I’ve dealt with countless personality types throughout the course of my lifetime. I have met people who are friendly, laid back, and just easy to get along with overall. However, on the other hand, I have also met people who are rigid, difficult to get along with, and just downright mean.
I eventually came to the realization that there will always be difficult people no matter where you go or what you do. Whether it be your home life, workplace, or even just your daily commute, you will inevitably encounter someone who is bound to make your day just a little more unpleasant than you’d like it to be.
But, the good news is that there are ways to handle these situations properly and it all begins with you. Before you get too heated, blow up on someone, and cause a scene, try to take a step back and follow these simple steps in keeping your cool when it comes to dealing with difficult people.
1. Don’t get frustrated
Getting frustrated doesn’t aid anybody. The more frustrated you get, the more likely you’ll say or do something stupid. Getting worked up and losing your cool just distorts your sense of good judgment. Instead of getting frustrated, try taking a deep breath before you say or do anything.
2. Think before you speak
Majorities of the time, people get upset and react before they take a moment to really think. Think about your reaction first. Think about how you will help or hinder the situation. Think about the other person’s point of view. If what you have to say or do isn’t going to help, then it may be better to leave it alone. Sometimes, less really is more.
3. Try to understand
It will likely be very hard when you’re in the heat of the moment, but take a moment to try to understand where they are coming from. Maybe they just had a bad day. Maybe they’re going through something difficult in their life – Maybe their job is giving them pressure or they’re in a fight with their partner or having family issues. There could be a reason behind the way they are acting. Or…that could just be who they are as a person. And you can’t always teach old dogs new tricks, so you might as well let them be.
4. Don’t fight fire with fire
The easiest way to escalate any situation is to continue to add fuel to the fire. One difficult person is bad enough, so there is no need for adding yourself to that equation. Be the bigger man/woman, swallow your pride, and back down. Fighting fire with fire only calls for more flames.
5. Go the route of kindness
If all else fails, be kind – and not in a fake way. Be genuinely kind and radiate with love rather than anger and irritability. Yes, this may seem unrealistic, but you may possibly be the person to brighten their day or at least show them that not all people are like them.
6. Let it go
Elsa had it right in the Disney movie, Frozen. Sometimes you just need let it go. Difficult people are unavoidable, so instead of letting it get the best of you, it may be better to let it go. Don’t let someone else’s bad mood bring down your day.
7. Move on
If there is someone in your life that is causing harm to your well-being or truly giving you too much trouble, move on. Get out of whatever that situation is and go where you are treated with kindness and respect.
At the end of the day, we all have to live in this world full of people with different personalities, backgrounds, and experiences. The best way to co-exist harmoniously is to try to understand each other, stay calm, and communicate effectively. It will take us much further in the long run.