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Difficult People

Ten ways to turn the table on difficult people!

Difficult People Article from Open CollegeTen Ways to effectively and instantly deal with difficult people mainly by repositioning and understanding yourself.

Our lives are filled with difficult and awkward people that we either spend time sucking up to, arguing, fighting or fearing and avoiding.

Difficult and awkward people are often dominant characters that we have to juggle and battle with on a regular basis.

This can be a family member, a loved one in a relationship, a work colleague or employer. Either way, we all personally know an awkward and difficult person in our lives.

How do we deal with a difficult person in our daily life?

We need to look at the structure of the relationship with that person first. Depending on our relationship with them, we can deal with their behaviour in many different ways.

Ideally, if the difficult person is your employer who is treating you badly, you could just walk up to them and punch them on the nose and tell them how you really feel. Best not though!

Not only will that get you the sack, it will get you arrested for assault and the same goes for losing your temper or fighting back with a loved one or a work colleague in working hours.

There’s always going to be a consequence for your reactions as a result of any retribution, revenge or retaliation and deserved justice or even just simply arguing and defending yourself against the mistreatment or disrespect, verbal abuse or taking you for granted in any way and so forth.

Often the balance of power is in their favour, in the favour of the difficult and awkward person, the one that is upsetting you.

The solution in how best to deal with them is varied and any one single approach is not always fit for everybody.

With some people, you may respond back to a difficult person in a certain reactive way and that gets the desired result and you may never have any further problems from there on whilst others won’t back off and will feed off your reactions and feel empowered with their continued mistreatment of you and so on.

One approach will not work for everybody as each situation is made up of multiple variables and there are also many things that are running in the background of your mind that may have to be dealt with.

There are many guidelines and explanations on how best to deal with difficult and awkward people and no matter how good they are there is almost a certain generalisation in the advice and guidance that is given because general advice does not take into account the unique individual set of circumstances that you find yourself in with this particular thorn in your side.

The most common or difficult of awkward people are amongst the workplace.

So that is what we will look at now!

The majority of problems that exist are between people at work such as colleagues and peers than in any other of your relationships in life. There are many reasons for this including the restrictions you are placed under within your working rules like having to toe the line and obey rules or the contract of employment or codes on working conduct.

It’s easy for others to freely advice on what you should do when there are problems amongst fellow workers. Issues with others always carry strong and or powerful feelings and emotions which others do not see or take into account when they’re giving you free advice on how best to deal with any difficult person.

When advising on how best to work with a difficult person, the person often advising does not actually experience the feelings of threat, anger or intimidation in you so cannot fully appreciate your reactions and suffering or behaviour, right?

People who advise or give you free advice do not know how you are feeling to make you behave a certain way and often it is you that looks cooked for behaving that way towards someone!

Sound familiar?

They are advising you from common sense and logic but they do not see that there is an emotional or irrational component at work to how you are behaving or feeling.

It is these things that are running in the background of your mind, these things are your emotions, your fears and insecurities etc. It is these emotions and feelings for want of description that separates your circumstances from others perception of what is right for them and you and what they think you should do about it. It don’t always work does it?

Others can easily deal with your situation in their mind because they don’t have the actual feelings and emotions running inside them the way you do and the way they are firing you up at that time. If it weren’t for these emotions and feelings you could use your own damn common sense and logic and sort it out yourself couldn’t you?

This is why all the advice in the world can sometimes be useless. Because it is the emotions and feelings that are being stirred up in you that is the real problem.

Point made? You understand?

It’s how you react to the awkward person that matters.

It’s how you are reacting to that situation and that person or people that makes your situation different or makes your situation turn out worse than it is or than it needs to be. What’s right for one person is not right for another.

Let’s not forget the power of emotions and feelings. A simple altercation whilst driving your car can result in road rage and violence of the worst kind or because someone cut someone up and the other person honked their horn back and then there was a hand gesture which led to a serious incident or attack, all because of a reaction to something the other did.

Each person deals with situations differently depending on many factors including how you react to that situation or person based on your own psychological and emotional structure and your life’s learned experiences, coping, not coping etc.

It is how you put your strengths and capabilities into practice and correctly deal with the difficulties that you have in front of you by asserting yourself and confronting difficult people or situations correctly. You cannot effectively do this if other emotional parts of you are arising into your awareness.

This is why all the advice available will not work for everybody, no matter whom you are and what you know because that advice is not addressing the unseen part of you, that part that makes you tick, your fears, insecurities, anxieties and so on.

And not to forget, these are the things that must be hidden at all costs from others, lest we become deranked, dethroned, lost status, losing face, ridiculed, mocked and laughed at to name a few reasons.

Face, rank, status, position, reputation, faulty self perception, EGO is everything for many!

This is just one of the many reasons that people self medicate to cope or de stress and drink or take medications secretly when they get home.

More people are on anti depressants and anti anxiety pills, vallium and drink alcohol or take drugs than you will ever know. Only a therapist or GP would know these facts.

Bearing all these facts in mind along with the possible consequences that may befall you both internally and externally for not handling any difficult person correctly; the following guidelines may prepare you better for your next interaction with this difficult person.

Take heed now otherwise you may as well beat yourself down with a stick because you are letting others do it to you.

One

Your stance

The absolute number one piece of advice to everybody in difficulty with a difficult person is to maintain a strong stance, keeping complete control over your composure (the way you look or appear in their eyes is key) without showing any reaction to that person and that includes micro movements or nervous responses in relation to their approach or presence.

This is the very profound state a good martial artist or master will adopt in any confrontational situation prior to any physical threat, attack or assault. It is one of the many rules taught to good high grade martial artists and that is to hold a strong non reactive stance or position without revealing any emotion or nerves towards them and using their power and force to defeat them. That is your starting point, your very first starting point.

Always remember this golden rule, that any anger towards someone who is intimidating or picking on you is a sign of you losing control and feeding them further. Yes, anger is essential at times but stay in control without reacting to them when you are being picked upon.

Also remember counting to 10 is futile for most of the time. If this worked, every single person who lost it could have counted to 10 and avoided all the commotion that followed.

Counting to 10 doesn’t work when you have an inner NEED to react especially when you’re fears and powerful emotions are at work at the same time.

Two

Eye contact

Make strong direct brief eye contact and depending on who that person is, may that be an employer be careful with this one as it can be misread.

A respectful and controlled response with firm and strong eye contact will let them know the strength of your stance and position or state of mind that you are in. It’s a start! Make sure it is carried off with a supple respect just in case it’s misinterpreted as anger or aggression towards them.

Firm strong eye contact will show your strength and guard your nerves or perceived weakness from showing, which they need to see.

Three

Less is more!

Be tactful and diplomatic and slow to respond, be precise and accurate in what you’re saying with your words and only say what you need to say especially if they are hostile and aggressive towards you.

Four

Body language tells all

Reduce all your outward unnecessary responses in your body language and verbally in your words. Reduce all of your gestures otherwise known as non-gesticulations. Stop giving out nervous passive smiles and don’t lick your lips (shows anxiety) or twitch in any way including touching your face, ears, nose or mouth and hair with your hands.

Also observe any other unnecessary body language movements. Just don’t move in relation to them, make strong brief eye contact and then respond verbally to the situation at hand or to the situation that you are now faced with and say and do only what you need to say and do without adding anything further. This would produce a sense of control and strength within you, both in you and in their eyes.

Walk tall, when you pass them by, walk slowly, not hurried and keep your head up and as you pass them looking straight through and or past them without casting your eyes down.

how to protect yourself from others abuse

Show your inner strength and power just by doing these simple supple things and this will transfer out to he or she in question.

Five

Be proactive

Remember up to now you’ve been reactive, meaning to some extent you’ve been feeding them and empowering them with your nervous or fearful or submissive responses to their mistreatment towards you.

Stop being reactive and become more proactive, instantly from this moment now on, you are now proactive not reactive towards them.

Try to understand if they actually have a point of view, is it valid? Do you need to step up to that request in the way that they expect?

Focus your attention on solving the problems at hand and becoming better at what you’re required to do by demonstrating an increase in your skill and output.

It also helps to try and understand where this other person is coming from, why do they treat you this way? Is it something you did at some point in the past? Is it just you? Do they treat others badly? Try to see if it’s personal or if you’re taking it personal and try to look at the bigger picture and see what makes them tick.

Do they have issues? Are they masking things and empowering themselves by pulling you down to compensate? Most are!

Are they under pressure? It may be really difficult to even want to look into where they are coming from but remember it’s for your benefit so that you understand them better.

It is true to say that you should keep your friends close and your enemies even closer, why? Because it will help you understand why they are treating you this way and how you can deal with them better!

Don’t ever forget this following fact no matter how bad they are towards you.

It’s always more about them than it is about you.

Broaden your perspective on what they are about and reduce how they are making you feel by knowing it is first and foremost more about them, in particular, more about what you can’t see within them.

Try to visualise walking a mile in their moccasins just to get a feel of what they are about as a human being. Understand your enemy or opponent!

If all of a sudden you found out your enemy had just lost a loved one through a tragedy, would that change your perspective and your understanding of what they feel and why they are the way they are?

Make this your mantra!

People do the things they do because of their issues. People treat others the way they do because of the way they have been treated.

No one is saying you should be empathetic or sympathetic to their difficulties, just try to make the effort to understand where they stand because it will give you that ‘aha, now I know’ moment.

Six

Write a list of your strengths and your power and memorise it.

When you believe you are being mistreated, disrespected, ignored or gossiped about or worse laughed at then try focusing on the list you wrote and recall all your strengths and good qualities.

Yes, write a list now and include all your strengths and successes and all your power and what you can really do if push came to shove.

Memorise this list on your power and your strengths and refer to it in times of need and remind yourself of what you can do if you had to.

Seven

Look out for their faults and failings and note them or point them out to the person in question there and then or build them up for a suitable moment of sweet delivery. Gather your ammunition for that final showdown if needed. And yes, everyone needs to do this at some time in their lives; it is in our genetics to fight back fair and square. If you are a politically correct pacifist and disagree with this, just get real.

Notice that when any negative situation arises where this person has what is called situational power over you; confirm to yourself it will pass, which it will.

It’s also worth noting if the person who is treating you badly is actually helping you. Are they good at their job? Are they better than you? If they are then learning from them will help you, that their offhand behaviour or mistreatment of you becomes your new teacher and let their negativity drive you to become much more positive wherever possible.

Whenever it is possible to turn their negativity into your positivity and power for you then do it. Let their negative charge produce a converted surge of power and energy within you.

Eight

A little bit of evil goes a long way!

Try turning the tables on them. Ask yourself if you can actually treat them the way they are treating you and will there be any consequences for doing this in a direct or indirect way.

Stop thinking or saying to them, what’s wrong? or what have I done? Instead, say to them, ‘let’s sort this problem out now together’ in an assertive way.

Change the dynamics; it’s powerful and really effective.

Never react to criticism, whenever possible nod your head and agree by saying something like ‘yes I can see your point there’ this will take the power out of their critical delivery or in other words it will take the wind out of their sails. Oh yes it will.

Nine

Become a leader!

Stop being a follower and become a leader even if it’s just in your head and that positivity will transfer over to others.

Ten

All bullies feel fear if they are left powerless!

Understand that all difficult and awkward people that make your life consistently and constantly difficult are in effect bullies.

All bullies feed off your weakness or your perceived weakness therefore never feed or react to a bullies negative behaviour against you.

All bullies feel fear if they are left powerless by losing control over you and it would be true to say that in a way they are treating you in the same way that they don’t want to be treated or have been treated in their past.

All bullies are cowards inside.

The more the bully engages in the bullying towards you, you can be sure in the knowledge that they are victims of their own past mistreatment or fear of it.

Disclaimer This is for guidance and self development purposes only. We accept no responsibility for any negative outcome in your experience as a result of information found here and or acted upon by you. Proceed at your own risk with this advice and be aware that any of this information could cause an unexpected negative reaction towards you at any time.

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