In a webpage that I will elaborate and extend any day now, I give no fewer than thirty tips for dealing with difficult people.
However, the three top ones are:
1 recognise it’s their stuff
2 recognise it’s your stuff
3 recognise that there are 28 other good tips which will also help.
In truth, we hold on tenaciously to the idea that we’re right about other people being difficult.
Yet, when I had my first job in a rather civil service-like office, there was a manager, Freda, whom everyone felt was a pain in the neck. She was difficult. She managed half the office and she seemed always to be bearing down on them, never cutting them any slack and generally behaving like a minor despotic ruler.
Everyone, without exception, whether they reported to her or to the other manager in the office, would have said she was a difficult person.
Everyone, that is, except one person, Roger. Roger had Freda around his little finger. Not only did Roger not feel that Freda was a difficult person, she wasn’t a difficult person in her work relationship with Roger.
So, rule 1 above says that “it’s their stuff”. If someone is behaving in a difficult way, it’s their stuff. It’s almost arrogant to imagine that they are being difficult “just for you”. Just because they know which of your buttons to press, and then they press them…
Rule 2 says, though, that you let them press your buttons. If you had concealed those buttons a little better, or if you had decided you weren’t going to have those buttons after all, they wouldn’t be able to press them. This is what Roger did.
Everyone else just used Freda as a generic scapegoat—the tradition “difficult” person—a role which, admittedly, she appeared happy to play.
> Thirty tips for dealing with difficult people
© 2015 Jeremy Marchant Limited . by Jeremy Marchant . uploaded 18 may 2015 . image: Free images