The workplace isn’t always a happy place. We all need to do our best in order to move up within the company, but sometimes it’s not possible, either with hard-ass colleagues or managers who are difficult at times. 

This blog is going to discuss how you can build and maintain relationships with difficult people and also look at some examples of this happening, as well as offer guidance on where you might start looking for ways to deal with difficult people in your own life. Here at has some more information on how to deal with difficult people.

A lot of people believe that difficult people exist in the world just to test how much you can take. They might even think that difficult people are just an inevitable part of life, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Difficult people can make your life miserable; they might even cost you money, opportunities, and personal relationships. So why not learn how to deal with them? This article will teach you how to respond appropriately when dealing with difficult people in business ventures or personal careers.

  • The first step in dealing with difficult people is understanding what makes them difficult. The first thing that differentiates difficult people from easy-going people is their inability to admit that they are wrong. People who have difficulty admitting their mistakes often feel the need to be right all the time. 
  • The second thing that sets difficult people apart from others is their inability to control how they respond when they are wrong. Because of this, they are quick to lash out at everyone, especially anyone who points out their mistakes or tries to correct them.
  • The next step in dealing with difficult people is figuring out how you can avoid making them angry at you. 
  • Difficult people are not only angry at the people who point out their mistakes; they are angry at anyone who reminds them of those mistakes. They will try to make you angry as well, but you can easily avoid this by being extra nice to them and pointing out their mistakes as little as possible.

You’re on the phone with your boss, who is critiquing your work for the third time this week. You can’t push him off any longer, so you bite your tongue and let him finish his rant. But after the call, you discover that he’s written up a performance review saying you lacked enthusiasm and didn’t complete any ‘extra-curricular’ activities.

You’ve got to change the way you deal with difficult people in order to maintain healthy relationships at work or home. To help you do this, here are five pointers to help you develop better relationships with your boss.

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1. Don’t be paranoid

Many people are paranoid about their work performance before they even get a chance to prove themselves.  Some consider it a sign of narcissism, but paranoid people are simply afraid. They worry that bad things will happen, not realizing that their fears or insecurities prevent them from actually doing the job well enough to get good feedback.

Instead of listening to negative information about yourself, ask questions about what you can do differently in order to improve the situation, and be supportive when you’re given good feedback.

2. Be Positive

It’s hard to be positive when you’re feeling attacked or intimidated, but the more positive you are, the more opportunities will open up for you.  When your boss gives criticism, take it as an opportunity to improve yourself rather than as a sign that he doesn’t like you. 

Avoid saying things like ‘I’m not able to do that’ or ‘I can’t do that’. Instead say, ‘how about this?’ and offer up an alternative solution.  If your boss says something like “you need to” take it as a compliment; he thinks you’re capable of doing the job well enough to make the requests himself.

3. Find common ground

Instead of concentrating on what you don’t have in common with your boss, find common interests. If she’s a Republican and you’re a Democrat, look for an aspect of her political viewpoint that you can both agree on. 

If she likes designer shoes and you’re a shopper at Payless, start a conversation about shopping.  If you’re stuck in an elevator with someone uncomfortable to be around, try breaking the ice by saying something like “what’s your favorite movie?” or “do you have any pets?”

4. Look at the big picture

It’s tempting to focus on one detail and get upset about it, but looking at the bigger picture helps put things into perspective. 

If your boss says “you could have done” instead tell yourself “that’s not a bad thing. It means that he wants me to take my work more seriously and that’s a good thing.”

5. Make sure you’re not a victim

If a difficult person makes you feel bad about yourself, it’s time to take concrete steps to change it. If your boss is always picking fights with you over small things, try challenging him back.  

If your boss criticizes something you did or doesn’t give you credit for, don’t fall into the victim role and complain about it in front of other people. Instead ask him out in person and tell him what he can do better in order to improve the situation.


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