Dealing with ‘Difficult’ People with Self-Reflection, Tact and Love
One thing that I have learned over the years, between dealing with work and my personal life, is that the Universe can certainly present one with many special challenges.
One of those particularly vexing situations is developing a sense of how to confidently deal with difficult people.
Whether it was dealing with family, my ex-husband, employees, management or even clients – difficult people come in all forms. Male, female, and other. All ages, nationalities, races and religions.
What I have also learned is that we must find emotional balance to clearly see that what we perceive as ‘difficulty in dealing with a person’ is actually ‘difficulty in dealing with one’s self’.
Self-reflection, along with an awareness of our emotional responses and a toolbox full of ways to respond, can help reduce conflict, increase joy and success in your life.
When you have an arsenal of how to respond to those who try you, your self-confidence will soar.
These tactics can help you deal successfully with the people you perceive as difficult:
💡 First and foremost, clarify what kind of connection you have with the ‘difficult’ individual.
Are they a close family member or a co-worker, where you’ll be exposed to them on a fairly regular basis and you’ll likely have a consistent relationship with them. Versus a sales lady in the grocery store, whose line you can avoid.
💡 Balance your emotions.
When you know the person, and you cannot avoid them, take some time to come into balance, prior to your encounter. Ask yourself:
- How does feeling this way about this person serve you? How does it not serve you?
- Express Gratitude for all aspects of your relationship.
💡 Stay cool.
Keeping a cool head in nearly every situation is wise. Refuse to allow another to stoke your fires of negative emotions.
💡 Be tactful.
Consider yourself a “diplomat” when you’re dealing with someone who’s being difficult. Stick to the topic of the moment, state your requests or points clearly, and resolve the issue at hand.
Regardless of how the other individual may try to bait you into a debate or disagreement, decline by your silence. Focus on the present item of concern.
💡 Use ‘soft honesty’.
Soft honesty is stating some of your real feelings, using a neutral tone so they can easily listen to you. “I want to understand where you’re coming from, but it’s hard to do whenever you’re using foul language and speaking in a loud tone of voice.”
- When someone is spewing negativity and you’re caringly using soft honesty with them, it can effectively encourage them to calm down.
💡 Look inwards.
One who is perceived as difficult likely behaves this way with others. However, you must keep in mind that what you see in others can also be found in you.
If you were to act the way this person is, how would you want the other person to respond? Make an effort to see the challenging behavior from all sides.
- There may be a logical reason for the perceived difficult behavior. But if you cannot come up with one, remain emotionally strong by reminding yourself the behavior could be about something you do not know about.
💡 Avoid seeing the individual as ‘the challenge’.
Instead, view the issue as the situation you’re both trying to resolve. Say something like, “I see that you’ve studied this situation thoroughly, but I believe a few other points must be included.”
💡 If you’re in authority over the individual you perceive as difficult, establish guidelines.
For example, if you’re a parent dealing with a child, or at work you where you are supervising the one who’s throwing out all the challenges, you can diplomatically set some guidelines for their current behavior and choices.
- If someone is using foul language in a meeting or refusing to do their part of a project, you could indicate you require a fifteen-minute session with them alone after the meeting.
- You can simply state your concerns about the use of foul language, indicating it’s unacceptable and cannot be tolerated without your following through on disciplinary actions.
- Also, take a minute to remind the individual of his/her responsibilities. Mention their importance in this relationship. Listen carefully and end with concise expectations. At work, ensure you follow your particular employer’s guidelines for progressive discipline if need be.
💡 Employ humor when appropriate.
Sometimes, the most unexpected response to challenging behavior is a humorous quip. Bring levity to a situation when you believe it can bring down the individual’s volume of hostility.
- Perhaps if you’re speaking alone with someone who’s agitated and disagreeable, you can toss out a funny remark but make sure it doesn’t come across as sarcastic.
- To illustrate, after they go on a rant, you can say something like, “So, what you’re saying is our day is going pretty good so far… but seriously how can we handle this?”
💡 Use the power of love.
Use the ancient, Hawaiian process of Ho’oponopono. Ho’oponopono means to make right. Essentially, it means to make it right with the ancestors, or to make right with the people with whom you have relationships.
When you’re not with the person, focus on them. Focus on the issue and your involvement. Offer the prayer: “I Love You, I’m Sorry, Please Forgive Me, Thank You.” Say it with heart and feelings. Send these vibrations out to the Universe to touch the other person.
Although you’re unlikely to totally change the difficult behaviors of others, you can maintain beneficial thinking and actions in your exchanges.
Employ these strategies to successfully deal with those who try you. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.
Ensure that you live your life is in alignment with your authentic self, for greater success. Start living your life with Livelihood Spirit Balance
Till next time…
Love & Light, 🙏🌈🙏
Your Mindset Transformation Virtuoso & Nature Goddess Guide
Written on 20 October, 2020
Dawn-Marie P. Dalsass, President of Livelihood Spirit Balance is a Stress Management Maven. She’s a Stress and Anxiety Expert for Middle Managers. She started her career in Corporate America while she was in high school and worked her way up the ranks finding herself in middle to upper management for most of her corporate career. She loved what she did but along the way she battled stress, anxiety and depression. When work and life were more than she could handle she planned her suicide in detail. Fortunately, she didn’t go through with it when she saw her 2 little boys on her way to get a knife with a plan to end it all. It was in that moment that she vowed to pull herself together and begin a new journey.
In 2015 she started her own business called Life Coach DM. After several years of working with clients, she realized that the majority of her clients were in middle management just like she was. She had helped most go from being stressed, anxious and / or depressed to being more balanced, aware and dynamic while guiding them on their own journey to achieve life goals including work life balance.
Dawn-Marie has since become a Certified Nature & Forest Therapy Guide and teaches individuals how they too can annihilate the stress, anxiety and depression (aka S.A.D) that middle managers and working parents can face through a process called equilibration (the balancing of the mind and emotions) along with the healing benefits a deep connection to nature (both indoors and out) can bring to become fully balanced, aware and dynamic (aka B.A.D).
Through her own practice, Dawn-Marie discovered what she calls Livelihood Spirit Balance where how one lives their life is in alignment with their authentic self, their B.A.D Ass-self. With Livelihood Spirit Balance, Work Life Balance and everything else just falls into place.
Based on her years of work and client success stories, Dawn-Marie changed her business name to Livelihood Spirit Balance to align with her teachings, mission, vision and purpose.
Dawn-Marie offers online courses, personal and corporate development coaching, workshops and seminars. As the owner of Total Convalescence – Nature & Forest Therapy she also offers public and private Nature & Forest Therapy Walks.
Dawn-Marie is a:
- Certified Mindset Transformation Coach
- Certified Nature & Forest Therapy Guide
- Certified Law of Attraction Wealth Practitioner
- Certified Fraud Examiner and
- Certified Internal Controls Auditor