Difficult people exhibit many habits that quite frankly make dealing with difficult people so frustrating, annoying and tense. Habits are formed over time and through the repetition of certain behaviors. In providing services to hundreds of clients dealing with people, it is important to note that changing a habit also takes time and rarely can happen overnight. The more ingrained that habitual behavior, then the more effort and time is needed by that person to change to a substitute different type of behavior.
DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE AND THEIR HABITS
Most often with difficult people you just wish they would change the way they go about doing what they do. When you do point out to them why their behavior is negative, demanding and inappropriate – you wonder why they just can’t change!
It rarely is that easy for someone to change so quickly. Time and practice at an alternative behavior is both necessary and needed, otherwise a consistent behavior change will not actually occur.
CAN PEOPLE CHANGE? THE QUESTION WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE
If changing habitual behavior is hard, can difficult people change their habits? Of course they can! Their behavior can be changed. Now there are numerous psychological factors in play that influence a person’s decision to make changes in their life. But that’s a discussion for future posts. For now, just understand that for all of us, changing our habits can be done but it doesn’t happen overnight.
TRY THIS EXPERIMENT NOW FOR YOURSELF
Try this experiment yourself to see how hard it is to make changes to your habits. Everyday for the next week, when you go to clean your teeth, instead of holding the toothbrush in the hand you usually do, swap hands. That’s right! Brush your teeth using the opposite hand to what you usually use. How does it feel? Awkward? Irritating? Challenging? Tough?
DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE AT WORK AND HOME
Can you do it? Can you change to brushing your teeth using the other hand? Of course you can. At first it is onerous and you feel very awkward. But if you stick at it, over time it becomes easier. Until ultimately, it is now becomes your habit, your behavior for brushing your teeth. When dealing with difficult people at work or at home, understand that for them to change their behavior requires a similar process of concentrated and sustained effort.
WORKING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE AND PERSONALLY
So in handling difficult people that come into your life, always keep this in mind. For these people and their behavior, the well-known saying is very true ‘Old Habits Die Hard’.
YOUR COMMENTS ON THE HABITS OF OTHER PEOPLE
What habits have you found really hard to deal with from other people? What behaviors have been the most frustrating for you to cope with? We have included a range of useful difficult people website links and others for you to consider.
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