with it.
Talk to your boss:
Speak up instead of bottling it up inside or lashing on others go. Even if you lose your job after speaking up at least you’ve said your mind.
Don’t give room for intimidation:
If your boss is always yelling at you or downgrading your efforts don’t give them the satisfaction of seeing you cower in fear. Just keep your head high and stay calm.
Record everything that has taken place:
Do this if your boss is getting too personal just because you refused to concede to his/her demands.
You can leave the job if you’ve tried everything to make things better and it is not working. Staying in a toxic work environment is not worth it because it affects your well-being.
Avoid future bad bosses:
Before working for a firm or organization try to ask questions about the person in change. Don’t accept the job if you can’t cope with such people.
How to deal with difficult customers
For your business to be successful you need to be good at addressing issues relating to your clients. There are some customers that always want things to be done their way and if they don’t have their way they cause a scene. However, there are ways to manage your interaction with them;
Treat them well despite their behavior:
Be sincere about the way you address them. Reacting will make the company look bad.
Pay attention to what the person is saying
Show the customer you care by listening to what they have to say because you might be able to find out what caused the issue.
Lower your voice when addressing them
Don’t try to talk over the customer or argue with them. Even if they are creating a scene still stay calm.
Don’t take their behavior personally:
Consider that the person might be going through something at that time. It will help you address the issue calmly.
Keep to your promise:
Stick to the scheduled time you gave to a customer for their issue to be resolved. If not they will feel that you are just trying to do avoid them.
Don’t blame the company:
Some customers can get aggressive because their needs are not met. They may file for a lawsuit if you say the company is to blame for the misunderstanding.
Acknowledge their time and patience with you as you work to solve the issue.
Look for someone else who knows how to deal with their attitude.
Try to limit contact with the person if you know you can’t be calm around them.
How to deal with difficult employees
There are some employees that like being difficult. They find it hard to take instructions and they act rash to both clients and fellow workers. As a boss you can:
- Don’t ignore their actions: Ignoring it won’t resolve the problem. It will only worsen the situation and make the work environment less productive.
- Try to reason with them: Don’t just complain and condone their actions. Be attentive and talk to them if their attitude is not okay with you so you can get their view on things. This will help you understand what drives their decision to act difficult.
- Keep a clear head: Don’t address the issue when you are angry.
- Document their poor performance and bad behavior for future references.
- Don’t thrash-talk to other employees. It makes you seem unprofessional.
- Show empathy and don’t make assumptions
- Give them a fair warning: Tell them to stop acting up or they will have to leave.
- Go through the company’s policy and if they’ve violated most of them then it is time to let them go.
- Fire them from the job.
How to deal with difficult coworkers
No matter where you work there will always be difficult coworkers who gossip, never get the job done and never take responsibility for their actions. The other person’s attitude may be beyond your control but it is your choice to decide how to react. Try out these tips to help you deal with the difficult people you face at the work place.
When there’s an argument you’ve just got to pause while the other person is talking and listen to their opinion before stating yours because no progress can be made if everyone talks at the same time.
Exercise self control:
You can be easily agitated and frustrated when dealing with someone who is difficult and unreasonable so it is better to keep a clear head. Don’t over react or try to prove your point. Reaction makes you sink to their level.
The person might be unreasonable because he/she is going through some challenges and that’s the only way to express the frustration or they might be that way because they are intimidated by you.
Be a friend:
They may be acting difficult just to get your attention.
Don’t laugh at them:
You’ll make them to act more unreasonable. They will feel that you are trying to belittle them.
Don’t hide from them:
Hiding would make you look weak and it won’t solve the problem.
Confront the person instead of letting the behavior continue:
Face the person and tell them how annoying their actions are and why you won’t tolerate it anymore. Let the person know that if the action continues you’ll report them.
You can vent your anger out outside the work environment by either talking to a close friend or engaging in physical activities.
Don’t quit your job for them:
You can’t leave your job every time a colleague is being difficult. Just avoid situations that would make you cross path with the person.
File a report:
If their behavior towards you is getting too much you can report to the boss or head of department to deal with them. That doesn’t mean you should report every time you encounter them.