All of us have to deal with difficult or rude people from time to time.
It happens all the time: at work, at home, at the grocery store, at parent teacher meetings, you name it....
Basically, the world is full of ass*oles -- at times, even you could be one of them.
The question to ask yourself is this: how do we deal with them?
What is the best way to deal with these people so that we end up walking away relatively unscathed?
Psychology Today has an interesting take on this, here are a few of the highlights:
- Keep calm and cool. Taking a deep breath, and even counting to ten, before you respond to someone can help you defuse the situation easier.
- Stay above the conflict. Some people are so set in their ways and thoughts that fighting with them just wastes your valuable time. Keep what contact you must have pleasant -- and to the absolute minimum.
- Be Proactive, not Reactive. Instead of taking offense at someone's words, take a moment to put yourself in their shoes and understand where they're coming from. Maybe your boss is taking a lot of flak from her higher-ups, and she doesn't realize she's taking it out on you, for example. This can help minimize misunderstandings and miscommunications.
- Pick your battles wisely. Not every situation requires a direct response, even if their behaviour is bad. Before you act, ask yourself: 'Is this situation temporary?' or 'Is there a great benefit from just dealing with the bad behaviour?' If the answer is yes to either one of these, then just let it go.
- Keep the person and the issue separate. If the conflict is over a specific issue and NOT the person, then separating the two and keeping the hard focus on the issue can help the person feel less defensive and more cooperative. This is a good way to build trust and communication.
These are just some of the ways you can handle difficult people, you can find more in the article here. As long as you remember to take a moment to collect yourself and take stock of the situation before you react, you are going to save yourself a lot of stress down road.