Working with difficult people and dealing with difficult in your personal life isn’t easy. In a previous post, this was the question again that Andrew needed assistance with in handling difficult people who are supposedly his friends. Just in case you missed out here is the question one more time…
ONCE AGAIN THE QUESTION FROM ANDREW
“I’m quite sensitive and have friends who pick on me sometimes. I feel they do so because I usually don’t answer back. I have one friend who constantly makes reference to my receding hairline, and when he does so I turn bright red and go quiet. How do I handle this person without discussing the subject? (which I am a little sensitive on!)”.
DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE
In another dealing with difficult people post, it was suggested that Andrew consider using laughter to deal with this situation. You can read about this idea for yourself.
ANOTHER IDEA FOR ANDREW ON HANDLING DIFFICULT PEOPLE
Now here is another idea and suggestion for Andrew to consider how he might handle this situation. However, it does mean actually discussing the situation rather than avoiding it altogether. In fact, this suggestion in dealing with difficult people at work or home requires the opposite. It means communicating about what is bothering you.
IF YOU DO NOT SAY THEN THE PERSON DOES NOT KNOW
Let’s be clear about this. Many times, difficult people do not realize they are being difficult. They do not realize how hurtful, upsetting and distressing their behavior is to another person. Often they never understand this because they are never told, especially by the person most distressed by their actions.
WORK ON COMMUNICATING ASSERTIVELY
It is time to tell this person exactly how you feel Andrew, to explain how their behavior is making you uncomfortable and upset. Again, as with the previous suggestion you will have to practise what you are going to say before speaking to this difficult person. For example, practising in the mirror will often give you greater calmness and control when you speak in person.
WHAT DO YOU SAY IN DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE?
So what do you say to this person? There are many variations of assertive communication you can use and this is only just one example of what might be said. After this person has again made a joke again about your receding hairline you could say the following: “Frank (change name) when you make a joke about my receding hairline, I feel very angry and upset about you constantly making fun of me. I would prefer in the future that you no longer comment on or make fun of my hair. Can I have your agreement as a friend that you will no longer do this?”
CALM, CLEAR AND ASSERTIVE LANGUAGE
This must be said very calmly, very clearly and in an assertive manner – that is why working on this type of communication is so important. Try this dealing with difficult people strategy next time your friend begins making comments again. You’ll be surprised how often such people think they are just having fun and you are not bothered by their actions. But now you have very clearly let them know your perspective and feelings about their behavior.
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