How do you deal with difficult and indifferent people?

We come across some typical people with their unreasonable behaviour at our work place at home. Even the social networking interactions with such people are no exception. It would be a challenging task to deal with people of such nature and few tips are narrated here to empower yourself in such situations. Just read on ..

Some people try to be tall by cutting off the heads of others." — Paramhamsa Yogananda


We know that all human beings are social creatures and in the process of evolution of life, we deeply entangled in countless relationships throughout. Some of those relationships give you the best of happiness and a healthy environment and keep your spirit heal and healthy. Our work place doesn't always bring out the best in people. Sometimes you have to meet the challenges posed by some difficult people in spite of your good intentions and best efforts. It may result in affecting your mood of the day with much strain, tension and anxiety.

Such individuals can't be weeded out as they appear to be good, logical in their argument and deliberately make an attempt to spoil the atmosphere. Their conscious approach has a hidden agenda. We are to be very careful in handling the situation and shouldn't derail our emotional reactions in the spur of the moment. The very purpose of the people with such typical character is that to provoke the other side and test his/her patience. Of late, we observe such attitudinal difference while online and interacting with people on various topics of interest.

A ten point formula to handle

Yet we can use some tools, if there is someone behaving badly, to set such people to fall in line around our environment whether at work place or at home or online. Here are few tips that can be tried upon to handle such people.
  1. Be patient and a good listener. Don't lose your cool and stay composed

  2. On the face of it, try to maintain your composure, less reactive you to him and listen to him properly when you have to encounter a difficult and unreasonable person. This would help in to judge him better.
    Always better not to escalate the problem with him and try to find better way of communicating with him instead of getting angry or upset.

  3. Don't take things personally

  4. There would be a deliberate attempt to target you personally and we should not take things personally as their reaction and behaviour reflect their attitude. Let's confine ourselves to a small role in the drama directed, produced and enacted by the trouble maker. Let him play all the key roles.

  5. Avoid the topic of discussion for the time being and use diverting tactics

  6. An ideal situation to create while dealing with such persons is we should avoid point being discussed for the time being and drive it by playing a away sense of humour. This would ease the situation.

  7. Be an effective communicator

  8. It all depends on how effective your are in communicating to others so that they are convinced with your arguments. One should know how to separate the dealing person, who appears to be tough and rotten, from the issue. We should be soft towards him and firm on the issue. If we take on him instead of addressing the issue, the point gets diverted and the core issue is diluted. To be fair enough, persons who are argumentative and know that there is not enough stuff in their view point want things get diluted in such a fashion only. So, communication skills play a major role in dealing such persons.

  9. Better withdraw from there and walk away if it requires

  10. When you are shaking your hand with a person who is drowned in mud, there is possibility of the marks of the mud spoil your dress. People with differential nature of their eccentric behaviour would very often draw you into their magnetic field of negativity and when you are sure that your views and behaviour can't be identical and go parallel only, there is nothing wrong in withdrawing from the scene. Better one should walk away without trying to prove himself and spoiling our mood and relationship. The question of winning or losing doesn't arise but we are avoiding an awkward situation and repenting later that we should not have acted like that.
  11. Don't hesitate to say sorry when you are at fault

  12. We are also human beings and prone to egoism which sometimes lands us into trouble. When the opponent, though well known for his garrulous behaviour, seems to be right and there is a need for our introspection, don't hesitate to do so. Saying sorry or tendering apology is not our moral defeat and it would help in sort out many issues with the individual as he feels that it is his moral victory. In fact, it is their weakness to win such situations and in the future they err to lose.

  13. Don't be assertive but at the same time avoid defencelessness
  14. It sometimes some people intend to dominate and control instead of taking care of issues. We should not be on aggressive side as it would be a plan to keep us in trap and powerful way to change this dynamics is to put the spotlight back and continue to do so by asking questions. Utilize questions to redirect the conversation. If you go on defensive mode, you would be taken to ride.

  15. Choose to forgive instead of punishment

  16. Forgiving is the mother of humanity. People who behave in an extreme way and incorrigible to be handled in soft manner are poor victims of their own mental weakness and the circumstances under which they were brought up or might have fallen trap to a situation created by their own. They can't mend their ways even they know that they are on the wrong side. Take some space by closely observing them and give them a chance by simply ignoring with sympathy.

  17. Keep in mind the mental issues of the other end

  18. The paramount thing to be noted is that we should always take the mental status of the person with whom we are talking into cognizance. A sound mind in a sound body – is a well known saying. If the individual's health and mental conditions are not stable, what can you expect from him and what could be the use in trying to mend his ways? Just have a sympathetic view and try to help him, if you can.

  19. Explore alternative methods as last resort

  20. In spite of trying all these formulae, sometimes the equations may not be solved and it is better you should resort to the alternate options. If you are at the helm of affairs, it is time to suggest them to mend their ways, else action should be taken. If it were your colleague in a work place, register a complaint or approach the grievances cell. As regarding online business is concerned, it is better record your dissatisfaction and withdraw from interaction henceforth in your better interest.

Wrap up

Let's not forget the fact that most difficult people have positive qualities as well, especially if you know how to elicit them, you can get along with them. The above Ten point formulae is not Jindal Talisman to handle those people but would surely work like a pain killer and one has to adopt his own methodologies to based on the prevailing situation. Difficult people are always a hurdle to your commitment and spirit. By practicing these steps, there could be a reflective response rather than reaction and help in creating harmony and better relationships with higher level of expression.

Article by Jagdish Patro
Jagdish Patro is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to ISC and other websites. Fond of reading books, novels and spends his leisure time by listening to music. He did his B.Sc in Applied Chemistry and his M.Sc in Resource Development Technology. He edited and published an in-house monthly journal by name ‘Srujana’ during 2009-2011 which was totally a private circulation.

Follow Jagdish Patro or read 93 articles authored by Jagdish Patro

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Author: K Mohan30 Jul 2016 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 2

How to deal with different people with different attitude is the challenging task we face every day. The mood of the people may not be the same daily. Especially, while dealing with immediate boss, we have to be very careful. There are situations when the boss would be cozy and frank with others and even crack jokes while discussing official issues with our colleagues but at the same time when we enter, the same boss would turn his face with non acceptance of our presence and thus we must leave from that place with a excuse. Moreover in every office there are confident people of higher management and we must have good relations with them so as to understand the behavioral pattern of the boss. In many companies the managers would change or being transferred from other branches and we wont know their attitude. So close confidants of that manager must be contacted and get to know about the manager. That would facilitate easy understanding of new boss.

Author: Swati Sarnobat24 Apr 2017 Member Level: Gold   Points : 1

Useful article, because everybody comes across difficult people in life. Firstly one must understand their psychology and their real expectations. Diplomacy is the best way to win these people. Keep praising them as possible, because every man in the world is hungry for praise. If possible, invite them on any special occasions.

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