Do you have to work with difficult people in your business, organization/workplace?
Are you fed up with having to put up with their negative attitude?
In your business, you will encounter and work with different types of people.
One of such people is difficult people.
These people are complex and sometimes annoying to work with.
Working with such people could make an easy task seem challenging to execute and sometimes gets you frustrating.
Furthermore, these people could be anyone; employees, loyal customers, or partners.
They could be good at their jobs but can also be very difficult to handle and work with most times.
When you cannot do away or avoid these people, you need to learn how to handle and work with them regardless of how difficult they can be.
Therefore, we are going to be sharing with you some practical tips on working with difficult people.
When you can handle difficult people, working with them will become easier.
What Defines a Person as Being Difficult? – How to Work with Difficult People
When we say a person is difficult, they exhibit certain negative traits and attributes that make it difficult to interact with them.
They have certain peculiarities that make communicating with them difficult.
Furthermore, these are people who upset you, sometimes purposely and other times unintentionally.
They rarely accept other people’s opinions and expect things to go the way they want.
In summary, such people behave in some unlikely ways that tend to provoke those around them.
Let’s see what these behaviors are.
Common Behaviors/Attitudes of Difficult People – How to Work with Difficult People
Knowing how difficult people act will help you understand how to relate with them better.
Therefore, we’ll share some common behaviors/attitudes of difficult people, especially in the workplace/business environment.
Here they are:
- Double standards; not doing what they say
- Looking down on others’ professional contribution
- Stealing the credit for the work of others
- Discussing and gossiping about other people
- Frequently blaming others
- Backstabbing people to get their way
- Stealing others’ ideas
- Playing dirty
- Not putting in their best effort in a job
- Constantly on their phones
Difficult people around you might show some of these behaviors.
There is no way you can change their behaviors because you have no control over them.
You only have control of the way you respond to their behaviors.
Therefore, handling them depends more on your reaction.
Types of Difficult Personalities – How to Work with Difficult People
You will encounter different personalities at your workplace.
This makes work more stressful.
Therefore, people with these personalities are identified as difficult people.
We are going to discuss these personalities to help you understand people with these personalities more.
This will help you to know how to handle these different personalities.
People with this personality expect everything to work their way at their own time.
If this does not happen, they start complaining and getting worked up.
When people like this are in a position of authority, they make things more complex and increase problems.
The way to handle people with this personality is to remain calm.
Take note of their statement and calmly reiterate whatever they want or need.
When talking to an aggressive individual, make them believe you think they are right and move on.
Remember, you cannot change them; your response is the only way to deal with them.
This is the best response for an aggressive person.
Anxious Personalities – How to Work with Difficult People
The people who get nervous or upset over little to nothing are people with anxious personalities.
Working with them can be such a nightmare.
They are primarily scared and making it difficult for them to make important decisions.
One great way to handle people with anxious personalities is to not discuss much with them.
Keep your mind clean around them, and also make them feel relaxed.
These people see fault in almost everything.
They are fast at pointing fingers at other people and rarely take responsibility.
Their major problem is shifting blame and responsibility to other people when things do not go well.
They hardly accept their poor performances, bad decisions, and mistakes.
This causes unnecessary stress for others.
When dealing with people with this personality, you need to create and maintain strong boundaries.
Do not allow project their faults on you.
If you allow them, you will always have to take responsibility for things you didn’t do to please them.
These groups of people are lazy.
They postpone and procrastinate on every task given to them.
They make work slow and difficult.
You can deal with these people by giving them deadlines for every task.
Implement it in a way that they will have no choice but to comply.
Perfectionists – How to Work with Difficult People
These sorts of people believe they are perfect and know it all.
Hence, they like doing this their way and being in control of everything.
More so, it’s also difficult to please people like this.
The best way to deal with such people is to allow them to have their way when it seems fit and counter them when it does not.
People with this personality are gossipers.
They love to talk about others behind their backs.
With these people, you have to stay away from their gossips and avoid sharing personal information with them.
Negative-Minded Personality – How to Work with Difficult People
People like this tend to think negatively and hardly want change.
These people point out limitations and negativity in everything and everyone.
They tend to make people around them feel negative.
Also, they ignore positivity and focus on everything negative.
The one way to handle people with this personality is to be positive regardless of how negative they are.
Amazing Tips on How to Work with Difficult People
As earlier discussed, the only way we can handle difficult people is by our responses.
When you know the right way to respond to difficult people, you will understand the best ways to work and interact with them.
Therefore, here are some tips for working with difficult people.
Here they are:
Keep Your Cool at All Time
This might be the most challenging thing to do around people who tends to annoy and upset you.
However, it’s one of the effective ways to handle and work with difficult people.
Keeping your cool or staying calm will help you go through annoying and heated situations without panicking or losing your patience.
Imagine being able to handle every difficult situation or person with a calm approach.
You will be the boss of your emotion.
This will also show difficult people that whatever they do cannot affect you.
It will also help you to conduct your work effectively even with that difficult person hovering behind you.
To help you stay calm, you can take breathing exercises.
It will also help you with stress.
Pay Attention to Them – How to Work with Difficult People
You need to be able to pay attention to difficult people around you.
Knowing how they are feeling will help you know how to respond.
For example, when dealing with a loyal customer with an anxious personality, it’s best to calm them down before anything when attending to such people.
This will make working with such a person easier.
If you ignore that person, you may end up making things worse, making working with them difficult.
However, when you pay attention, you will know their personalities and know how to handle them.
This will make working with them easier.
Do Not Personalize Their Behavior – How to Work with Difficult People
You will come across different people with challenging personalities at work.
These different personalities might cause conflict, discussion, and argument.
When this happens, you should try not to personalize anybody’s actions or behavior.
Do not feel like they are behaving that certain way because of you.
You should remember that they are behaving because of their personality and not because of you.
Do not take any of their actions personally.
This will help you focus on your work and keep things cordial to the best of your ability.
Separate Yourself from Them
When working with a difficult person, you have to learn how to separate yourself from them.
This means not getting yourself involved in their matters.
It will help you reduce issues with them and also protect your emotions.
Ensure that you keep a safe distance once you know that a person is difficult.
When you work with them, you cannot avoid them, but learn to separate yourself once work is done.
Also, when working on a job with them, be more interested in getting the job done than letting them get on your nerves.
For this to work, you have to build up your self-confidence and self-esteem.
You should try to brush away their irritating actions and behaviors instead of allowing them to affect you.
Use of Suitable Humor – How to Work with Difficult People
Humor helps to subdue negativity and also calm a tense atmosphere.
When used at the right time, humor can help deflate several difficult situations and gets everybody in a good mood.
However, there are people who humor won’t work for, so ensure you know such people before you crack a joke.
Develop A Thick Skin/Mental Strength
When we talk about your strength, we mean your ability to keep going regardless of what is thrown at you.
When you work with difficult people, they tend to frustrate you and sometimes make you want to give up.
If you build up your strength, you will find relief of some sort.
This is because you will hardly get depressed over whatever they throw at you.
You can build your strength by having a healthy thought pattern.
Do Not Reciprocate Anger – How to Work with Difficult People
Two wrongs don’t make a right.
When you reciprocate anger, you lose a battle and end up making things worse.
It is best to try to be reasonable when someone is annoyed with you.
This will allow you to solve every issue amicably.
We know it can be difficult to do because you want to make your side of the argument known.
However, you should try to be the bigger person and not get angry.
Do not speak back until you are sure you can speak without being angry.
You also have to wait till the other individual has calmed down before speaking.
Speak to Them Personally
Letting a difficult person know where you stand with things he/she does is something you need to do if you want to work with him/her.
There is a limit to everything.
You cannot let someone continue pushing you without confronting him/her.
Therefore, when you are not pleased with how he/she reacted towards you.
If the person is your worker, have a polite conversation with such individuals about how their actions come across to you.
Encourage him/her to be better and hope for the best.
If it’s a partner, a supplier, or a customer, do the same.
Let them know that their attitude is affecting you or the business in the wrong way while chipping in the expected behavior so they could recognize their wrongdoings and change.
Do Not Discuss Them – How to Work with Difficult People
It is very tempting to go about complaining and discussing people who have wronged you with other people.
However, it is best not to do this.
This will make the situation worse.
When this person hears that you have been complaining about them, several things can happen, and most time, they are not good things.
So, try your best not to discuss them with other people.
Complaining and discussing will not help make the person better; neither will it make working with them easier.
When you go about discussing someone, you are gossiping.
Gossip makes things get out of hand and become more toxic.
If you are asked about what’s going on with a difficult person, reply that you don’t want to discuss the person and move on.
Know When to Not Engage
This is a skill you have to learn when working with difficult people
The way to do this is by being alert and watchful around them.
This will prevent unnecessary stress and not make you prey to their vices.
It will also let you know the best time to work with them and when you shouldn’t.
If you are working with them and you observe that they want to start being difficult, excuse yourself and asked that the work be done later when they are calm.
Respect Them– How to Work with Difficult People
Regardless of how difficult a person can be, try your best to respect them.
Everyone deserves respect.
Do not treat them wrongly because of how difficult they can be.
Instead, show them respect.
It will show that their actions do not affect you and probably make them change.
However, respecting difficult people does not mean you should go with everything they say or be scared of them.
Instead, it just makes you a more mature and emotionally intelligent individual.
When working with a difficult individual, you should set boundaries.
Let them know how far you can go with them.
If you do not set boundaries, they will take you for granted and do whatever they want with you.
Indeed, you should understand and tolerate people’s attitudes and behaviors.
However, set firm standards to enforce your personal boundaries.
This will save you a lot of trouble of having to explain yourself to them every time.
Be Professional – How to Work with Difficult People
When working with difficult people, ensure you are professional.
Try not to make things personal and start opening up to them.
They might take advantage of this.
Therefore, whatever you do with difficult people, ensure that your manner of approach is professional.
Conclusion on How to Work with Difficult People
You might feel like you are the one that has to do all the work trying to figure out how to work with difficult people, but you shouldn’t.
Instead, see it as something you need to do since you are the only one capable at the time being.
Try to understand their personality and try to remember to give the right responses.
No matter how difficult a person can be, you can learn to work with them.
All it takes is for you to be conscious of your every move around them at all times.
Since you are only trying to make your work more effective, you need to be practical, calm, alert, and understanding when working with difficult people.
However, do not let them push you to the wall.
Ensure you set boundaries and be professional.