Six Tips for Dealing with Difficult People

Dealing with difficult peopleIt can be extremely easy to become angry when confronted with difficult people. Difficult individuals can include friends, family members, customers, co-workers and casual contacts.

When there are bad attitudes, harsh words or selfishness involved in a conversation, you can often become stressed and angry.

However, when you become angry and lash back, it can only make the situation worse and “fuel the fire”. The best thing for you to do is try your best to remain calm. For you to keep your peace, you will need to develop some effective self-defense methods to protect your emotions.

Tips to Help You Keep Calm When Dealing With a Difficult Person

1. Offer to Listen

When you are faced with a difficult person, sometimes simply shrugging to yourself will help keep you calm. Keep in mind that it is not your fault and do not let them make you hurt or angry. Instead, show them some forgiveness and compassion.

Offer to listen to their concerns and ask them what is stressing them out. This method can often calm the difficult person as well.

2. Refrain From Saying Anything Negative

Never respond to a difficult person with negative statements. Responding with harsh words and anger will only make the problem worse.

If you cannot offer something good to say, bite your tongue.

Try to respond with caring and understanding words if at all possible. Always keep in mind the saying “two wrongs do not make a right”.

3. Take Some Time to Breathe

A little time always puts things in a better perspective for both parties involved. If you are dealing with a difficult person, and you feel yourself getting angry or frustrated, take a minute to breathe. Even a short walk can help.

Chances are, when you return to the conversation, you will be better able to handle it.

4. Do Not Dwell on Difficult People

Many people dwell on the things that difficult people say. This can be a big mistake, as it will eat away at you and cause unnecessary stress.

Do not rehash the conversation over and over again in your mind. Whenever you find yourself going over it again, stop yourself and think about something else. You cannot always “cure” a difficult person.

5. Go on With Your Life


Relax—soukup (

Never let a difficult person consume your life.

Many times, the best thing to do is forget about them and move on. If they are causing you a large amount of stress, you may need to keep them at a distance. If they live with you, try the above tips. Do not allow yourself to become overly involved in their issues.


6. Do Not Take it Personally

While some people are naturally difficult, most people do not mean to be difficult or uncaring. They simply have various things going on in their lives that stress them out, and they handle their stress inappropriately.

Never take what difficult people say personally. Try to use some of these tips to keep yourself calm instead.

It is worth noting that these tips can also work for silent bystanders; those who are not directly involved with the interactions of difficult people but who can hear them and become stressed.

Useful resources:
Anger management: 10 tips to tame your temper – Mayo Clinic
How to Train Yourself to Be More Patient – CBS News

One Response to “Six Tips for Dealing with Difficult People”

  1. Edmund says:

    I am happy to learn of the issues about dealing with difficult people. I really appreciate your article!

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