Some Tips On
Dealing with Difficult People
Just about all of us have been confronted with a difficult person or situation - whether in our personal or professional lives. (We're talking about normal every day people here such as in an office or social gathering, not criminals or someone who is violent.) It's crucial to remember that how we deal with them is up to us - it's our choice. The first thing we need to remember is that by staying positive and open minded (while remaining serenely aware of the unfolding situation), we can save ourselves a lot of time, effort and energy in the long run. This is because our own attitudes and behaviors will either help diffuse the situation or make it worse. For example, sometimes simply by being a good, caring listener, we can sometimes soften and change the negative attitude of the difficult person.
Below are some helpful hints. Which ones work best for you and how well they work depends on the person and situation we're dealing with. After all, difficult people are difficult, and they vary in intensity. But hopefully some of the tips below will be useful to you as you go through life. If the difficult person is so extreme that you feel in danger, then it's a good idea to get out of there as quickly as possible and then call law-enforcement or social services.
- First it's a good idea to say a quick silent prayer something like, "Please help me GOD".
- Then be careful not to let their negativity upset us or drag us down with them - otherwise we will get off balanced and not be able to think clearly. So try to stay poised and serenely positive.
- Be a good listener. Sometimes people just need someone who will listen to them. They need a “sounding board”. In fact, in some cases, you can simply let them vent for a few minutes and after they are finished you can move on.
- Even though we're trying to be friendly, it's best not to agree with them (unless you actually do). Because this can lead to misunderstandings with others later down the road and can also encourage this person to vent even more.
- But don’t argue with them either, because this can cause things to become worse - possibly making them very angry or even abusive.
- Instead, be positive by politely providing facts or giving examples if it feels right. But it's best to refrain from sharing our own opinion.
- If it seems appropriate we can make positive problem-solving statements that might help them come up with solutions to their problems.
- Above all, it's absolutely crucial to not get emotionally involved. We want to try to stay in that quiet meditative, prayerful place within our heart area as we silently bless them while sending soothing kind energy to them.
- If nothing is working and they won’t stop, then we need to politely excuse ourselves and leave.
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