How to Deal with Difficult People

We deal with difficult people in our lives. Friends who love to take the spotlight. Co-workers that have a slow learning curve. Girlfriends or boyfriends that smell funny. If these people don’t matter to you, then it’s easy to disregard them in your life. However, there are those that you truly care about where you’ll want to work something out.

Be aware though, that there are times these people could possibly be “testing” you. For example, a friend that loves to take the spotlight from you or everyone else – usually this means this person is insecure / lacks the confidence and is showing up a “front.” He or she probably wants you to reach out to them, which shows a sign of “proof” that you care about your friend. If you don’t meet that person’s expectation then everything else could escalate, where you will be at a point where you’ll want to give up on the relationship.

First thing is to decide how much of an effort do you want to put into this person. Do you value anything from this person, and does he or she value anything from you as well? Do you believe you’ll grow with this person as well, or do you think it’s time for you to move on?

It’s important to try to understand the person’s behavior and history. Perhaps your best friend is an alcoholic, and the reason for that is due to their rough history with their family. Coping with an alcoholic is difficult and ultimately it boils down to your tolerance. How much of an effort do you want to keep going with this person? Once you have a better understanding of why that person is acting that certain behavior, then it’s much easier to communicate effectively with him/her getting offended. For example, you can reach out to your friend and let them know that there’s a better solution than drinking alcohol due to his past history.

Best Solution:

  1. Talk about the manner in a calm tone. Express how you feel about that person, but do not attack them because the problem could escalate.
  2. Make sure you are descriptive. Do not leave anything out, and don’t sugarcoat anything. But remember! Stay calm.
  3. Once you talk about it, let them know that there is a consequence to the relationship if that person doesn’t adjust to their behavior.
    • For example, you tell your friend that’s an alcoholic “I won’t invite you to any events if you keep drinking!”

If that person hasn’t lived up to your expectations then give them the consequence!




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