7 ways of dealing with difficult people


Last week, we dealt with people who hold you back and how you can win against them.

This week, let’s look at how best to deal with difficult people. I have personally worked with people who are a problem emotionally. Some think they know it all and their opinions matter the most.

Others make it worse, they become difficult in their own marriage. That is life; there are such people and we are bound to stick with them even though we might not be comfortable in their space.

Already, you know the person that bugs or nags you. Let’s face them and find how best to win with them. It becomes even more complicated if the person who bugs you is your leader at work or someone of higher authority than you.

You can’t change people

One can’t change people; you can only influence them to change. Never try to make difficult people change. So, what you must change is you. Change your attitude towards them. Don’t fight them. Don’t fix them.

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The more you think of them, the more you will always carry them in your thoughts, and even end up bitter. So use the ABC tool to win. ABC stands for attitude, behavior and character. Use those three to win, by fixing yourself.

Know their background

Psychological studies will inform us that most people treat others in relation to how they were socialised. Some people are bullies because they were bullied before. Take time to study and know why people behave the way they do. There are things that trigger or motivate people to behave in a particular way. So, for you to win over them, take time to know them, thereby getting the best strategy to win them over to you.

Find a similar area of interest

Difficult people have their areas of interest as well. Find one area where you have mutual interest, and use that to dig for their soft spot. It’s easy to convince someone if you relate on a particular issue. The funny part, you as the reader, might be a difficult person to someone even though you might not be aware of it.


There are people you must just avoid. Since we said there are some people who will never change, give them their space to breathe and dominate. One day, I walked into an office of a co-worker and with me not having said a word, she asked me: “Why is that you are always too excited.” That was a negative question on its on. There are people that you may never be able to please despite your being nice.

Just your mere smile irritates them or makes then angry. The reason of their dissatisfaction in life must not be the reason why you should join their wagon of ‘the grumpy and the unhappy people.’

Give them an ear

At times you have to get time to listen to them. Such people might be craving for love; pure love. The best way to show them love is to find time to listen to them. Love overlooks everything. Such people at times merely want to be heard and understood.
Learn to resolve conflict

Conflict is one unavoidable thing. It could be at work, home or in teamwork. At times, it’s caused by differences of opinions and even by others being difficult. The best way is to be able to resolve it using emotional intelligence, communication, and soft skills.

Accept it

There are some things that we must accept will never change. So, what we have to do is learn to co-exist, adjust and attune ourselves. Accept that there are people who are meant to be what they are. Be open, understanding, practice good communication and be empathetic. Learn to listen and to be considerate at all times.

Parting point: We never stop to learn. The best person to study is you. Know yourself, your emotions and your behaviour. Learn how your own emotions affect or impact others. Don’t be found to be the thorn in the flesh of someone’s life. Manage your own emotions before you try to manage other people’s emotions.
An American model called Tara Stiles said: “A trap in dealing with difficult people is getting wrapped up in their personality. When we can stay objective and remove ourselves from other people’s roller-coaster psychology, we have a much better chance of moving through the situation positively.”

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