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  • Writer's pictureSarah Egan

Four Tips For Dealing With Difficult People

Downers, complainers, show offs, energy suckers, boasters, rude, arrogant, bossy boots, power freaks and toxic people can bring us completely down (if we let them)

Those who always have something bad to say, those who always complain, criticise and judge, those who are almost impossible to please and those who know it all, try to impress you, name-drop and compare, they are all around us, work with us, live with us and there is absolutely no way of escaping them at the best of times.

So what can we do?

1. One thing we can't do is change or fix anyone.

Telling them to calm down, stop complaining, be more positive or stop being controlling won't help anything. We cannot control other people’s words, actions or perspectives. Their life experiences have created their story and personality. Their life is not ours to judge. Only focus on what you can control – how you speak, talk and act. Be the best version of yourself you can be. 

2. Look at the situation from an understanding point of view.

Try and have empathy even for those we perceive as difficult. It's not always easy to do, but viewing things from that perspective can be very empowering.

What has this person experienced in life? How are they feeling? In what ways might they be struggling? The answers to such questions don’t excuse their behavior or make it okay, but it does help us to take a step back and realize that their behavior is not all about us.

3. Hold onto yourself and who you are.

It’s so easy to lose ourselves around button pushing people. We can get so enraged by their unfair and harsh words that suddenly we’re acting as callous and volatile as we perceive them to be. Know who you are. Are you someone who is kind, compassionate and encouraging? Or are you someone who is quick-tempered, angry and demeaning? If you’re the former, don’t allow someone else to drag you into the latter. That’s their territory, not yours, and you won't feel good if you step in there.

4. No matter how difficult the person you’re dealing with is, you are in control of how you respond. You can lose yourself in their negativity or you can stand strong in who you are. Create strong boundaries, fill your inner well with self-love and compassion, use your empathetic nature. And know deep inside your core that other people’s words or actions need not define you - neither their praise nor their criticism.

What we do know is that we all get confronted with difficult people and with the right tools and mindset, we can stop them from getting the best of us.

Maybe be thankful for the difficult people you have to face and learn from them.

They've shown us exactly who we don't want to be.

-Your Life Drive

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