Dealing with Difficult People


We find them in just about every area of life in varying degrees , those people who have the art of being unreasonable , objectionable and darn right irritating ! So what can you do with them ? How can we manage the situation and what makes the difference ?shouting-couple

The truth is we actually have no control over the actions of others , and sometimes not even the circumstances that surround us , but we do have absolute control over ourselves !!!

Firstly, it’s important to understand that everyone has different values in life and no two people are the same . These values govern our choices and underpin our identity and let’s face it , the world would be a pretty dull place if we were all the same ! So if you find yourself in the company of another who doesn’t have the same values as you, it’s worth remembering and accepting that’s how life is . For the record we tend to only hang out with people who have similar values to ourselves which is why the difficult people appear difficult !

The second thing to notice is who’s issues belong to who ? It’s not your job to take on other people’s stuff, but it is important to notice it ! It’s also worth noticing what’s going on for you personally . If you got up grouchy then that’s your stuff and blaming others is probably not helpful ! Take ownership of what’s yours and leave the rest with them .

The relationship between you and the difficult person can be eased greatly by understanding what’s really setting them off . What’s causing them to say those harsh words, spit fire or infect the room with bad feeling ? Figuring this out gives you the ability to change the dynamics of the situation and make that difference.

A cool little way of doing this would to imagine you are watching a typical scenario with this person on your tv or laptop . Notice what’s being said , how everyone is responding/ reacting to each other and most importantly get a handle on how the key players are feeling ! I would put money on you noticing several things you hadn’t noticed before ! As we said before having control over others is never going to happen , but now you have an insight into the situation you can change the way you behave around them the next time you find yourself in a situation with your difficult person . The dynamics of your relationship with them will then change.

Another really useful tip is to choose a quiet moment when you have the place to yourself and imagine this person is in the room doing their difficult person behaviour , saying what they do. Take yourself over to the spot where you imagine them to be and do their body language , say the words and you will automatically get how they are feeing . It gives you some clues how to handle them and yourself the next time .

I had a friend who had a very stroppy teenage son who was obnoxious every dinner time and much preferred to shut himself away in his room . After several months of amazingly difficult and unreasonable behaviour from him, his Mum decided to take 15 mins to try out the 2 methods above . She realised that apart from struggling with raging hormones , he was being bullied at school ! She changed her way of dealing with him and conversations grew to the level that she was able to help her son instead of shouting at him .

The power of NLP ! Brought a tear to my eye !

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