In a perfect world, everyone we dealt with would be kind, considerate and sweet, but we all live in the real world. In a perfect world, everyone we interacted with would like us and think we were pretty cool, but we all live in the real world.
The fact is, we come in contact with difficult people every day, people who maybe don't like us for whatever reason or act in a way that is rude or annoying. I'm going to make a confession here - there are days when people's behavior or words annoy, hurt or upset me. I am not always filled with the milk of human kindness.
The thing is though, as much as I'd like it to be different, the only person's behavior I have any control over is my own. So, even when faced with the difficult, I have a choice to make. I can give in to my all too human feelings of irritation and become difficult myself. Or I can choose to be gracious - which in hindsight, I'm always glad I did, but isn't always so easy to do in the moment.
I've come up with five things to do when dealing with a difficult person.
1. Smile and look them in the eye. You aren't responsible for their behavior, so there's no reason to act ashamed or uncomfortable. Let them deal with the after effects of their behavior.
2. Be confident in what you are doing at that moment. Another person's actions don't detract from who you are. Their actions don't define who you are.
3. Be clear on who you answer to (especially if it isn't them!) Especially if it is a work situation, keep it in the forefront of your mind that the person being difficult doesn't have any authority over you. You don't have to answer to them.
4. Be kind but firm - in other words, don't let yourself be bullied. This doesn't mean you need to be nasty, but it also doesn't mean you have to lay down and write welcome on your forehead either. Being gently firm usually works.
5. Keep the overall goal in mind - don't let their obnoxiousness make you lose your focus. What are you there to do? What is the goal? Keep that in front of you and keep heading in that direction.
So, how do you deal with the difficult people in your life? I'd love to hear about it!
~ Blessings, Bronte