How to Deal With Difficult People

How to Deal With Difficult People

Do you wonder how to react to difficult people? Is it difficult working or interacting with some people?  Do you want to know how to deal with difficult people?

If you do, then you are not alone.

In our daily living, we come across some individuals with difficult personalities.

When we do, it is either we learn to deal with them or work to change them.

However, changing them is not so easy, especially when they do not want to.

So, the best thing to do is to learn to deal with them.

In this article, we will share with you some essential information on how to deal with difficult people.

To begin, we shall look closely at the term ‘difficult people’

What Does the Term ‘Difficult People’ Mean? – How to Deal With Difficult People

The term ‘difficult people’ is used to describe individuals with certain emotional characteristics or personality traits that make it difficult for others to communicate with them.

It is also difficult for the “difficult person” to communicate with others.

They are just prone to be difficult because of their emotional characteristic or personality traits.

A difficult person hardly cooperates, listens, obeys, or contributes positively to a matter.

Anybody can be a difficult person.

Hence, they could be your friend, family relation, business partner, colleagues, employees, or customer/clients.

Therefore, it is inevitable not to come across them as you go about your life.

Hence, you need to learn to deal with them.

To deal with difficult people is the ability or skill to successfully cope with them while maintaining healthy relationships.

Living, working, socializing, and interacting with difficult people get easier when you know how to deal with them.

Type of Difficult Personalities – How to Deal with Difficult People

Everybody is different.

The same goes for difficult people.

Yes, we classify people who make things difficult for us as ‘difficult people’.

However, not all of them have the same personalities that make them difficult.

As a result, you cannot hope to deal with one the same way you do the other at all times.

They each need to be understood to deal with them better.

So, we will share with you the major ten different personality types of difficult people and the best approach towards them.

The Blamers/complainers – How to Deal with Difficult People

This type of difficult people is perpetual blamers and complainers.

They have something to complain about at all times.

Also, they have a habit of blaming others, even when they are at fault.

They rather blame others or complain about issues than look for solutions for them.

Working or living with this kind of person can be very difficult.

It’s almost like you lack peace of mind when they are around.

Some complainers/blamers are usually the way they are because they are not happy with themselves.

So, they complain about every little thing and blame others to cover up their unhappiness with themselves.

Best Approach for Complainers

To effectively deal with complainers, you need to understand their reason for their constant complaining and blaming.

Once you do, ensure that you avoid triggering or reminding them of that reason.

Also, limit your interaction with them.

The Anxious

Anxious difficult people are those who get nervous or upset about things easily.

These people often live in constant fear.

They have a mindset full of negative outcomes.

So, they are usually scared to take risks or make decisions.

They find it hard to take steps forward because they do not want to fail.

Living or working with them can be a nightmare.

If you have an anxious business partner, you will find it difficult to take risks in business, as they will hardly want to cooperate.

Best Approach for Anxious Individuals

To effectively deal with these people you need to avoid discussing or sharing information that involves risk with them.

The less they know, the better they can function.

The Aggressive – How to Deal with Difficult People

Aggressive people are like volcanoes; they erupt when things do not work well.

They do not know how to stay calm in circumstances.

Aggressive difficult people do things forcefully and blatantly without caring much for the outcome.

Instead of seeking ways to solve issues, these people cause more problems.

They cannot effectively lead others.

Best Approach for Aggressive Individuals

Learn to stay calm when dealing with these people.

Also, acknowledge whatever they said during their outburst.

Consider walking away from them for a while.

The Pessimist

Pessimistic people have mindsets programmed on negativity

In other words, they ignore positivity and embrace negativity.

As a result, they find it difficult to accept positive change.

They are great at pointing out limitations, flaws, and negativity in people and things.

Living, working, and associating with these people can be hellish.

This is because they never see the good side to things and dampen the spirit and energy of people around them.

Check this out to discover why you need to temper your pessimism to be a successful entrepreneur.

Best Approach for Pessimistic Individuals

Learn to stay positive and wave off their negativity.

Also, reduce the time you spend with these people.

The Stallers – How to Deal with Difficult People

These people do not find any issue with making commitments or promises.

However, they find it difficult to deliver their promises or keep to their commitment.

When you do business with these people, they can make you wait for long before fulfilling their part.

This can make you get tired and frustrated.

Best Approach for Stallers

To effectively deal with these people you need to get to know what is delaying them from doing what they ought to.

If it’s something you can help out with, do so.

However, if it is not, you should consider incentives or penalties to motivate them to do what they need to do.

The Hostile

Hostile people are often mistaken for aggressive people.

However, they are not the same.

An aggressive person does things forcefully and gets upset when things do not work out well.

Meanwhile, a hostile person makes use of aggressive body language.

They are not welcoming or friendly.

People find it difficult to relate or communicate with them because they show anger with their body language and sometimes facial expressions.

Most times these people just need a friend but do not know how to open up.

Best Approach for Hostile Individuals

As we said, some of these people just need a friend who will understand them.

So, try understanding them and do not respond with anger.

Show them kindness.

This will make them less uncomfortable and more open.

The Gossips – How to Deal with Difficult People

Gossips do not mind telling all of your sensitive and embarrassing stories and details to people.

They enjoy spreading and sharing people’s matters with others.

These people will talk behind your back with no cares in the world.

You can never trust them with a secret.

Best Approach for Gossipers

You should limit conversation with them.

Also, avoid sharing information about yourself with them.

The Perfectionist

These are people who like things to go perfectly without any mistakes.

They strive for excellence at all times.

When things are not precise and excellent they can get very upset.

People around them find it difficult to please them.

Even when people do their best at a thing, perfectionists cannot appreciate them when it is not perfect.

As a result, the people around them are usually stressed and frustrated.

Best Approach for Perfectionists

You need to understand that you cannot please or satisfy perfectionists.

So, do not take it to heart when they are upset about imperfections.

However, ensure that you do your best at all times.

The ‘Yes’ Man – How to Deal with Difficult People

These are people who agree with everything other people say or do.

They do not have their opinion, or even if they do, they do not share them.

These people never make contributions to discussions.

They are ready to go along with anything you want.

Being around these people can be quite exhausting and frustrating.

This is especially true if you are someone who appreciates other people’s ideas, opinions, contributions, and perspectives.

As a result of their agreement to everything, they often tend to have several commitments.

Most times, they cannot keep up with all of those commitments.

Best Approach for ‘Yes’ Man

Ensure that you share all the details and information concerning a matter with these people.

Let them know what they are agreeing to.

The Know-it-all

As their title implies, these people act like they know it all.

No matter what discussion is going on, they involve themselves even when they do not know anything about the discussion topic.

Oftentimes, they end up saying rubbish.

These people hardly humble themselves to learn from others.

After all, they know it all.

It is this type of people that keep talking about irrelevant things to show and prove to people that they know things.

Their incessant chatter can make other people get exhausted.

Most know-it-alls are the way they are because they want to feel superior to others.

Best Approach for Know-it-alls

Learn how to tune them out when they start their chatter.           

Tips on How to Deal With Difficult People

We have shared with you ten major types of difficult people and the best way to deal with them.

However, we will still share some general tips that will help you to effectively deal with all types of difficult people.

1. Remain Calm

When dealing with difficult people there is a high tendency that you might get frustrated, worked-up, angry, or exhausted.

However, you should know that those feelings will not help you to effectively deal with them.

For instance, if you are dealing with an aggressive difficult person and you get frustrated, you won’t be able to be calm in the situation and seek a way forward.

So, as tasking, as it might be, see yourself as the rational and calm one.

This will help you to do better at dealing with difficult people.

You can learn to stay calm by practicing breathing exercises.

So, whenever you want to get worked up, just engage in those breathing exercises and remain calm.

2. Utilize S.T.O.P – How to Deal with Difficult People

S.T.O.P is an acronym that is short for:

  • Stop your present activity
  • Take in and exhale deep breaths
  • Observe your feelings
  • Proceed with compassion and dignity

They are basic steps that help people deal with difficult individuals.

These steps ensure that you do not brashly react to their behavior and actions.

It gives you enough time to think of the best way to respond or react.

So, ensure to utilize S.T.O.P when dealing with difficult individuals.

3. Do Not Take Things Personal

Understand that most of the things difficult people do are not because of you.

It is because of their personality or emotions.

So, never take whatever they do personally.

This way you will avoid feeling guilty for their actions.

Also, it will enable you to do the right thing while staying calm.

4. Detach Yourself

Learn to detach yourself from some things.

Do not engage in everything.

This will help you to reduce having issues with difficult individuals.

For example, if you know that someone in your group of friends makes things difficult for you; you should keep your distance.

It is not every time you have to go hang out with your friends.

For you to effectively detach yourself and still feel good, you have to build your self-confidence and self-esteem.

Do not allow difficult individuals to act absurdly with you because you want to join in on everything.

5. Make Use of Humor

Appropriate humor can make people feel relaxed.

When you make use of humor it can make a hostile individual feel more comfortable.

Humor can also work for other difficult personalities.

However, when making use of humor, ensure that you are careful.

Do not crack sensitive jokes that can trigger people.

 6. Understand Others’ Perception – How to Deal with Difficult People

Oftentimes, when we meet a difficult person, we are quick to advise and encourage them to become better or change.

However, when we do this, it can cause these people to dislike us.

So sometimes,  instead of bombarding them with encouragement and advice, you should look at things from their viewpoint.

In other words, you should understand them; the situations and values they have that make them do what they do.

As a result, they will become relaxed around you, and more open to listening to your advice.

7. Control Your Emotions

Your emotions need to be in check around difficult people.

This is because your emotions can affect the way you handle things.

If you get frustrated about something a difficult individual did, you might end up giving up when you shouldn’t.

For example, if you have an anxious business partner who is scared of taking a risk that could improve your business, you might get frustrated.

This is because you might not be able to take action concerning the business on your own.

So, since your business partner is scared about it, they will hesitate to take that risk.

If you get frustrated and angrily give up, you will lose that chance to better your business.

However, if you do not let your emotion get the best of you, you might be able to convince and persuade your business partner into taking that risk.

Therefore, you have to learn to control your emotions at all times.

To do this, you will need to practice self-awareness.

Self-awareness will help you identify your thinking patterns, feelings, behaviors, and what triggers you.

8. Do Not Get Defensive – How to Deal With Difficult People

When you become defensive, it is usually tough for others to understand you.

Also, when you get defensive it can make a difficult person more difficult.

We know that it is not easy to avoid getting defensive when you are stressed.

However, you have to clearly state your point without getting defensive.

This way, you will be able to resolve issues and situations with them better.

9. Keep a Safe Distance

Alongside detaching yourself, you need to learn to limit interaction with them.

Keep a safe distance between yourself and them.

Do not think of changing them, especially if they do not want to change.

Also, if you try making things amicable with a difficult person but they keep being troublesome, it will be best to stay away.

For instance, if you have a hostile neighbor who never accepts or wants anything to do with you, then you should keep to yourself.

Do not force yourself on them or try to change them.

Keep your distance and enjoy your life.

10. Treat Them with Respect – How to Deal with Difficult People

Never feel that difficult people do not deserve respect.

They are people with rights and feelings like you.

So, you need to ensure that you respect them.

Respect them regardless of how tempting it might be to not do so.

When you treat them with respect, you will find it easier to deal with them.

11. Appreciate Them

Difficult people do not hurt you every time.

There will be times when they do well to you.

So, you should learn to appreciate them for it.

For instance, if you have a difficult employee who effectively does a project assigned to them, you should appreciate them.

Do not withhold your appreciation because they are difficult.

Conclusion on How to Deal With Difficult People  

You cannot avoid encountering difficult people.

Also, you cannot change them.

So, what you need to do is to learn how to deal with them.

In this article, we have shared valuable information on how to do so.

Therefore, we advise you to take advantage of it.