10 Easy Ways to Cope With Difficult People

The reason I chose to write on this topic is that I know we all have difficult people in our lives, whether it’s that guy who cuts you off on the highway, your neighbors, family members, or your coworker who always seems to be angry at everything you do. These kinds of people can be incredibly annoying, but they also have the power to really shake up your day if you let them get under your skin. So, here are 10 tips on how to cope with difficult people in your life.


1. Reconsider their view

You may have different personalities to cope with difficult people and that’s okay. Re-examine their behavior and reconsider how to interpret it. Consider that your perception of how a person acts may not be correct.

Perhaps they aren’t actually rude, just socially awkward or you don’t understand their culture or background, etc. People act in certain ways for specific reasons, so it is important to think about and consider these things before making assumptions about someone else’s actions.

This will help reduce anger and make coping easier. Also, keep in mind that everyone has bad days. So if someone is acting out of character during one of those bad days, do not take it personally. This will help reduce frustration and increase your ability to stay calm when dealing with difficult people on a regular basis.

When you are more understanding, it becomes easier to remain professional when dealing with difficult situations at work or elsewhere. It also helps remove some personal emotions from difficult situations which can make conversations go smoother overall.


2. Stay in control by staying calm

young couple having argument conflict bad relationships angry fury woman
Young couple having an argument – conflict, bad relationships. Angry fury woman.

Don’t let difficult people get under your skin. Even if someone is doing or saying something that you find offensive, try not to show it. Don’t take it personally,

It’s just a fact of life that some people can be very hard to get along with. If a difficult person knows how much they bother you, they win. Keep calm and carry on, remembering that most problems go away if we simply ignore them long enough. You might even want to turn difficult people into allies by helping them when they need it.

Again, it’s always easier to work with friends than enemies. He or she may be difficult but they are still your friends’ right? So Stay in control by being polite. Difficult people are often good at making us feel like we owe them something, so it’s important to remember that there are no bad guys in business, just bad communication skills.

You can also stay in control by being polite, respectful, and kind when dealing with difficult people (and everyone else), and you’ll usually get a positive response in return. Think about what your mother taught you about manners as a child; she was right all along.

Staying focused can also help you stay in control when working with difficult people, focus on what you have to gain from their behavior rather than dwelling on their shortcomings. Just because someone is rude doesn’t mean they don’t have anything useful to say, even negative feedback can teach us valuable lessons about our businesses and ourselves.


3. Don’t let them ruin your day

sad woman feels miserable desperate sit sofa look out window thinking about personal troubles does see way out difficult life situation break up heartbreak cheated girl concept
A sad woman feels miserable after an argument with a difficult person.

It’s easy to let difficult people ruin your day; it happens all too often. No matter how wrong someone else is, no matter how much of a pain they may be, you should never let them control your emotions. When faced with difficult people, remember that it’s OK for them to have a different point of view, just keep reminding yourself that it doesn’t mean you’re wrong or that you should spend your time thinking about them.

If you can learn to ignore difficult people and not let their actions affect your mood, then they won’t win. The next time someone tries to make you feel bad, just tell yourself that you don’t need to give them any power over your feelings. There are plenty of things in life that we have to deal with, but difficult people shouldn’t be one of them.

You aren’t responsible for other people, even if you think there’s something you could do to help someone who’s difficult, try not to take on responsibility for other people. It might seem like an innocent act of kindness at first, but when dealing with difficult people it can quickly turn into a situation where everyone feels like they have some sort of obligation toward others. This isn’t fair and will only add more stress to an already stressful situation.


4. Don’t get drawn into an argument

head shot stressed young african american man touching forehead suffering from terrible headache working computer home office frustrated confused biracial guy having painful feelings head

Many people believe that if they keep quiet, others will have no choice but to stop bullying them. However, nothing could be further from the truth. When you don’t respond to a difficult person, it often gives them permission to up their behavior and makes things even worse.

It’s best to face difficult people head-on and calmly explain how their behavior is affecting you. Once they see that it bothers you, they will most likely back off, (this may not be true in every case but you just have to try first) or at least not be as mean.

Avoid not taking anything personally during an argument with a difficult person, even though difficult people are going out of their way to pick on you, try not to take any of it personally. Remember that these individuals have problems of their own and maybe project those issues onto you or just take out frustration on anyone who happens to cross their path.

Whatever the case, difficult people are rarely concerned with your feelings; they’re only concerned with themselves. Then know when to walk away from that argument if you feel like you can’t handle dealing with this difficult person right now, it might be time to cut your losses and move on. If someone doesn’t respect your boundaries and continues trying to bother you after repeated attempts to set clear limits, then there really isn’t much else you can do besides avoiding them altogether.


5. Accept their behavior if it doesn’t affect you

You can’t change others. There will always be some people who test your patience and make it hard for you to keep your cool. You have no control over their actions or words, but you do have control over how you respond.

When you find yourself in a situation with difficult people, keep yourself from reacting in a negative way by focusing on something else, whether it’s thinking about an upcoming meeting or keeping count of breaths. This is not easy to do when someone is making you angry, but if you practice doing so, it becomes easier and easier.

And eventually, difficult people won’t bother you as much because they won’t see any reaction from you. It might even become fun to see them get frustrated! Remember that challenging situations help us grow and learn more about ourselves. Think of every difficult person as a challenge to face, rather than something annoying that gets in your way.

By letting go of your need to change others, you give up nothing while gaining everything. After all, self-acceptance is at the heart of emotional health and happiness. Accepting others as they are doesn’t mean accepting abusive behavior; there are appropriate ways to deal with abusive behavior.

However, taking action against abusive behavior does not require accepting that abuse. Accepting others means recognizing and appreciating their unique gifts and contributions without judgment or expectation. In other words, accept people just as they are, imperfections included, and recognize what you gain from each relationship.


6. Learn from them without letting them know

Difficult people can present a real problem in your workplace, but there are ways to cope. Before you do anything else, think about what you’re hoping to achieve and then use that knowledge to develop an appropriate strategy.

Keep in mind that not all difficult people are created equal. Some may be open to having a conversation with you about their behavior; others will never change, no matter how hard you try. It is important to understand that each person has his or her own way of coping with situations and difficult people. You might find one method works for you while another does not.

Don’t let them get under your skin: This seems like common sense, but it bears repeating. Letting someone who drives you crazy know they bother you will only make things worse. Remember that difficult people aren’t always doing it on purpose, sometimes they just don’t know any better. Don’t forget about these 10 tips as you navigate your career and avoid letting difficult people run roughshod over you.

If possible, take a deep breath before approaching anyone in person or over email. Just remember that when dealing with tricky personalities, less is more, especially if it comes to writing! We have difficulties interacting with other people at work for many reasons. Sometimes our colleagues have different values than us, or maybe we simply have conflicting goals. Whatever the reason behind your conflict, there are plenty of strategies to help you overcome it. However, sometimes despite our best efforts at reaching out and making amends, difficult people refuse to listen.


7. Know when to walk away

Dealing with difficult people can be a challenge, they make you late, ruffle your feathers, and create stress where none is needed. Instead of arguing with or trying to change someone else’s behavior, try using these strategies to help cope with difficult people.

If all else fails, know when to walk away. But first, read on for more tips! Remember that not everyone thinks like you: Some people are different, and some are rude. What they do isn’t personal; it just means they have different ways of thinking than you do. Be flexible, it’s important to remain flexible in how you deal with others.

One person may respond well to one approach but react poorly to another strategy; just because something worked well for one person doesn’t mean it will work well for another person too. You don’t need to accommodate their bad behavior. You don’t need to put up with poor treatment from anyone, even if you feel as though you should tolerate it.

The only way to improve how other people treat you is by being clear about what kind of treatment you expect from them, and sticking up for yourself when those expectations aren’t met.  You can also .ry giving feedback, when giving feedback, focus on what was said or done instead of attacking an individual personally.


9. Change the subject as soon as possible

If a conversation is going nowhere, change it. Change your tone to one of curiosity (I’m wondering, why do you think that?). Change what you talk about completely. Even ask them directly if they will listen to you or accept your input. Changing yourself is one of the easiest ways to cope with difficult people.

Do not fight fire with fire; let go of anger and negativity as soon as possible. Choose to react by thinking more positively about whatever is happening and let things happen without you getting involved in any way.

The best way to cope with difficult people is through a conscious effort on your part not to take anything personally and remember that these are only passing moments in time; nothing stays forever, and neither will anyone else’s unpleasantness towards you!

When dealing with difficult people, always keep in mind that their opinions are just opinions, even when they seem harsh or unfair. Remember: There is no such thing as bad news. Only feedback!


9. Focus on them instead of yourself

The more you interact with a difficult person, the more frustrated you’ll become. It might be tempting to spend time thinking about what a jerk they are and what you could do to get back at them (or avoid them altogether). But by focusing on how bad things are for you because of your colleague or friend, you’re keeping yourself from doing something productive to cope with that person. Instead, focus on them as people and think about what they’re like in other circumstances.

If all efforts fail, walk away: If someone is being difficult, don’t engage with them. If they aren’t willing to let go of their negative attitude or behavior towards you, then it isn’t worth your time trying to make things better between you two. You have better things to do than deal with someone who is making life miserable for everyone around him/her.


10. If you can’t avoid them, try asking questions

Ask questions to help you empathize with a difficult person. Even if it’s not your place to share, ask something like what are you feeling right now? Or how can I support you? Someone in distress is more likely to tell you what they need from you if they feel like their needs will be met. I think that some people just don’t have a filter, Brown says.

They speak without thinking about how others might perceive them. When we talk about difficult people, we’re really talking about two different types of behavior: individuals who lack empathy and individuals who may have difficulty expressing empathy due to shyness or anxiety.

In order to deal with these types of behaviors, you’ll want to make sure that you set clear boundaries around your time and energy. If someone takes up too much space in your life, give yourself permission to step away from the relationship by creating physical distance between yourself and that person; one way to do so is by making an excuse such as you seem like you could use some space.

By understanding that difficult people aren’t always intentionally harmful, you’ll better understand why they behave in certain ways. By practicing active listening skills (such as repeating back what you heard), using empathetic statements (such as sharing why you believe another person feels a certain way), and responding calmly to outbursts, you can model appropriate communication skills for even those who are prone to irrational reactions.

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