4 Powerful Tips for Dealing With Difficult People to Maintain Your Sanity

It’s hard enough going through your own personal crisis and processing the emotions that go along with it.  But what do you do when difficult people stand in your way?

Perhaps a close friend or relative constantly criticizes you and points out what he or she thinks you should do.   

Or you might have a colleague with whom every conversation becomes a competition and he or she is always right.

And there’s certainly no shortage of those who constantly blame others and refuse to accept responsibility for their actions.

It’s important to remember that becoming frustrated, angry, and stressed only serve to harm your own emotional health.  It does nothing to change these difficult people – who always seem to show up at the worst possible times, when our self-confidence and strength is at an all-time low.

Here are 4 powerful tips for dealing with difficult people:

1.   Recognize it for what it is.  The first thing you can do is to view every difficult person as representing a lesson that you need to learn to get to where you need to be.  Then you can spot it when it shows up.  Know and remember that it’s not about you.  It’s about him or her.  He or she is angry, fearful, frustrated and underneath it all, hurting.  

2.   Don’t bother engaging or defending yourself.  Chances are, this is what the difficult person will want you to do to keep the competition and drama going.  Instead:

3.   Remove yourself and regroup.  When you become angry or frustrated, try this, which works…detach from the emotion and simply observe how it feels.  Suspend all thoughts about what caused you to feel angry or frustrated or hurt.  That will only fuel the strength of these emotions.  Simply observe the emotion and your body’s physiological reaction to it.  When the emotion dissipates (and it will), take a breath and move on to more important things.

4.   Seek out supporters.  Actively seek out and spend as much time as you can with people who can emotionally support you, or who share your values and interests.  

When you accept that difficult people will show up, take it as a signal that you need to dedicate more energy to caring for your own needs.  This is what can get you through this personal crisis.  And remember, as the saying goes, this too shall pass.

I’d love to hear from you.  Which strategies have worked when dealing with difficult people?







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