How to Handle Difficult People

Lessons at the funeral from a rock and a clown nose....

How to Handle Difficult People

There are three things we can count on as we journey through this life:  you will be born, you will die, and in-between those two dates, you will confront difficult people.

I have not been very good at dealing with difficult people so I had to learn how.  For many years I was a peacekeeper. You know this type of person.  This is what they think,  Oh, I know this is wrong but to avoid issues, let’s just play pretty.   Or like my friend says, “Tie some bows on the problem.”  The reality is that being a peacekeeper translates to tying bigger bows as the problem grows.  Oh, by the way, your stress will grow too.

God bless and help the peacemaker. This brave person decides that enough is enough.  I will take action and this will be corrected.  Put on your super-person cape ’cause, Honey, it ain’t easy.  The consequences are endless as to what attacks will come your way plus the stabbing and “knife-turning.”   Why do this, Jane?  Because with difficult situations, the pain of change becomes less stressful than the pain of staying the same. 
Okay, so how do you deal with difficult people? First have the least amount of contact possible.  Think of a radar screen.  There is a center, a top, a bottom and a lovely thing called the edge.  Find the edge of the radar screen and operate from that perspective.
What if I have to have contact with them?  Establish firm boundaries and speak in the language of consequences; if you do this then this will happen. No yelling, no hissy fits; just steady, high-principled language and behavior. Emulate C-Span not Springer.
The back of my back is a pretty site; in other words, walk away.  I know some adults who continue to have low-functioning behavior who are not “spring chicks.”  My take on that?  It is past time for that flaw to be fixed so it is obvious you are not willing to tackle your problem.  Sadly, some lessons are never learned. Like I said, walk…..and sometimes you have to run the other way.
Being a peacekeeper may be keeping  your stress alive and well nourished.  I challenge you to take action and become a peacemaker so you can live a peaceful and more stress-free life.

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