How To Deal With Difficult People

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how to deal with difficult people


Sometime’s it’s an in-law, and sometimes it’s that guy sitting in the back of the office that gets your blood boiling. You begin to anticipate arguments, what you’ll say, and how you’ll react the next time you see them.

It’s a toxic relationship that increases your stress, anxiety and generally makes you pretty unhappy. But it doesn’t have to be an unbearable interaction.

Here’s some tips on how to deal with difficult people, no matter how much they suck.

You Can Only Control You

Some people don’t realize they’re difficult, and some people are uber jerks who will intentionally try to make you unhappy. Everyone has an “I wish” list for the person they’re struggling with.

– I wish they weren’t so mean
– I wish they weren’t so condescending
– Why do they always want to argue

Instead of hoping and dreaming for a smoother interaction, focus on what you can control. Your behavior, your words, and your actions.

Make a list of things you can do to make the relationship more manageable. Forget about fixing, or making things perfect.

You’re looking for “more tolerable” and “more manageable”. Things like:

– I’m going to walk away when they try to start an argument
– I’m not going to get into a shouting match, no matter what
– I won’t vent my frustration on other people

See Also: 5 signs you might be dating a jerk

You Don’t Have To Be Best Friends

Some people just aren’t compatible as friends, or even casual acquaintances. You’re going to butt heads, and ignite instant arguments, with some people.

Some interactions, however, can’t be avoided. Either because it’s a family member or a co-worker. Don’t feel like a bad person because you don’t want to be friends with someone.

But you should always strive for a peaceful interaction with the people you encounter, regardless of how difficult they are.

This isn’t a superhero movie, you know. Just because someone isn’t your friend, doesn’t mean they have to be your mortal enemy.

Understand They’re Miserable

Difficult people suck. And they know they suck.

People who are difficult, struggle with every relationship they have. And most have damaged or completely ruined every meaningful relationship that has ever meant something to their cold, tiny heart.

– They struggle with their significant other.
– They struggle with their parents.
– Their relationship with their children is strained.

The list goes on, and on, and on. Imagine how miserable you’d be if everyone you encountered didn’t like you.

They’re unhappy people. Trying to empathize with what it must be like to be a mean, inconsiderate, or difficult person can help you be more patient.

You get to go home to people who love, and enjoy, seeing you walk through the door. Not everyone can say that.

Related: 5 signs of an unhealthy relationship

Some General Tips

Don’t Retaliate

When someone has offended you, it’s always better to be direct and let them know why you’re unhappy. Avoid passive aggressive retaliation, or trying to get even.

Be Mindful Of Your Words

This is going to shock some people, but the person you’re struggling with probably thinks YOU are the one being difficult. Be mindful of the words you choose, and avoid conflict statements, or topics that have caused problems in the past.

Don’t Try To Be “Super Nice”

Just be you, and don’t try to pour on the super nice guy act. You’re just gonna make yourself want to vomit, and probably annoy the crap out of them.


See Also


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