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How to Deal with Difficult People who just Won't let You Succeed

How to Deal with Difficult People (& Forever Unsatisfied People)

We all come across people who just don't seem to get it. People who create a fuss about everything and add to our already stressed lives. Such people may even poke their nose in stuff that they probably shouldn't. And there are 2 most common factors about such people:

  1. They are forever unsatisfied and continue to find faults
  2. Every one of us has come across at least one such person in our lives (some of us may have met many such individuals)
This article is meant to come as a breath of fresh air to help you if you are looking for answers to any of the following questions:
  • how to handle difficult people
  • how to deal with difficult people
  • how to manage unreasonable people
  • how to deal with difficult people at work
  • what are the strategies for dealing with difficult people
  • how to handle difficult teams
  • People Management to manage difficult people
The following tips are non-diplomatic. They are meant to serve you and you alone in your struggle towards dealing with difficult people. Each of the tips below are quick-action type, and can be put to use immediately.

Here are 10 ways to deal with difficult people:
1. Keep calm and carry on
This is probably the hardest of them all. I know, it is increasingly difficult to keep your wits around a person who gets on your nerves. In order to do this, you would probably have to innovate in your own way to keep your cool. This is one of the most important strategies to deal with difficult people.
You can probably incorporate some techniques like smiling often for them, or counting till 10 in your mind. Play a game in your head when you think you might lose your nerve, this can buy you some time. Being Patient allows you to think on your feet and act smartly in any given situation.
Be warned, patience here does not mean giving in to their unreasonable demands (that is just chickening out). All it means is to let your logical self dominate and make your decisions for you. With some practice, you can almost master this art.  
2. Proactive approach
Let your instincts guide you. We are all connected to a spiritual intelligence that is way beyond comprehension. And in certain cases like these, it can be almost essential. Think of the way this person has reacted in the recent past, and allow yourself to dwell over how your next interaction will go. If you take the time to think calmly and not panic, you can almost always predict the conversation you are about to have. And if you know what is going to happen, why not plan for it as a contingency plan.
Take a PROACTIVE approach and think about the major concerns in your conversation. Take the time to tackle them beforehand or be sure of how you can answer to those when you are in a conversation/meeting. Preparing beforehand will enhance your confidence manifold about how to deal with difficult people.

3. Avoid criticism
A Universal Truth - Everybody wants recognition, and Nobody wants criticism. This is also one of the way to Win Friends & Influence people as explained in his book by Dale Carnegie. And is more true every time I think about it.
No matter how much people say they are ok with negative feedback, no one ever really is. So avoid it. There are ways to constructively point out the right direction without criticizing the other person.
Always remember there is no such thing as positive criticism. Criticism - a word in itself - is negative and draws negative emotions. So avoid indulging in criticism,  especially when managing difficult people. Figure out a more constructive way about how you want things to get done.
4. Put the spotlight on them
If they just don't seem to improve, let the world see how they play, and know that you don't stand alone. As much as these people crave to be in the limelight, they just can't handle all the attention. If you let them take the hot seat, they are more easy to screw up. Let the world see their dirty tricks, because they will lose their calm sooner than you know it. It is time you put them up for 'SHOW'. If they are clever, they will back down before they make a fool of themselves, otherwise they will fall on their face very soon.
5. Think before you speak
Be sure what you say is actually what you had meant to convey, especially around difficult people. Take your time and think through your response, before it has left your mouth. Choose your words wisely. Be careful of what you say, some people may hold you accountable to it.
Think before you speak and validate your options. There is always a better way of communicating, if you are willing to give it a thought.
6. Respect yourself enough to confront it if needed
Respect begins with self. Respect yourself by giving yourself the freedom to choose what you do and do it respectfully. Being Respected is your birth right, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You will know in your heart when a person/ task/ conversation has not shown towards you the respect that is due. And listen carefully now, it is the right thing to do to stand up for yourself.
Don't expect the world to fight your battles for you!
You are a strong individual. People will respect you if you respect yourself. Take a stand and say 'NO' to anything or anybody who disrespects you! Everyone looks up to the person who stood up for him(/her)self.
 7. Manage Expectations
Set the right expectations. Let them know what you can achieve and set the right expectations. Speak up and let them know. Be reasonable as you set and convey your expectations. A smart worker is one who is able to set and deliver on the right set of expectations. Not the one who takes orders, slogs all nights and cribs about work.
Managing expectations also allows you to keep your interactions professional and to the point.
 8. Put it all in writing
You may come across certain people who have  a habit to backtrack on what they say. You must have come across people who praise you verbally and criticize you over mails. Such people will never inspire a positive thought and it is best not to expect them to. Instead, be on your guard and pen down everything over emails. Even slight hints of how you were appreciated over calls can be put in writing. Set your expectations over email, so that you are clear on what is the need of the hour. There are few organizations which will argue or ignore over such written evidence. And this way you can always be sure about what you are saying.
 9. Manage aggression assertively
Dealing with difficult people at work will require you to sometimes not back down from a fight. All it means is to put down aggressive actions/ behavior in an assertive manner that cannot be ignored by the other person. Assertiveness comes just before a point of aggression. Assertiveness can send the message loud and clear that - You are not a push around. Assertiveness ears you respect from your colleagues & leadership, but most of all from yourself.
Be assertive, not adamant. Be sure not to take oppression. Some people use gentle synonyms to justify the other person's aggression. But your instincts will guide you when that difficult person has crossed a line. Trust in your instincts and believe in yourself and learn to put your point across assertively.

 10. Manage your Mind-space
Dealing with difficult people can be quite a task and can occupy your mind space long after the conversation is over. And that hampers your balance and happiness. The stress levels rise and now, you have given them way more importance than they deserve. You know they are just not worth it but still you continue to give that person your thoughts and time. Yes, they maybe difficult to ignore, but in reality, it is you who has the power to choose your thoughts at any given moment. especially at the moment when that person is not around you.Manage your thoughts and manage your stress.
Clear your mind, appreciate the good things in Life. And let them suffer in their own minds. Making your life happy is up to you really!

Only you can choose what affects you. Understand and apply the Law of Attraction to change your Life.
  • Reflect on your current situation and analyse how you can claim your peace of mind. Apply the Law of Attraction.

About the Author:
Akanksha is an International Leadership & Life Coach. She coaches clients from all across the globe and help them magnify their presence and get more opportunities, wealth, growth, success, clarity & happiness in Life. She can help you amplify your presence and get noticed by the RIGHT people. You can know more about her latest Fast Track Executive Excellence programs here

This article is a part of the coaching SOS series. Read all the latest content in The Coaching SOS Series, click here. Experience directing a movie in your daily life, where You are The STAR of the movie. Each article will give you a script which you may recreate in your life as per your desires. And as you go about living the script, you will witness the magic unfold in your own Life.



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