One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered. ~Michael J. Fox
It’s hard to avoid dealing with difficult people who are nasty, rude, irrational or abusive. You have to work with them or be around them.
If you do not find effective ways to deal with them, these difficult people can make your life miserable or at least unpleasant. They can even be toxic to your health.
4 Tips for Dealing With Difficult People
- Don’t try to show that you are more intelligent or capable than them. Any perceived attack can turn them more offensive or abusive to prove their capability or intelligence.
- Accept them as they are. Trying to convince them or change them is a big waste of your time, energy or emotion. They are going to remain difficult or may turn impossible to handle if you try to prove them wrong. Instead, change your attitude and try to keep your negative emotions under control.
- Never enter into an argument with them. You cannot force them to agree with you. It would only lead to power struggle and further friction.
- Try to avoid having a conversation about sensitive topics that could make them more difficult to deal with. Sometimes, even the use of certain words or expressions can make a difficult person explode in a rage. Be mindful of these trigger words, phrases and topics – and avoid discussing them. If you find yourself in an unavoidable unpleasant discussion with a difficult person, try to take the conversation to a different direction to diffuse the situation.
Dealing with difficult people can affect your happiness and your health. Difficult people not only can make you feel miserable but the stress they create can increase your risk for diseases. Stress-associated health problems include heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, memory impairment, decreased immunity and worsening of other diseases.
You don’t have to be miserable. So, do your best to stay away from difficult people at work or at school. If necessary, you can get help from your school counselor or human resources at work.
If you’re living with a difficult person, it makes your situation even worse. If the difficult person is your partner, spouse, parent or child then you need a different plan. You can consider counseling if it’s an option. However, most people who are difficult have the nasty aspect of their personality deeply hardwired in their brain – and they’re unlikely to change.
If living with the difficult person is difficult to tolerate or dangerous for you, then you must distance yourself from the situation. Different situations require different solutions. So, it’s a good idea to get counseling or professional guidance regarding the best way to handle your unhealthy or unsafe situation.
If your life is at risk, then you must leave. Call 911 or the emergency number for your country, if you’re being attacked.
If you’re dealing with domestic violence, click this link to find help in your area.
Stress is unhealthy and you want to avoid its toxic health effects. If you don’t effectively deal with difficult people in your life, not only will you become miserable but you will also start dealing with stress-associated health effects of your situation. No one deserves that.
It will probably not be easy, but you deserve to live a happier and healthier life. Misery is only an option. You need to choose to live your best life.