how to deal with people you can not stand?

People, who like their jobs, feel appreciated for what they do and who they are. But, problem people usually do not like what they do. To communicate effectively with other people, you must have some understanding of what matters most to them. By observing behavior and listening to communication patterns with the difficult people, you can recognize their primary intents.

Every behavior has a purpose or an intent that the behavior is trying to fulfill. People engage in behaviors based on their intent, and do what they do based on what seems to be most important in any given moment. Therefore, identifying the intent behind a certain behavior is crucial when dealing with people you can not stand.

Success in communication depends on finding common ground with the people around you. You can patiently and supportively demonstrate that you care about what they are saying. Difficult people tend to become cooperative people when you listen to what they have to say and ask them specific questions.

Engaging in an honest dialogue with problem people is an effective strategy for establishing a good level of communication with them. Talk about the problem behavior rather than about the problem person. Show them how their behavior is self-defeating. Make some specific suggestions to them and ask them for their feedback.

To be effective with a person you can not stand, it is essential that you gain control over your attitude toward the problem people in your life, and accept them as they are. Every difficult person that crosses your path, when placed in a positive frame of reference, presents you with the golden opportunity to develop your communication skills. What you learn from dealing with difficult people will make you stronger and help you in many other areas of your life.

Whether you like the situation or not, your opinion of it will not really change much of anything, except the way that you feel. So, instead of making a big deal out of facts that you do not like, you might as well take a deep breath and say “oh well” and drop your opinion. Let it go and then go on from there.

When dealing with difficult people, you always have a choice. In fact, you have four choices:

1- you can stay, do nothing, and complain to someone else about it.
- doing nothing is dangerous because frustration with difficult people tends to build up and get worse over time. And complaining to people who can do nothing tends to lower morale and productivity while postponing effective action.

2- you can vote with your feet.
- sometimes, your best option is to walk away. Not all situations are resolvable, and some are just not worth resolving. Voting with your feet makes sense when it no longer makes any sense to continue to deal with the person. If the situation is deteriorating, if everything, you say or do, makes matters worse, and you find yourself losing control, then use discretion and walk away. You are nobody's victim without your permission.

3- you can change your attitude about the difficult person.
- even if the difficult persons continue to engage in the difficult behavior, you can learn to see them differently, listen to them differently, and feel differently around them. There are attitude changes that you can make in yourself that will set you free from your reactions to problem people. And a change in attitude is absolutely necessary if you hope to find the willpower and flexibility to make the fourth choice...

4- you can change your behavior.
- when you change the way you deal with difficult people, then they have to learn new ways to deal with you. Just as certainly as some people bring out the best in you, and some people bring out the worst in you, you have this same ability with others. Once you know what needs to be done and how to do it, you will be well on your way to taking charge over an unpleasant situation and redirecting it to a worthwhile result.

© 2006