How to Handle “Difficult” People

As we go through life’s journey, we meet all sorts of people. Some have inspired you and been like an angel when you needed that extra guidance in life. There are the rare few who have been downright malicious and acted in bizarre ways at times. The main reason for such obnoxious behaviour may be due to misplaced values and a low self-esteem during a particular phase in life that they are going through. This does not mean that they will always be “difficult.” Each human being has the potential to change for the better depending on their various life experiences and own personal efforts. It is better not to label a person as difficult but to look at that person with compassion and maturity. In that way, they may slowly come around and understand the need to have integrity and good values. The following are a few suggestions to deal with “difficult” people.

1. Be Objective: Always face any situation thrown up by a “difficult” person in a calm and objective manner. Look at the objective facts and the truth of the matter and ignore the malicious intentions with which they might attempt to put you down. In this way, you can defuse any bizarre act or behaviour by them.

2. Maintain a mature attitude: A mature attitude is developed with experience in handling a variety of people and with experience. It requires practice. There are times when usually balanced people get carried away and get down to the same level of someone who is trying to antagonize and malign them. This can lead to a bitter argument which can make matters worse. The person who is acting in a malicious manner would like to see the other person feeling hurt. Care should be taken to not get down to their bizarre level of behaviour. By maintaining a calm and compassionate attitude, one can respond in a mature manner and give a measured and thoughtful response.

3. Be assertive: Being assertive is being able to express what is genuinely right in a firm manner. There are times when a “difficult” person may try to manipulate or do some sort of mischief. It is important to be alert to such challenging situations put forth by such a person. One reason for their behaviour may be due to envy, egoism or immaturity. An inexperienced and innocent person who has had very little experience with these types of “difficult” people may find it challenging to deal with such manipulation and mischief. With experience, they will become more alert and also be able to stand their ground firmly against such manipulation and vested behaviour.

4. Maintaining a sense of humour: A sense of humour is extremely important in dealing with a “difficult” person. Laughing at the situation will make it lighter and the “difficult” person will be ashamed at his/her behaviour and realize the folly of his/her action.

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