The Best Ways to Deal With Difficult People

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My husband and I have no children together. All three of our kids are from other parents, which makes life interesting. We have to work with these other parents regularly, for different things, and it can be exhausting. Sometimes we have to make compromises regarding schedules. Sometimes we have to simply being around people who we dislike. (Luckily, not all of them are torturous.) But we deal with all of this because it benefits our kids.

At times, we all have to work with people who are difficult. Unfortunately, that’s just a fact of life. Maybe it’s a boss or an employee…or a co-parent. There are moments in life where we have to make compromises, brainstorm together, or exist in the same space as these folks that we can’t stand. So what can we do to make life a little easier when we’re stuck in these situations?

The first thing to do is to remember the benefits of why you’re doing this. It may be nothing more than dealing with a particularly difficult boss so that you can keep your job. Despite disliking the boss, your job is more important than losing your patience with him. If you have an employee who drives you crazy, remind yourself that the disciplinary action isn’t worth it. If you don’t go through the right processes with your employee (such as a verbal warning before writing him up), then you will personally have to deal with the consequences from your own boss. There is always a purpose that you can find when needing to handle things properly with these people.

The next thing is to create an action plan. Figure out how you’re going to handle the situation. If he starts screaming at you, what will you do? If he’s talking over you or tries to make you feel stupid, how will you address it? Making an action plan will help you feel more confident in addressing this person because you will be prepared. Figure out the best ways to diffuse the situation (if possible) or to stand up for yourself in a diplomatic manner.

Finally, do some deep breathing before walking into it. Starting off with a quiet mind and calm state will help you remain productive throughout your meeting. It will also rub off on the other person, which has a great potential for minimizing, or even eliminating, any blow ups.

A “wise mind” is probably the best way to handle difficult people. (A wise mind is when you use both your head and your heart to make decisions.) Pay attention to your emotions; don’t minimize them or shrug them off. But make sure that you’re also using rationale to balance it out. Create a game plan, take a deep breath, and stick to your plan. Walking in with confidence and peace of mind will make all the difference.

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AJ Jewell

Amber "AJ" Jewell started at in 2016 as a part-time admin assistant, quickly moving to be the 'Duchess of Flow" - making sure that the office is flowing smoothing. AJ is also an award-nominated author, homeschooling parent of three, an avid reader, and a college student.
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