Friday, September 22, 2017

Coping with Difficult People When You Cannot Change Them

by DrJudy on

Coping with Difficult People is hard work. In recent times, many new subscribers who have signed up for their free gifts on Dealing with Difficult People have been asking very similar questions about their own difficult situations.

SIMILAR QUESTIONS ABOUT COPING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE

For example, Harriet (name altered to maintain anonymity) asks – however much I do for my partner, it never seems to be enough, he is never happy. What can I do to change this?

* John (name altered) wants to know – how do I change the behavior of my supervisor who is very temperamental?

* Ann (name altered also) asks – how can I get other family members to see things differently and change from being so rigid and uncompromising?

These are all good questions from people who are obviously dealing with difficult people and their difficult behaviors. So let us explore these issues further in this blog post.

DEALING WITH PEOPLE IN YOUR WORKING AND PERSONAL LIFE

People in both your personal and working life can exhibit behavior that is boorish, argumentative, fractious, impolite, aggressive, oafish, rude, troublesome, picky and our list could go on and on. These people can be your irritable partner, your fussy family member, your difficult boss, your tiresome co-worker, your fastidious friend, your annoying neighbor and many others.

WHAT DO ALL DIFFICULT PEOPLE HAVE IN COMMON?

But what do all these difficult people and their difficult behavior have in common? And how do these difficult people relate to the questions asked previously by Harriet, John and Ann? The answer is found in the word CHANGE.

THE WORD CHANGE AND DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE

Let us consider a quick definition of the word change. In this context it can mean: “to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone” (Random House Dictionary).

It is time to get very clear on one thing when you are dealing with people in general and particularly difficult people. For the never happy partner of Harriet, the temperamental boss for John, the uncompromising family members for Ann and the difficult people who are in your life – you actually CANNOT CHANGE THEM.

YOU CANNOT CHANGE ANOTHER PERSON

Yes, that is right. You cannot change another person. You cannot modify, alter, convert or change another person. The person responsible for making changes to their behavior is always the person that owns that behavior. Once you understand that each and every person makes their own choices about their behavior it can actually be a great relief for you. You can now stop trying to take responsibility to change the behavior of another person.

YOU CAN INFLUENCE OTHER PEOPLE

So if you cannot really change another person and their behavior what can you do? The most you can ever aim to do in dealing with other people is to try to INFLUENCE their behavior. You can sometimes influence and persuade other people regarding their behavior but it is up to them to ultimately change that behavior. If someone decides to be an unhappy partner, a temperamental boss or an uncompromising family member then ultimately that is their decision.

DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE STRATEGIES

Now you can learn and develop a whole range of strategies to deal with your responses to difficult people and their behavior. Because often when you alter your own responses to these people you can influence their responses and how they behave towards you.

HOW DO I CHANGE MY RESPONSES?

So whenever you are trying to deal with difficult people and their behavior, do not ask yourself – how can I change this person? Instead, ask yourself, how can I change my own responses and reactions to this person? How may I influence their behavior?

THE POWER IN YOU RESPONDING TO DIFFICULT PEOPLE

Now you have shifted your energies from the unproductive task of trying to change another person, to focusing on looking after you and how you respond. You are no longer carrying the responsibility of changing their behavior on your shoulders, you are concentrating on how you respond to their behavior.

YOUR DIFFICULT PEOPLE PACKAGE

So stop trying to change other people. The person must want to change and make an effort to do so. Instead, focus on your own responses and sometimes but not always, you will then influence their behavior towards you. You can get so many more ideas, strategies and techniques to help you respond to the difficult people in your life, when you get your DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE PACKAGES!

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