I have spent a considerable amount of time, which I sort of consider to be wasted time now, either dealing with difficult people or wondering what is the best way(s) to actually deal with the difficult people I encounter in my daily life. I have spent much quality time being a “people watcher” for many reasons. No, I do not have aspirations of being a great “people whisperer” but I have found that observation and silence are tools that give proven results in my life. Maybe you experience them as well. First, I had to be able to recognize the different kinds of difficult people. Second, I had to develop questions to ask myself about how I wanted to best deal with the difficult people I have in my life. Third, I had to learn different strategies to help me interact with the difficult people in my life. So, I was reading some things I wrote over time which have really been just “notes to self”. I started writing my questions, methods, answers, and strategies down back when I was in the Air Force since I learned that just because I perceived a person as difficult didn’t actually mean that person was difficult. These observations have grown year to year, job to job, marriage to marriage, and as I have aged or matured. So lets begin.
Do you recognize any of these 9 types of people?
The Know-It-Alls – They are the arrogant and always have an opinion on every single subject. When they are wrong they get very defensive.
The Passives – These are the people who never have an opinion and never offer a clue to where they stand.
The Dictators – These people are constantly demanding and are overly brutally critical of others. They enjoy being the intimidating bully.
The “Yes” People – These people will agree to everything and rarely follow through with any commitment they make. You learn fast that you cannot trust them.
The “No” People – These are the inflexible people who are very quick to point out why something is wrong and show negativity towards making something work,
The Gripers – They prefer complaining instead of finding solution because nothing is ever “right” for them to begin with.
- The Extremely Religious – This person has an extreme and unconditional approach with life and people. These are the people who fear their God(s) in such a way they feel they must spread the fear with every word they speak to anyone that will listen.
- The Bullshitter – They are the habitual liars who are habitually undependable in every aspect of their own being.
- The Fucktard – This is an extraordinarily stupid individual who is so willing to disregard all common sense. They are obviously oblivious to everything about everything in every way. This is a person of unbelievable, inexcusable and indescribable stupidity.
Now, I know damn well you recognize each and every one of the people listed above. I know, also, that this is a pretty short list, more “types” can be added of course, as well as sub-categorized. Being able to notice people is the key. These are the people you live with, work with, rely on, and communicate with on a daily basis. Once you recognize what kind of person they are you can develop a strategy to quickly, confidently, and effectively deal with every kind of difficult person. It’s actually easier than it sounds.
Ask yourself the following 20 questions:
Do you want to be able to understand the difficult people in your life?
- Do you want to learn how they think, what they fear, and why they do what they do?
- Do you want the ability to understand how to make dealing with them less frustrating?
- Would you like to know specifically what to do and say in every difficult situation?
- Would you like to be less of a target for the difficult people in your life?
- Would you like to be able to derail difficult people and teach them to treat you with respect?
- Do you want to bring out the best or worst in people?
- Did you know that difficult people are not difficult people all the time?
- Do you want to know what makes a difficult person tick?
- Do you want to know why complainers are complaining?
- Would you like to know how to get people to keep their word to you?
- Would you like to be able to respond to those who practice one-upmanship?
- Want to react better when you are being yelled at?
- Is it possible to be in sync with a difficult person and get along?
- Do you wish you reacted better when you are criticized unfairly?
- Do you know when to back down or to hold your ground?
- What do you do with excuse makers and blamers in your life?
- Do you wish people didn’t or couldn’t push your “buttons”?
- Can you give an aggressive person an alternative direction to the aggression and conflict?
- Did you know that specific “body language” is a more powerful tool than actual words.
In the end I think everyone gets tired of over-blown promises that turn out to just be an empty bucket. You can take control. You can be in charge. You can own what you think and break out of the bad habits that you have created or that have been created by others. Are you one of the 9 types of people I listed? Oddly enough most people are a collective of many types based on the people that surround them. Over time your actions, voice, and personality will become contagious to those who are around you. Toxic people become less of a threat once you understand what makes them the way they are. There are many factors to understanding others and most often begins with understanding oneself first. It is hard to heal a wound that cannot be seen. Now, I know you are waiting for the “punch-line” or the “answer” and unfortunately I don’t have either to offer. I can, however, offer unsolicited advice which shows that tact and skill in handling difficult people become very enviable traits in a person. Changing your ways will be something that is noticed immediately and at that point you have balanced the playing field. Once you realize your own person power over difficult people your confidence in any situation will become one of your best traits. If you take nothing more away from this information just remember to just smile at a difficult person because it will throw them off guard because they will spend endless amounts of time wondering why you are smiling at them. Meanwhile they tend to forget why they were being difficult and often dismiss themselves from the conversation or situation. Personally, I know I can defuse any difficult person by doing two simple things, being silent and smiling. It works.