Getting along with difficult people can be—well, difficult.
In fact, it can be downright frustrating.
With that being said—sometimes, it can literally feel like there’s no escaping it.
No matter how hard you try to be nice, to get along, and to just be peaceful, there’s always the possibility that someone will come along and really challenge your peace of mind.
So what can you do to help yourself in these stressful and trying moments?
How can you get along with people who are truly difficult to get along with?
In this post, you’re going to learn our 4 favorite tips for exactly how to accomplish that.
Let’s dive into it.
1. Be Patient
At first, whenever the initial pangs of ‘difficulty’ rear their ugly head in your interactions, your first response may be to react with bristling emotion.
But try to avoid this—especially at first.
Listen—we know that it’s not easy to keep your cool with difficult people.
But it’s also true that you can stand to gain a lot of traction in the conversation by just being patient and not reacting too quickly.
You may learn more about the situation that’ll help you to figure out why this is happening, and how to fix it.
But you’ll never get to that point if you don’t deploy some patience.
2. Ask Questions
When dealing with a difficult person, you may be tempted to speak your part and react to the things they’re saying and doing.
However—it’s always better to listen first, and then to ask some questions to try to understand why they’re being difficult.
You could ask them questions like:
“You seem a little stressed out. Are you ok?”
“Hey, I’m sensing some tension. Is everything ok? Is there anything that we should communicate about?”
These are generally pretty acceptable ways to start a better, deeper dialogue—and sometimes, when the other person realizes that you care enough to ask, they may really change their demeanor and ‘lighten up.’
3. Be Kind
Always remember that you’ll really never ‘win’ by being unkind or disrespectful to people—even if they’re being unkind or disrespectful to you.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put some common-sense boundaries into place, or that you need to let other people walk all over you.
It just means that it’s always better to treat other people with kindness and respect, rather than with anger or some other kind of negative, reactionary emotion.
4. Be Honest And Direct
If this person’s ‘difficult’ attitude is really making problems for you (and/or for the project you’re working on), then you may need to address it directly.
This can be challenging.
However, it’s always better to be kind and honest, rather than to just let things ‘simmer’ in the background and go unmentioned.
For example, saying something like this can yield very positive and beneficial results.
“Hey, I’d like to talk about this dynamic. I’m really feeling some tension coming from your side of this interaction—and it’s starting to affect me. I’d like to talk about how we could come up with a solution for it.”