How to deal with difficult people

Sometimes you will have to deal with difficult people and difficult situations. Instead of yelling and screaming back (even though you may think you are right), try this instead:


Give yourself a second to breath and to think. Speed in a response can only accelerate someone’s anger.

Ask Questions

Seek understanding. Let the person be heard.


Restate what you heard from them and what they are asking you to do about it. “So I understand that you feel angry about the way I handled the situation and that you feel I was wrong in what I said … “

Reflecting their words and feelings back to them allows you to find common ground.


After you have gotten agreement about your understanding of where they are coming from, now you are free to address them and why you did what you did. Use words like “My intention was to …” or “What I was hoping to communicate was …” or “My perspective on the situation was …” to ease into your point of view.

You don’t have to agree with the other person or give into their demands, but you should hear them out and make your perspective crystal clear.

In my experience, calmer heads prevail and allow for a more objective approach to any situation.

Remember this for dealing with difficult people.

Ok, a quick joke to help you remember: What did the pirate score on the 18th hole of the golf course?


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