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Getting Along with Difficult People

Getting Along With Difficult People

We all have 'em in our lives. Those people who when you see them coming everyone turns and walks the other way. But there is a way to get along with difficult people and it may just help you become a better person along the way.

Let’s take a look at just a few helpful tips that not only will help to smooth the savage beast and the office but will make you a better person all around.

Be yourself

In the game of life being authentically you is important. Changing to suit everyone and situations only works for so long. Besides, it is exhausting and phony. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to who complain about being anxious and frankly physically sick in the workplace. The culprit, jumping through hoops trying to please people.

All the while the remedy was for them to be authentic.

What we’re talking about here isn’t being phony, it’s adjusting and adapting your authentic self to get along with people who are difficult to get along with.

Assess the Situation

So you’ve decided to be your authentic self. That's a good thing. But you still need to assess your situation. Usually difficult people suffer from a couple of common life events. It’s up to you to figure that out and act accordingly.

Is this person a male or a female, Black or white, good looking or maybe not so. All of these, though they are generalizations, are important factors typical to people who stir up trouble in an office. Once you’ve been able to assess your situation, and only after that, should you start trying to implement any game plan or adjustment in How you address these people.

I’ve seen people who think they know exactly what they’re doing and find out pretty soon they’ve made a wrong assessment of a situation. Here’s an example. You walk into the room trying to be the life of the party and get shot down, because you didn’t realize that this was a trigger for the difficult person or you decide that you would play your music louder than usual and dance around the office trying to be the life of the party. And all you got was a sneer.

We have to be smart about how we Interact with our coworkers but how will you know unless you do a simple assessment.

Be the Light in the Room

I love this next section, because this really is more for you than it is for the difficult person. Being the light in the room requires a little extra work on your part but the returns are tremendous.

Being the light in the room means you have to work on “you” being a likable person. What this requires is for you to see how you are as a person; How your attitudes are and how you treat people.

The light in the room creates an environment where people want to be in your presence. Maybe it’s the way you talk, maybe it’s the attitude that you have in situations. All of these work together to bring light and harmony into a situation or meeting.

The amazing thing about light is that darkness or ill or dare I say, difficult people find it impossible to be difficult, when everything around them is pleasing and uplifting.

As a matter of fact, unless they are just determined to be upset in life, the light that you will bring into the situation or the office or the meeting is infectious. My wife is a great example of this.

One of her coworkers was a very pessimistic person, who hated life and was not afraid of telling anybody. It took my wife several months of working around her for that thin veneer of antisocial ism to meltaway. Ironically, this once difficult coworker is now a loving part of our close, inner circle of friends. You would never know at one time she was a scowling mess.

Darkness has no place to hide when it comes to light. And it cannot exist in a lit room. Even a little bit of light in a dark room is able to cast out darkness. You can be that light in any room.

Kill Em With Kindness

There is a saying that “it’s easier to catch flies with honey.” The same can be said, “kill em with kindness”, though difficult people seem outwardly to be standoffish and cruel, inside they are really little children, wanting someone to be kind to them. Most likely these people have spent an entire lifetime being disappointed. It may have been so bad where they put up a wall around themselves to protect their most vulnerable part which is their emotions. You can be that person in their lives, that is able to break down this wall by just being kind.

No one is saying that you have to go up to them and try to buy their love, but a simple word of kindness goes a long way, in addition, prolonged kindness is the best medicine for anyone who is being difficult in life.

Let’s go back to the example of my wife in her office. I mentioned her coworker who was a very difficult person, but it wasn’t just her coworker. It was the entire office. They had been accustomed to working in a difficult office life. Yes, they got things done, but there was no laughter. There was no genuine camaraderie in the office.

My wife, who is a joy to be around, not only killed em with kindness, but she did it for a number of years. Now when you walk in the office they’re playing Christian music, they're laughing, having fun and anyone who comes in that office has to change, because the office is that way.

I want to repeat this, difficult people want to be loved, honored, cherished, and to be in an environment where other people are that way also. Left in a kind environment, a difficult person, becomes what God wants them to be, which is somebody who enjoys life.

This is where it comes back to you and how this benefits you the most. We all want to live in an environment where good things are happening. By becoming a better person, more in-tune with your surroundings and being the light of the room, not only will it help other people who are in your office, but it will help you too.

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