Some People Appear to Believe it is Their Lot in Life to be Difficult…
I believe you know what I mean. If you are out for a meal in a restaurant they make things difficult for the server. If you are trying to do something together, things are never quite good enough. If you are trying to get business done, there is always something else to haggle over.
My platform tenants for living include being kind, honest, and respectful. That is my choice and I stick to these as much as possible. I am also very guarded about what/who I allow to have input/influence in my life. My mental outlook, like yours, is important to how I show up every day for others, whether it is a business relationship or a personal relationship. I work diligently everyday to cultivate an optimistic perspective, and I refuse to let other people or things impact this if I can help it.
If someone is negative or difficult, I tend to minimize my exposure to them, and in many cases eliminate any contact at all. I would strongly suggest you follow the same philosophy. This includes what you allow the media to pour into your head and heart.
However, there are times in life when you have no choice but to deal with the difficult person. Perhaps it’s a co-worker, or team-member, or an employee that you are not in a position to release at the moment, or a party to a transaction you have to complete.
It’s Important to Have a Game-plan for How You Deal with These People When You Have No Choice.
Check Your Own Attitude: Are they actually difficult or are they so different that I am seeing them this way? It’s always possible that it’s us, and not them, but history with them is affecting how we see everything. If they are “sort of a jerk” then your attitude has to be to kill them with kindness and recognize your own perspective and focus on making the experience as good as you can make it.
Take a Deep Breath: They are going to say things, and do things that either rub you the wrong way or that are purposefully to make things challenging to suit their underlying game…whatever they are doing and whatever score they are keeping….Don’t react…not just don’t overreact…don’t react period. Breathe and move on, or ask a question about why would they say that or do that. This will help by bringing the action to light and sometimes, in their explanation they come to the realization that their behavior is an issue. This might not happen, but at least you will not be escalating the situation, but instead be demonstrating a curious attitude.
101% Principle: This is a John Maxwell principle…find the 1% where you can agree and give that 100 percent of your attention…this will soften them. It helps to create rapport because they will see you as more like them. Remember, how you make them feel is a huge component of how they will behave. If they feel good around you they will be less inclined to be difficult.
Use Praise: Look for things that you can genuinely praise and point them out. It can be something as surface as clothing or as deep as a personality trait, or the way they are thinking about something….AND focus on what there is to like about this person…what are some strengths and good qualities…no one is all bad. You might end up being the light that helps them show up differently.
None of these are fool-proof. Notice, I didn’t say “full-proof” which they aren’t either, but they will definitely make the experience better for you, and in many cases make a difference.
In the video below I share my six golden rules for dealing with people that position you to be someone everyone likes dealing with.
I hope you found this helpful. Please share with others if you believe they would benefit.
Here is a recent video on How to Design an Awesome Life
If you need some coaching reach out to me.
Many Blessings, Todd
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