Tips on Dealing with Difficult People

I am positive that we all have to deal with difficult people in our lives. The question is: How do we deal with them? Do you wildly shout profanities at them, thus getting fired and publicly humiliating yourself? Do you find creative ways of dealing with people that are difficult? There are many ways of dealing with people that cause stress in your life, and I would like to offer a few ways that I have dealt with difficult people in the past. The first I will openly admit wasn't my best choice.

First of all, you could do like I have in the past and let the difficulty slide as if it never happened at all. All this does it let the problem fester and boil. Eventually tempers flare, and you want to hurt someone. One day you walk by your supervisor in the hallway and he/she utters some kind of derogatory comment as you pass. You then stop in your tracks, turn around and confront them about their commentary on your apparently distasteful behavior. This then could go two ways: you could leave with a better understanding of one another, or you could start cursing wildly at one another until you “feel better.” Another result of this type of confrontation is the possibility of firing.

Secondly you could tackle this situation creatively. If you are a writer you can do like I have in the past and write them into a piece of fiction. You can write them into a poem, or a short play, you can even write them off of a cliff if you so wish to. If you are musical, you can write a song about them. You could write about how they wronged you. You can write about how you will never trust them again. The best part about this is that whatever you write, it is yours; no one needs to see it.

Another way that I deal with difficult people is by going to my Church. Everything seems to fall to the foreground. If you are a person of faith, praying and just contemplating your life, and the mysteries of your faith, this takes away the thought of the difficulties you are facing; at least temporarily. Kneeling in the pew at Mass praying, nothing else crosses my mind but that moment.

If you are like me and can get lost in the pages of a poem, play or novel, that can help to deal with anxiety brought on by difficult people. The depth of characters and plot can get you lost in the moment, and help you to forget the current situation. Also helpful, is if you have a creative imagination and can imagine yourself in the scenario you are reading about.

Another thing that helps me (that will just sound ridiculous) is when I can just play with my dog. He is so carefree and full of life that it doesn't matter who gets in his way. He doesn't have to worry about dealing with difficult people, or unless he isn't getting his daily biscuit or a pat on the head.

Difficult people can make your day almost impossible. When you go to work, they can consume your thoughts. I know that for me, personally, there is nothing worse that having someone treat you like you are insignificant. There is nothing worse than being treated at your job as if you don't know what you are doing, when you clearly do. I know it sounds strange, but when you have people that treat you like you are mud on their shoes and there is nothing that you can do, you just simply learn to deal with it. I learned to deal with it by occupying my mind with my faith, novels, poetry and music. You do what you have to do.

•  Brandy Woodruff