5 Secrets to Handling Really Difficult People

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Who is the most difficult person in your life? Do...

Who is the most difficult person in your life? Do they ooze negativity that spreads to you? Do they make you feel bad about yourself?

Did you know you can lessen their effect on you? The power isn’t all theirs.


You can take action to block their negative radiation and protect your self-image from their destructive wake. By using the following steps to reduce the P.A.I.N.S. those difficult people might cause in your life.

(P)ractice Calming Yourself

What’s your typical reaction when the person who drives you insane is driving you insane? If you’re like most of us, your blood pressure skyrockets and you’re tempted to:

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  1. Scream at them
  2. Break something
  3. Run away from the situation
  4. A combination of all of thee above 

Instead, develop a habit to calm yourself in these situations. Take deep breaths (it really does help) and repeat a positive mantra in your head. Play a few lines of a favorite song in your mind. Find something that works for you and consistently practice it to cool down when you stumble into heated circumstances.

(A)nalyze the Situation

What’s really going on here? Did you do anything wrong? What are the circumstances? Step back from your emotions and analyze – just the facts. While it may be difficult to remove your feelings from the situation, it can make a huge difference.

Your sister’s yelling because you asked about the money she owes you. She’s actually angry at herself – and embarrassed – that she hasn’t paid you back (and still doesn’t have the money.) Rather than admit this, she accuses you of constantly hounding her. Go back to the facts: You know your sister’s a yeller. You know she’s irresponsible. You know you’ve done nothing wrong. Let go of the angry thoughts you might be having about her. Remain clinical as you analyze the undercurrent and refuse to get swept away by it.

(I)dentify the Impact

Consider the negative person’s behavior. Does it truly impact you? Does it have to? If someone simply has a bad attitude, does it affect anything in your life? In some cases, it might. In many cases, it ultimately doesn’t have an impact on what you do and you need to let it go. You can’t control their behavior, but you can decide how it impacts you. So your mother hates your hair cut, no matter what style you choose. Does it <em>really</em> matter?

(N)o Need to Win

How often could you avoid an argument if you followed this philosophy? Even if you know you’re right, lay down this “right.” Too often, you drag out an argument to “win,” but you lose in the long run. The victory comes with a relationship cost. Let them win. It’s better than getting drawn into a battle where everyone loses.

(S)ympathize With Them

You know the saying; “Hurt people hurt people?” It’s more than a mantra. It’s full of truth. While you don’t have to support bad behavior, gaining a better understanding of it can help you have a healthier response. Think about what could be motivating their words and actions. If you’ve been hurt, it’s easy to focus solely on your own pain. But take a moment to try and focus on theirs. It’ll give you a fresh perspective and provide a better outcome.



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