Difficult people cause unnecessary ‘mind traffic’ which can be frustratingly hard to control.
Don’t you hate difficult people, the ones who slow you down?
When you’re dealing with a difficult person, the only thing you have control over is our own reactions and your own behaviours. In recognising a difficult person, start by observing their behaviour and how they interact with others. We can’t change how people behave, but we can change how we respond to them.
Often when people become a nuisance it’s more about you than them. Just as they think negative thoughts, your body language gives out messages. Try handling difficult people with a positive mindset, perhaps a mindset you wish they had. Expect the best in people. You never know when you might be pleasantly surprised.
You can learn all the strategies in the world about managing a difficult person, but the best thing you can do is to manage your own emotions and work on improving your self-awareness.
To become self-aware, practice noticing your feelings, thoughts, and your behaviour when you are amongst difficult people who increase your negative mind traffic. Disarm their negativity by not giving them an opportunity to get traction.
“The older I get the less I listen to what people say and the more I look at what they do”. Andrew Carnegie
When you become good at controlling your emotions, you’ll start looking at the whole picture, both sides of the issue, and not the little niggly bits on the fringes. You begin to tap into your emotions to choose a different outcome.
As an assertive person take full responsibility for yourself and your actions. When a difficult person violates your space, don’t seek to be responsible for their rantings, just change the conversation.
If you keep changing the conversations, difficult people learn more quickly that they can’t easily influence your mindset or carry on with whatever they wish.
There will be a time when a difficult person has to be told about their offensive behaviour, how it is affecting you and that their behaviour is no longer acceptable to you. In my experience, the person will either become a better customer or you will never see them again. Either way, you win.
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I still find it hard to respond positively to difficult and negative people. However, I no longer let them interfere with what I am doing and I have learned to dismiss unnecessary mind-traffic.
I know this is hard to do, but you must at least try it because the outcomes may surprise you. You just need to keep working at your self-awareness and control your emotions.