3 Tips for Handling a Difficult Person

No matter how much care we exercise, we all eventually end up dealing with a difficult person. This could be a neighbor, a co-worker, or even a family member. These people never seem to be satisfied with our decisions and behavior or life in general for that matter. They tend to be the complainers, the ones always in a bad mood, and full of negativity. However, even though we might have to deal with these people, we don't have to get pulled in by them. Here are three tips on dealing with those difficult people in our lives.

Limit the amount of time you spend in their presence. Most of us can avoid unpleasant and difficult people, but some of us are required to spend time with them for work or family reasons. Finding ways to spend less time with difficult people means less conflict and less stress for you. Can you change your schedule or your location to avoid the other person? If not, try to be in a group when around him or her in order to limit the amount of interaction you have.

Ask the difficult person for solutions. One of the most common complaints about difficult people is that they tend to complain or bring problems but never seem happy with the solutions suggested by others. One way to curb this behavior is to hold the difficult person responsible for the solutions to the problems he or she brings. When the difficult person offers a complaint or presents a problem, ask what he or she feels like should be done or how he or she would like to have it handled. If the difficult person offers a solution, it opens up a chance for compromise and problem solving. If the difficult person refuses or cannot offer a solution, it soon becomes clear whether or not the difficult person wants a solution. An easy way to redirect him or her in this situation is to ask them to return when they have come up with a solution.

Look at yourself. When you feel irritated by the behavior of a difficult person, ask yourself what the reason is for this. Every person carries around insecurities, hurts, and other negative things from life, and it is very possible that the difficult person's behavior brings one or more of these up. Is it possible that this person reminds you of another difficult person from your childhood? Is it possible that this person is in a position you feel you are more suited to handle? Being able to take a step back from the situation and look at it separately from past experiences can help you to manage the present.