8 Tips for Learning to Deal with Difficult People

Almost everyone can develop a relationship with a pleasant person when the conversation is enjoyable and the interlocutor is trusting and respectful. But if we deal with difficult people, everything falls apart in the blink of an eye, we lose our temper and can say a lot of unpleasant things in response. Often, the ability to communicate with such “difficult” people can become a responsibility for us. To quickly master this skill, you can enroll in our online program, Better Communication Techniques.

Keep calm

The behavior of the aggressor is always provocative and aimed at throwing you off balance. When this succeeds, the process of uncontrollable escalation of the quarrel begins, since two unbalanced individuals are already involved in it. There is no hope for any constructive resolution to the dialogue in such conditions. What gives you peace of mind?

  • Immunity to provocations. People call this “like peas hitting a wall”: the opponent pours negativity and does not receive any return, in the end he simply gets bored, runs out of energy, or a more promising object of attention appears.
  • The ability to reason soberly. In a “hot” situation, when your opponent loses the ability to foresee the consequences of his actions, you retain it and gain an advantage.

Try to wait out the first emotional storm. For most people, strong emotions subside very quickly. In addition, when you respond to shouts and attacks calmly, correctly and to the point, it produces an unexpected effect. From the contrast, the interlocutor may suddenly come to his senses and even apologize for his behavior.

Try to understand the motives

All people have a unique character, and among them there are truly aggressive and hot-tempered ones. But sometimes even the most friendly and calm person, due to stress or misunderstanding, becomes quarrelsome and aggressive.

When it comes to a hostile boss or other outsider, it can be more difficult to understand the reason for the behavior. But if you see your friend getting hot-tempered and constantly getting into verbal altercations, it's worth trying to understand him. A conversation in which you gently and tactfully find out the reasons for the behavior of an aggressive person will help with this. You should not ask directly, just listen carefully to all his experiences and show due understanding and sympathy.

Don't argue or object

Objections are always met with hostility, even if they are fair and justified. It makes sense for a person who is open to discussion and is able to admit that he is wrong to object. If the interlocutor is hostile, divert the conversation from the direction of “who is right” to the direction of “what can be done”, offer accessible solutions to the problem that can be applied in life. Attacks and accusations will have to be ignored; discussing them would be a big mistake.

Never make excuses, it will do nothing, it will only prolong the conversation. Your goal is to quickly end the conflict, which means you need to achieve mutual understanding.

What to do if there is an aggressor in the family

At work or among strangers, you can always avoid quarrels and just leave. But when the aggression comes from a family member, the situation becomes more complicated. You can get married and later notice a negative and angry attitude from your significant other, or experience it from a relative. In this case, it is important to learn not just to avoid conflict situations, but also to resolve them or even prevent them in advance.

Don't beat yourself up, but try to analyze your behavior. Perhaps you often ignore the requests of your loved ones or behave inappropriately, and their aggression is just a poorly chosen way to convey their desires to you. If the same mistakes are pointed out to you frequently, try correcting them and see the results. If the nagging continues, perhaps the relative was initially set up for conflict and is simply looking for an excuse.

Family is the closest people, and it is important to support them. Have a heart-to-heart talk with the aggressor, let him know that you see the problem and want to solve it. It can be more difficult to cope with the aggressive behavior of an elderly person or parents, since they have great authority in the family. But this does not mean that you should tolerate attacks in your direction. Feel free to defend your right to live peacefully in your home and look for a compromise.

Act confident

The aggressor should not show fear, confusion and confusion, because he will perceive them as signs of his superiority. Please note that in a conflict situation, a person is betrayed by nonverbal behavior, no matter what he tries to portray outwardly. Therefore, self-confidence must be either real or very well established. We recommend enrolling in psychological courses to develop self-confidence if you are not sure that you can handle it. Another option is training in acting or the psychology of influencing people. This is an opportunity to understand the general principles of dealing with difficult people and learn to take on any role, regardless of the situation that may come your way, including the role of a self-confident person.

Tools of nonverbal behavior:

  • gestures;
  • facial expressions;
  • posture and posture;
  • rate of speech;
  • breathing rhythm;
  • sight.

How to deal with a drunken aggressive person

Even the calmest people can become angry and irritable when intoxicated. In such a situation, you should be extremely careful, since under the influence of alcohol a person becomes aggressive and is capable of causing harm to both himself and others.

Do not try to reason with a drunk person by shouting and accusing him. Be calm and friendly, then he will understand that he is not really in danger and no one wants to cause harm.

Keep the situation under control and don't let him get loose, otherwise it could end in a fight. This cannot be allowed, as the person will become more incensed, and the problem will become more global.

If a person shows aggression not because he is upset about something, but because he has drunk too much, do not try to convince him that you are right. Being very intoxicated, he does not understand what he is doing, and he must act as carefully as possible. If you see a real threat, contact the appropriate services for help. When the situation gets out of control, you can call the police, making sure that the aggressor does not suspect an impending threat. In some cases, this may bring the drunk to his senses, but there is a danger that he will become even more angry, so act based on what you know about the person.

Respect your interlocutor

No matter how difficult it may be to communicate with difficult people, remember that your opponent always has the right to both error and your understanding. In most people, a respectful attitude awakens a response even in moments when the blood rushes intensely to the head. This means that you can end a conflict with just one tone of voice. Not sure how to maintain a respectful attitude until the end? Treat your opponent like someone who has had a seizure on the street. You don’t feel negative towards people when they feel bad, right? Aggression is also an attack akin to a disease.

The feeling of helplessness awakens aggression in a person and makes people attackers

The feeling of helplessness (real or imagined) is familiar to everyone without exception. Situations arise that are beyond his control and the first reaction is that people often begin to attack themselves. The feeling of lack of power is the main reason for this kind of “attack”.

Here we can draw an analogy with such a martial art as aikido. This type of wrestling uses the energy of the enemy. The founder of Aikido himself, Morihei Ueshiba, said on this occasion that they use the energy of opponents to protect them. That is, we cannot take power from someone without his consent. When we recognize his power and communicate this to our opponent with a sense of compassion, it becomes easier for us to get rid of his aggression and hostility and fewer conflicts arise.

Add positivity

According to the basics of psychology, it is seriously recommended to compliment difficult interlocutors. The main thing is that it does not look like ingratiation. Anyone can appreciate direct and honest friendliness, but no one likes sycophants. In addition, ingratiation can be perceived as a sign of weakness, and even then the opponent will definitely begin to finish you off. To avoid this, follow these rules for dealing with difficult people:

  1. Maintain dignity in everything.
  2. Smile openly, but not ingratiatingly.
  3. Don't try to calm your interlocutor, just talk to him in a positive way.
  4. Tell the truth. If you give a compliment, it should at least be similar to the truth.

Fight back

Kind and understanding people are always valued in any company and make you feel good. But sometimes it is worth showing strength of character so as not to allow yourself to be pushed around with the help of aggression.

If you have to work or communicate with a hot-tempered and tyrannical person, you should immediately show that you will not tolerate constant nagging and swearing. There is no need to respond with aggression or get into a fight. It is enough not to show that rude words offend you and firmly say “no” to all attempts to offend or offend you.

If you're wondering how to deal with an aggressive person, you'll be surprised at how simple the solution is to the problem. Develop your sense of humor. This doesn't mean you have to make fun of the bully in front of everyone. Keep the fun inside and don't take conflicts too seriously. Remember a funny joke or anecdote and think about it at a time when they try to make you angry or unsettled. Share your positivity with a hostile interlocutor, and perhaps you will be able to cheer him up and make him a little softer.

Don't make important decisions until the incident is over

If a conflict arises with a client or business partner, under no circumstances allow decisions to be made until it can be resolved. Take time, postpone key meetings, use self-regulation methods after communicating with a difficult person. Time dulls emotions and provides an opportunity to rehabilitate.

If it is impossible to stall for time, rely on an apology. Any person, even the most conflicted, can get into your position, because mistakes happen to him too. It is important that you do not try to make excuses, get away with it, or find others to blame, but openly and honestly admit the problem and offer something as compensation. Any trifle can be compensation; the gesture itself is important here: you missed something, you added something - now everything is fair.

In the case of the most stubborn opponents, you will have to not only apply generally accepted communication tactics, but also use your personal charm. However, in the end, if you really try, the deal is more likely to go through than get cancelled.

Communication is a process that we encounter every day that helps us not only survive but also lead a luxurious life. And the acting studio helps develop communication skills to ease the difficult career path to the top.

Stand up for yourself

Don't be afraid to call out the other person's bad behavior. “I believe in making timely comments,” Woodward says. “If someone calls you ‘honey’ at a meeting, don’t be silent, immediately state that you don’t like it and ask them to call you by your first name,” she continues.

If you don’t like to react right away, and even in front of everyone, then the coach advises to speak out as soon as you are ready. After the meeting, you might say, “I didn’t like that you called me ‘sweetheart.’” It's humiliating". Show that further such treatment and attitude will not lead to anything good. “Let him know: don’t mess with me, otherwise things will get worse,” Nami says.


Evgrafova Anna Borisovna, Kemerovo


During the working day you have to solve many problems, and then there are all sorts of different ones who want to muddy the waters or put a spoke in the wheels. How to deal with difficult people without damaging your own psyche?

Communication with a brawler.

This is a person who strives to be in the spotlight. How to negotiate with this? Well, first of all, it’s impossible to shout him down: he’s a professional at this. Secondly, putting him in his place is useless: people who get their way through shouting and scandal don’t really care what others think about him. It’s his scream that makes you feel uncomfortable, but the brawler at that moment feels like a fish out of water. That is, it is not possible to win on a foreign field. This means we should go a different route. Calmly, without interrupting, listen to him, let him shout to his heart’s content (this will create the illusion that the brawler is heard and, most importantly, understood), ask what he sees as a way out of the current situation and what he proposes. During a conversation, look into his eyes: this will make it clear that you are no weaker. Appeal not with emotions, but with facts: this will discourage your opponent. By using such tactics, you will ensure that the brawler understands: you are clearly not the kind of person you can wipe your feet on.

Communication with the disputant.

A debater is a constantly running vacuum cleaner, trying to suck in as many people as possible. If he managed to drag you into an argument, then you will not get out until he finally defeats you. Which exit? Since the debaters have a very high opinion of their mental abilities, knowledge in any field, life and professional experience, then we should agree with this. Aerobatics - outsmarting, pushing him to the right thought. If this doesn't work, give in to him and let him do as he sees fit. In this case, you have nothing to lose. When the debater has problems, and this will definitely happen, he himself will come to you for help. The main thing is not to warn him about this in advance!

Basic rules of behavior in a conflict situation.

  1. The rule of fair treatment of the conflict initiator.

In order for the conflict not to go down the “crooked path” from the very first step, you need to treat the initiator of the conflict fairly and, most importantly, patiently: do not immediately condemn, do not dismiss, do not scold, but listen to him attentively and kindly.

  1. Do not expand the subject of the quarrel, the conflict zone.

The subject is understood as the reason for the partner’s dissatisfaction: what specifically does not suit him. Conflict usually flares up around a specific situation, idea, or action. If it has already arisen, it is better to remain within the framework of the controversial issue and not transfer it to anything else. When there are many subjects of conflict, the quarrel inevitably drags on, and “there is no end in sight.” Reduce pure claims!

  1. The rule of positive formulation of an acute situation.

“I have a really bad headache today, could you please speak a little lower?” The initiator, as it were, finds an extraneous reason forcing him to make a claim, which weakens the tension of the situation and helps mitigate the conflict.

  1. Rule of emotional endurance.

The most mandatory condition for a dispute is the maximum possible calm and even tone of statements, accuracy and thoughtfulness of words. There should be no hint of irritation, anger, reproach, or insults towards the partner in the voice and words.

It is very difficult to remain calm when you are presented with groundless accusations, insulted, and made ridiculous (from your point of view) demands and claims. This usually indicates that the conflict is caused by some deep-seated interests that you need to take into account in order to find a solution to the problem and restore relationships.

  1. Rule of impersonal dispute.

Avoid personal conflicts that affect a person's self-esteem. It is impossible for complaints about a person’s loud telephone conversation to turn into an insult to his personality. “You’re not just a loud talker, you’re a talker!”

Scandal prevention

Troubles arise at home in the morning. As luck would have it, you can’t find the absolutely necessary documents or your car keys are lost. And the “other half”, as if she was waiting for this, adds fuel to the fire “everything needs to be put in its place in the evening, it’s generally difficult to accustom you to order...”. The result is word after word, a scandal, and now you leave, slamming the door. The mood, understandably, is ruined. And to top it all off, the boss begins to find fault with little things. You are seething inside, but you have to constantly control yourself, because making a row with your boss is more expensive for yourself.

blame others for all their troubles.

. It's easier to think that the city you live in is not the best, and there are no good, kind people in it. Observe those around you. Some faces are endearing, while others show so much anger and hatred that you want to stay away or, taking a defensive stance, strike the first blow. Very often, with our appearance, behavior, statements, and voice intonations, we set up our interlocutors for a certain style of relationship with us.

They say that if you want to change the world, you have to start with yourself.

Easy to say, but hard to do!

In addition, there are certain, fairly strict patterns according to which communication occurs.

In order to avoid conflicts and come out of them with honor, it is important to use some techniques that can help in communication. Do you always have to go ahead, swear and have conflicts in the store and at home, at the dinner table? Anyone can learn the art of communication if they wish.

To begin with, it’s worth learning that a person likes things best when people agree with him.

In some situations, it is more profitable to play along with your interlocutor. By sincerely agreeing with a potential brawler, you completely disarm him. At the same time, all his behavioral patterns are broken. Therefore, remember that instead of entering into conflict, it is better to extinguish it at the very beginning.

The brawler, by provoking us into a quarrel, receives benefits.

1. Scandal in order to free yourself from accumulated negative emotions.

2. Unconsciously, the brawler wants to relieve nervous and muscle tension,

accumulated from the difficult current life.

3. Having argued with you, the brawler gets the opportunity to discuss your “bad” behavior

with your friends and family, if you fell for the scandal and began to be rude or fight.

4. If there are witnesses to the scandal, you can also get their moral and legal support, and if you’re lucky, then financial compensation.

Also, after conflicts, relationships often deteriorate.

(remember how in the old joke - “the money, however, was later found, but the sediment remained”).

There are ways to help stop an emerging scandal in the bud. It is important to learn to break the usual, well-worn pattern of scandals.

The fact is that the conflicting parties mutually warm each other up emotionally by throwing accusations. It turns out that when you answer, you give free emotional energy to your opponent, which is immediately returned to you. It turns out that it’s more expensive for yourself.

It is known that any person enjoys being understood.

If you immediately agreed with the arguments of the brawler, then his anger begins to give way to surprise. You yourself will definitely notice that by unexpectedly agreeing with the brawler, you instantly emotionally “de-energized” your opponent. A prerequisite is to agree with the brawler sincerely. There is no place for irony, otherwise you will add fuel to the fire!

In order to sincerely agree with all the nonsense that they are trying to dump on your head and thereby provoke you into a scandal, it is also important to learn to respect and love yourself.

Yes, it is positive self-esteem that allows you to become less dependent on the opinions of other people. It's important to understand that not all people like you. An accomplished person cannot please absolutely everyone. And you, as an accomplished person, have the right to carefully protect yourself without getting involved in unnecessary conflicts.

Sometimes, it is possible to predict the emergence of a conflict situation. And in this case, you can make the depreciation stroke first.

This is called
preventive depreciation.
In chess, one often sacrifices a piece to win. Such games are called gambits. An experienced chess player is fluent in this technique. These principles can be successfully applied to prevent an impending scandal and your own gain.

Think about what causes this behavior

People who constantly behave passive-aggressively are not always stupid. Perhaps they simply do not know how to communicate or in this way avoid an open quarrel. McKee says passive-aggressive behavior is typically a way to “get your point across, show your emotions, without real, constructive conflict.” This is how their ego is expressed,” Su says. Keep this in mind, but don't try to diagnose your colleagues. “Take the situation as it comes,” Su adds. “This is an unproductive outburst of emotions that a person is unable to express constructively.”

Recognize the underlying problem

When you have calmed down and feel able to communicate productively, approach your colleague. Say, “You were clear last time. As far as I understand, you think...” This will help him identify the essence of the problem. Working together, you can make a difference, as McKee explains. Speak calmly, monotonously, and do not focus on how aggressively or offensively he expressed his feelings. “Ignore the toxic side of things completely,” Su advises. “Sometimes it’s enough for a person to have his opinion heard.”

( 2 ratings, average 4 out of 5 )
Did you like the article? Share with friends:
For any suggestions regarding the site: [email protected]
Для любых предложений по сайту: [email protected]