During the course of our work and our private lives, most of us have had to deal with a difficult person. We do everything possible, but no matter what we do to help or get along with the individual, nothing seems to work. Not knowing what to do, we hit our heads against the wall in frustration.
As long as there is human life, there will be difficult people. How these people are managed will determine the type of relationship we have with them. Getting away or getting along with a person who is intricate requires a lot of patience and effort, but it can be done productively.
I have listed three types of difficult people, and each one requires a different approach.
This person is only involved in himself. When the conversation or the event is not about him, change the focus towards him. When the subject changes to something other than him, he interrupts with “That happened to me too” or “This is what I do” and continues to babble without stopping on himself. In the middle of an event or meeting, you will hijack the activity by changing the light bulb to it. It can not stand not being the most important issue or the central attraction of the main event.
The best way to handle this person is to smile pleasantly and say, “I’m sorry to interrupt you, but we were in the middle of something that is important to us.” Can we continue with the main focus of our discussion? The person knows that he is being rude and disturbing. Without putting him on the defensive, he will usually wander to another place for attention.
The Exhaustive, Chronic Complainer
This person complains about everything, but never tries to solve their problems and reduce their complaints. Each time a suggestion is made to help or solve the problem, she rejects it with an excuse as to why it will not work. The chronic complainer is exhausting for those to whom she complains, and her negativity drags everyone around her. She always has a problem; According to her, everyone is against her, her life is full of misery, and nobody cares. She is never happy or satisfied, and nothing is good enough for her. She complains to anyone who hears it.
Dealing with this type of person can be complicated. It is tempting to “fix” your problems or offer some suggestions, but unfortunately, both actions are useless. She has convinced herself that nothing is going to work, and that she is condemned. She will have a new set of complaints the next time she sees her, and the diatribe will start again. No matter what she says, she will discard it, and she is just wasting time.
A successful method to deal with a chronic complainer is to hear their complaints without offering any help or suggestion. Answer each complaint and put it back in your lap. Instead of trying to fix it, ask “What do you think you should do?” or “How do you plan to handle this?” Answering in this way indicates that you are interested in your problems, but you can not solve them because that is your job. It also prevents it from getting worse when he rejects his ideas, but continues to complain.
The Malicious Gossiper
This type of person likes to talk about other people, and takes what is said about others and disseminates it to anyone who hears it. He has to be the first to tell the story he just heard about Jane, or tell the secret that Bob just told him, and add whatever he’s saying.
Gossip can be a good way to spread the word about events and good news; however, it can be a really unpleasant characteristic when done in a negative way on other people. Dismissing others or spreading rumors about them is detrimental to everyone, and is extremely counterproductive.
An effective way to deal with this type of person is to not participate. If you are close to this person and start talking negatively about another person, or when telling unsubstantiated stories, there are some things you can do:
* Change the theme to a positive theme
* Disengage from the person as soon as possible
* Let the person know you are asking the gossip target for the facts
Each of these people wants to be the focal point of everyone’s attention, and each will do everything possible to achieve that desire. Managing these people with tact, dignity and class will show that you are the greatest person.