Dealing with Difficult People and Emotionally Detaching
You and I both know that difficult people can be emotional dynamite and dealing with difficult people in your life is so often emotionally draining. One of our members, Patricia has asked a question that many others have also asked. How do I remain unemotional or emotionally detached when communicating with and dealing directly with a difficult person?
DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE TYPES YOU MEET
Have you ever found yourself living with or working with a difficult person or people? Have you ever felt like you are trying to keep your head above water when dealing with people who are:
> Irate people
> Rude people
> Hostile people
> Angry people
> Annoying people
> Bully people
> Negative people
> Controlling people
If the answer is yes to dealing with people like this above, then your emotions are going to be involved.
YOU CANNOT BE UNAFFECTED WHEN YOU ARE DEALING WITH PEOPLE
Coping with people in your life does affect you. How can you possibly stay impassive, unemotional or unmoved by this type of difficult person? You just cannot stay emotionally detached. You are only human and you have feelings and emotions. After all, the reason why you find these people and their behavior difficult is because when you have contact with these people, they do get under your skin. They do stir you up and make you feel emotional.
So what do you do with all this emotion? Here are two important action steps to help you with your emotions when interacting and directly dealing with difficult people.
STEP ONE – STOP TRYING TO BE A DEADPAN ROBOT
Step one is to agree that you are not a robot and that you do have emotions. Respect yourself and accept that in dealing with a difficult co-worker, difficult client, difficult partner and other difficult personalities it does involve your emotions. This is okay, you are allowed to feel emotions such as worry, frustration, strain and more when you have to deal face-to-face with these people.
STEP TWO – DIFFICULT PEOPLE AND HOW TO USE A TIMEOUT
Now that you accept that a difficult person will affect you emotionally, step two is to use timeouts when you need them. When you are in contact with that person and feel you are becoming emotional, remove yourself from the situation. This is not always possible, but whenever you can, never be afraid to remove yourself from the situation when you need to do so. Take a timeout, excuse yourself and leave the room. Go for a quick walk, take a toilet break or just step outside the door. Give yourself permission to remove yourself from the emotional situation at that time, and then return when you are calm and ready.
TIMEOUT IN HANDLING DIFFICULT PEOPLE
The purpose of the timeout is for you, not the other person. It is not about avoiding the person but it is to allow you to breathe slowly, relax your mind and body and gain control over your emotions. Whenever you deal with people you always want to have a strategy such as timeouts to regain power over your own emotions. Timeouts help to calm you and your emotions so you can decide how you will respond when you return to the situation.
DEALING WITH PEOPLE AND THE MATTER-OF-FACT YOU
But how many timeouts do you need to take? The answer is as many as you need. Whenever you need to break the communication pattern, remove yourself and calm yourself down, as often as you need to. Remember the timeout is for you to regroup, relax and rethink how you are now going to respond not just react to the difficult behavior of the other person. Too often we stay in the emotional battle, when a timeout will allow you to regain the emotional control you need to then return.
YOU RULE YOUR EMOTIONS IN COPING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE
Learning how to control your emotions when you deal with difficult people is not easy and can take a lot of practice. But begin by accepting your emotions. Then use the timeout technique whenever you need when dealing directly with difficult people. You are now well on your way to ruling your emotions, rather than your emotions ruling you. In further articles we will also explore more about using timeouts to change the communication pattern with difficult people.
DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE GUIDE
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© Dr Judy Esmond. This article may be shared with others on the understanding that it remains intact and credit is given to the author and the website link http://www.dealingwithdifficultpeople.com is included in dealing with difficult people.