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Have you ever had to deal with a difficult person at one point in time?

If no, you should thank your stars that you are not acquainted with someone who is difficult to deal with.

Most, if not all of us are bound to partner with certain people at our workplace, social functions, within our family tree or elsewhere who seem to have the ability to pull our triggers and oftentimes derive pleasure in it.

Difficult people come in several ways. They can introduce themselves in many ways. Some never keep to promises or time. Some talk, talk and talk but barely listen. Others criticize anything they did not create.

Regardless of the variety in which they come, they all have one thing in common. You must address them.

Dealing with difficult people is a must. It can't get any better when left unattended  or unaddressed.

However, no matter the condition, the way we choose to respond is within our control.

Consider the following tips when dealing with difficult people:

1) ' Self examination ': Begin by examining yourself. Are you really sure that the other party is the problem or you are just over-reacting?

Oftentimes, we choose to believe we are the victim whereas, we are the perpetrator.

Have you experienced difficulty with the same type of person?

Always start with self- examination to determine that the problem is a difficult person's actions or reactions and not yours.

2) ' Shift from being reactive to proactive': In some situations, when trying to deal with difficult people. Be it in the workplace, religious or social functions, family etc you should always learn to
view the condition from different perspectives.

People do what they do because of them more than because of you.
Broadening your perspective as per the situation can reduce the possibility of misunderstanding.

Moreover, another way to treat this issue is to put yourself in the difficult person's shoes. Even if it is for a while.

To be clear, the feeling that you understand and share another person's experience and  emotion does not excuse unacceptable behavior or conduct.

So far as you are being considerate, difficult behaviors from others show a lot more about them than they do about you.

By eradicating the attitude of personalizing, you can view the situation and come up with better methods of tackling the problem.

3) ' Become an observer': Becoming an observer is simply to exist in the situation with a spectator's perspective. You are to observe, not participate.

Instead of participating in the present situation, you sit back and observe.

Doing this shows you that the situation is temporary and it will pass.

4) ' One on one talk with the person': This approach can give different results depending on the difficult person, and your manner of approach.

Have a private or one on one discussion with the person. Confess to the person  what you are experiencing using a style of communication that focuses more on your experience rather than attacking the other person.

When doing this, it's expected that your emotions or the rage you feel might want to take the better side of you.

But, you should always have it at the back of your mind to settle differences in a cultured manner.

They may not be aware of the impact of their actions or words on you. They might be taken aback about  the whole situation.

Also, it could be the other way round. They may know and recognize it but deny it or try to stage a confrontation.

However, during the course of the conversation or discussion, endeavor to reach agreement about positive and supportive actions going forward.

5) ' Learn to pick your battles': Save time, energy and resources. Avoid unnecessary problems or complications.

Not all difficult individuals we face need direct confrontations. It is sometimes advisable to pick your battles, or avoid some confrontations.

In a case whereby a difficult person has short-lived or temporary power over you, it is not really advisable to get involved in any confrontation.

Let me provide you with an illustration:

A co-worker who has been a very difficult person to work with is finally leaving your department or company in a matter of days.

Then, it may not be the most effective investment to confront  and plan a meeting to discuss his failure to turn in his monthly goals.

As the old saying goes, " you have to pick your battles." In other words, you must ensure that the confrontation is worth the time, energy and effort.

Think twice, and fight the battles that are truly worth fighting.

Conclusively, dealing with difficult people is to master the art of communication. Utilizing these skills helps you experience less pain and better relationships.

Make use of the approach or method that's best at the time.


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Ajayi Caleb
Hi, I'm Ajayi Caleb. I'm just a regular guy who loves impacting into lives as much as I can. With this boiling passion, I've decided to go to another level( which is to cut across borders). This therefore births the basis of the blog which is to present GROWTH to you, cutting across different spheres of life and thereby making you a better YOU. I BET YOU'D LOVE IT. Send all correspondence to :