Useful Tips

How to deal with difficult people?



Differences in manners can also cause conflict, because they reduce the degree of mutual understanding between people and impede their cooperation. This is especially true for people who belong to the category of difficult to communicate. For example, a type of difficult communication person, such as "steamroller". It can be assumed that this rude and unceremonious person, who thinks that everyone around should give way to him, and who does not take into account other opinions, will constantly come into conflict with others.

No less dangerous is another type - “Explosive man” (or “fuse”, “angry child”). This person is not evil in nature. It explodes like a child who suddenly became in a bad mood. Therefore, you can always expect trouble from him. So, a leader who, until recently, was talking peacefully and calmly with subordinates, may suddenly flare up, feeling that they have completely lost touch. In this way, a jealous husband often behaves, fearing losing his wife and losing control of her.

Many troubles in communication can be expected from such types of difficult people as “Silent” ("Quiet"). These people also pose a potential danger from the point of view of conflict, because the reasons for their secrecy are not known to outsiders. It’s easy to lose patience with them, since it’s hard to get an answer from them, which is the true reason for their stealth.

A great danger is also of a type such as “Super malleable.” Such people may not create problems in purely human relations, for they will always give in to everyone and promise to help in any business. But as soon as it comes to fulfilling a promise, they can create difficulties for you, because their words often diverge from the deed. For example, an employee may take up some work, but not do it, the boss may promise to raise the salary and will delay the increase until the pension. The main problem of “super-complaisant” people is that they cannot refuse their requests to anyone, and they have neither the strength nor the time to fulfill all the promises. From here, these people derive not only interpersonal, but also intrapersonal conflicts.

These are the recommendations given by the conflict expert J. G. Scott.

The key point is to maintain flexibility apply the appropriate approach to a specific person, taking into account his hidden needs and interests, as well as your own priorities in this situation

1Type "steam rink". If the subject of conflict is not particularly important for you, then it is better to dodge it or adapt. Get out of the way or succumb to this man in the small to calm him down. If you have chosen a different approach, it is better to start by letting such a person “let off steam”.

2Type “hidden aggressor” (“sniper”). A person belonging to this type of difficult people tries to cause people troubles with the help of behind-the-scenes frauds, taunts and other hidden manifestations of aggression. If you decide that to evade or tolerate such a person is not for you, then the best way is to reveal the specific fact of causing evil and then hidden reasons. Make it clear to the person attacking you that you are above this by saying something like: “What are you doing with this?” If he begins to deny the facts, provide evidence.

3Type “angry child” (“explosive person”). Usually a person who behaves this way is scared and helpless, and an explosion of emotions reflects his desire to take control of the situation.

The basic principle that must be followed in order to avoid the escalation of the conflict (if you decide not to shy away from it at all), let the person shout, give way to his emotions. You must convince the person that you are listening to him. It is also necessary to let him know that he is in control of the situation, and thereby reassure him.

4Type “complainer”. He is often embraced by some idea and blames others (someone specifically or the whole world as a whole) for all sins.

Listen to the complainant first. It doesn't matter if he is right or wrong. He longs to be heard. This is one of the reasons that he is constantly dissatisfied, he believes that no one wants to listen to him or take his words seriously. His complaints usually arise on the basis of disappointment and the consciousness of his own powerlessness. By listening to him, you return to him a sense of self-worth and provide an opportunity to express your feelings. You should recognize or appreciate this person by showing that you understood what he said, possibly repeating it in other words. Then, after expressing the essence of his main complaint, it is necessary to look for a way to end or transfer the conversation to another topic.

5Type “silent” (“quiet”). The key to resolving a conflict, unless you want to avoid it, is to overcome the isolation of a person. You can have some assumptions about its causes (for example, this person is upset about something, but does not want to admit it to you), but coming from them is not the best option. If you make a mistake, this can only complicate the situation.

In order to reveal the essence of the problem, you should ask a few questions in a form that will not allow you to express the answers only with the words “yes” or “no” or just a nod of your head. If you do not want to receive monosyllabic answers, then ask the following questions: “What do you think about this?” Or “What caused your isolation?” However, if you have some assumptions and the person is not going to give you information, you You can share them to find out if they are correct (for example: “It seems to me that you are avoiding my company, because you believe that I paid you insufficient attention at the last party”). Search for possible reasons or encourage a person to talk. At the same time, keep a sense of proportion. If you see that a person has suddenly become silent and is increasingly resisting your attempts to continue the conversation, do not insist on it. Thank him and, if necessary, try to arrange a new meeting.

6Type "super-malleable." Such people may seem enjoyable in every way, but from time to time they create problems:

they suddenly agree to do something for you, but at the last minute they find a reason for refusing. If you consider it necessary to continue communication with such a person, then the key to solving the problem is to show him that you want truthfulness on his part. Insist that you want to know what this person really thinks, and want him to do only what he is able to accomplish. Focus on what is bothering you, not whether he agrees with you or not, but his inconsistency.

These are the rules of conduct with certain types of conflicting personalities. But besides the above, there are other types that require a specific approach to them. With all the differences in these approaches to difficult people to communicate with, they are all built on the following basic principles:

1) when you encounter people who are difficult to communicate with, you should use an approach that is consistent with the specific nature of the behavior,

2) realize that a person is difficult to communicate with, and determine what type of people he belongs to,

3) do not fall under the influence of this person, his point of view, attitude: keep calm and neutrality,

4) if you do not want to avoid communicating with such a person, try to talk with him and identify the reasons for his “difficulty”,

5) try to find a way to satisfy his hidden interests and needs,

6) use a joint approach to conflict resolution, which begins to emerge after attributing the behavior of a difficult person to a certain type.

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1. Do not take anything into your account

The first thing to do when you are dealing with a difficult person is to make some changes in your thinking. This can be very difficult to do, as most people feel angry when offensive words are directed against them. But it’s not about you. The point is the most difficult person and his reality. You cannot change his mind, but you can change yours. Angry, people often say things that they don’t mean, and you might just be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Therefore, these outbursts of anger are directed at you. Try not to pay attention to it.

2. Inhale and keep calm

When you encounter an angry or moody person, the best thing you can do is not to fuel the fury of the other person with your own. Take a step back for a moment. Count to 10 and take ten deep breaths. Only then solve the situation. You can manage it much better if you yourself keep calm. In addition, if another person sees that you are in a panic or somehow differently react to his words and actions, this can lead to the situation getting out of control.

3. Understand the person and start talking

Very often difficult people just want to be heard. Let them speak out and then respond with sympathy. Use the phrases “I'm sorry that you feel that way” or “I can understand your situation and sympathize with you.” The idea is to listen. By doing so, you can open the door to trust and communication. In fact, you can look at the situation through the eyes of a difficult person and, perhaps, even help him cope with the difficulty.

4. Separate a person and his problems

Sometimes, when we need to communicate with people who seem unbearable, it is very important to separate their problems from themselves. People may have problems, but they themselves are not problems. Difficult people also have parents and friends who love them for who they are. This separation will help you focus on the problem itself, and not on the person’s personality.

The second step in solving problems with difficult people is to create an action plan for yourself.

1. Use confidence, but not rudeness

If you are at work and your colleague does not agree with your point of view, be prepared to give concrete evidence in your support. Tell us about your reasons for doing what you decide. But don't beat around the bush. Speak directly, then your colleague will not have time to choose from what you said and find more reasons to challenge you again.

2. Use “I” Statements

Just because you are dealing with difficult people does not mean that they can step over you. Defend your opinions and feelings, but do it in such a way as not to force another person to defend themselves. Use statements such as "I feel bad when you talk to me in that tone." Each such statement, start with "I", then talk about your feelings, and then about what the other person is doing, or about the situation that has developed.

3. Go on the offensive

You may feel that you have to defend yourself when a difficult person challenges you. Instead of defending yourself, try going on the offensive. When you are asked, for example, why you designed the presentation in this way, you can ask what your opponent did in your place. You will hear a different point of view and you can find a compromise.