It is frustrating to be in the company of difficult people. They are hard to get along with, and difficult to please. It doesn’t matter how hard you try, they always find something to negative to say. If they are not complaining about something, they are criticizing or blaming another. It is tough to spend time with them and not feel offended. One could be tempted to think they have some of poison in them that can infect your space and kill your joy. However, because such people are often found in our immediate circles (families, work place, social groups), we have no choice but to learn how to live with them and still maintain our sanity. Below are a few practical tips I have gathered over the years.
How to cope with difficult people
Listen more, and complaint less. Listening builds understanding. People are not born difficult. Being difficult is often a result of an attitude adopted as a strategy to over come pain, hurt, rejection, frustration etc. Therefore in order to cope with these people, it is very important to understand where they are coming from (reasons behind the attitude). Better understanding comes from good listening. Make them comfortable around you, enough to speak on anything, especially their past. Remember to listen not to respond or judge, but to understand. When you understand the reason behind an attitude, you can better cope.
Selfless love: Offer them selfless love by showing them kindness, not out of sympathy or desire for appreciation, but because you choose to. Difficult people are often non receptive and unappreciative. However, if you lend a helping hand to such a person without expecting anything from them, not even a “thank you,” you remain unaffected by their attitude. Besides, selfless love unarms every hardened heart.
Talk to them in their own language. Most difficult people enjoy being in control and using their words gives them the impression that they are still in that position. This approach will make communication easier and the fights gradually reduced to zero. For example, when you have an opinion, give it to them as though they contributed to it.
Complement them: Deep inside the mind of a difficult person is someone suffering from low self esteem and fear. So complements make them feel good and valuable and this singular act alone stirs up the goodness in them. A sincere complement will uplift their moods and boost their confidence. This will keep their attitude in check while you are around.
Give them space: This is particularly true for close relations. When someone is always available, they are often taken for granted. So give them some space and room to miss you and to reflect about their relationship /interaction with you.
Avoid confrontations. Don’t confront them about their attitude, rather point out to them the particular issue they could improve upon. If you complaint about their attitude, they will tell you stuff like…”its just me” or “you won’t understand” etc and will get all defensive about it. But when you point out a particular thing you think they could do better, they are likely to work on it.
Reflection: Colossians 3:13
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Originally posted 2017-03-29 12:26:34. Republished by Blog Post Promoter