How to Deal With Difficult People

There’s always someone that is known for their “less-than-wonderful” personality or traits. When people refer to them, it’s always with a deep sigh, a caveat, or a wince that makes you know, immediately, that this person can make life very difficult for those that they encounter. They are marred in negativity and contradictory emotions. Truth is we all know someone like that. Whether it’s a boss, a coworker, someone from church, or someone in your own family…we have all come in contact with someone that’s, simply put, a pretty miserable person.

Dealing with difficult people is something that we all must do at some point in life. We cannot control people and thus, cannot ensure that everyone that we meet will be “up to par” socially. But, how can we effectively deal with them without allowing them to make us as downtrodden as they are?

Here are a few tips for managing YOURSELF when you have to deal with negativity and the people that perpetuate it:

1. Consider avoiding negative people as much as possible. They can cause you a lot of unnecessary emotional stress, and can drain your mind and energy. It’s not worth it. Try to ensure that your personal network is a group of people that have the positive characteristics that add to life’s beauty…not take away from it.

2. Recognize that these negative people have some internal emotional and social issues that YOU CANNOT CHANGE. So, be understanding to the fact that they may not be as fortunate as you. Their perspective on life is shaped by their lives and sometimes knowing their “story” can help to give you a different perspective on that person.

3. When they confront you with a harsh message or attitude, retreat your inner self and keep your own thoughts positive. Don’t take what they are saying “personal”, even if it is an attack on you. Do your best not to keep the negativity going by arguing with them, talking about them or the situation, or holding resentment in your heart.

4. Forgive them before they even ask to be forgiven. It will take the emotional weight off of you. Also, if you wait out the situation, you may find that it’s easier to let things go and, to some extent, take their poor behavior for what it is.

People make mistakes, whether it’s acting inappropriately, making others feel bad, or beating themselves up internally. The important thing is to not let their mistake and negativity become YOUR PROBLEM. Stay positive, stay true to who you desire to be, and dealing with difficult people will seem a lot less “difficult”.

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Reprinted from with permission from Mardie Caldwell, Adoption expert and travel writer. All rights reserved.

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