Most of us have that one person at work that we just find impossible to deal with, but before you loose your cool. Here are 10 tips for dealing with difficult people complements of Psychology Today.
1. Keep Your Cool
Benefits: Maintain self-control. Avoid escalation of problem.
How: The first rule in the face of an unreasonable person is to maintain your composure; the less reactive you are, the more you can use your better judgment to handle the situation.
When you feel angry or upset with someone, before you say something you might later regret, take a deep breath and count slowly to ten. In most circumstances, by the time you reach ten, you would have figured out a better way of communicating the issue, so that you can reduce, instead of escalate the problem. If you’re still upset after counting to ten, take a time out if possible, and revisit the issue after you calm down.
2. “Fly Like an Eagle”
Benefits: More peace of mind. Reduce risk of friction.
How: Some people in our lives are simply not worth tussling with. Your time is valuable, so unless there’s something important at stake, don’t waste it by trying to change or convince a person who’s negatively entrenched. As the saying goes: “You can’t fly like an eagle if you hang out with turkeys!” Whether you’re dealing with a difficult colleague or an annoying relative, be diplomatic and apply the tips from this article when you need to interact with them. The rest of the time, keep a healthy distance.
3. Shift from Being Reactive to Proactive
Benefits: Minimize misinterpretation & misunderstanding. Concentrate energy on problem-solving.
How: When you feel offended by someone’s words or deeds, come up with multiple ways of viewing the situation before reacting. For example, I may be tempted to think that my co-worker is ignoring my messages, or I can consider the possibility that she’s been very busy. When we avoid personalizing other people’s behaviors, we can perceive their expressions more objectively. People do what they do because of them more than because of us. Widening our perspective on the situation can reduce the possibility of misunderstanding.
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