How to Deal with Difficult People ~ Part 3 of 7
3 ways to strengthen your relationship
If you or someone you know would benefit from understanding why people behave so stubbornly and learning practical strategies to turn bullheadedness into levelheadedness, you are reading the right article!
In this 7 part series, you are learning:
- 10 common reasons your friend or loved one is so difficult (week one)
- Practical strategies to turn the impossible to POSSIBLE (week two)
- 3 ways to strengthen your relationship – week three
- How man’s best friend can also be man’s savior
- 3 ways to save your blood pressure and sanity
- How your car could save your relationship
- 5 things to know before you go
- The ONE thing that makes all the difference
Sometimes, dealing with people can seem like a contact sport. Have you ever felt that way? Before we dig into the specifics of strengthening your relationships on and off the field, there are a few things to note:
The relationship building strategies listed below apply more to family, friends and other close relationships. Although there are things listed you can do with colleagues you work with or other difficult people.
A question I get a lot is, “How do I keep my sanity and take care of my *%&# mother or father? Of course, you can substitute mother or father for any other person you may provide care for. When anyone seems ungrateful, bitter, angry, etc… it is certainly taxing physically and emotionally. Here are three ways to strengthen your relationship:
1. If possible, change the environment.
Food – Fun – Laughter. The way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. Well, okay, maybe not everybody! Most people enjoy great food and if they are ‘removed’ from the environment you are typically in together, you may find common ground. I have done this countless times with family and colleagues. It’s amazing what you learn about someone when taken out of their element.
Aim to get underlying issues to the surface; addressing the root cause of their difficult behavior. This is particularly valuable if you have an idea of what’s causing it.
2. Understand the three C’s.
Have you ever had someone who just wouldn’t stay away from you to the point that you felt suffocated? That’s a clinger. How about the controlling type ? Oh, and then there’s my personal favorite: the competitive type. Let’s take a look at these difficult types of people and some practical solutions.
With clinging types, show them how to handle things on their own. If they give you praise about how much better you do something and would you do xxx for them, don’t do it! Be strong, coach them to take responsibility for themselves. You might even tell them you need them to do something. If they lack follow through and walk away, well, you have one less clinger on your back.
The key with controlling types is to be (act) strong and steadfast. At heart, they fear they are inadequate. Making other people feel bad is their defense mechanism. Be strong and stand up for yourself. Above all, if you feel a contest of who’s right and who’s wrong coming on—you’ll never outplay them. Just let them think they are right. It’s not worth your energy. Caveat: If you are married to a controlling type, ignoring their rants is only going to make YOU feel worse. You must address this issue alone or through a professional or risk having your physical, emotional, mental and/or spiritual health compromised.
Competitive types want to win…sometimes at all costs. Most competitive types are also generous as it improves their self-image. If you have a strong disagreement, stay ‘poker faced.’ If you show emotion, it only serves to fuel them more. Graciously exit the conversation by saying you need to research or think about what they’ve said.
3. Emphasize the positive.
a. Talk about good memories with them (assuming you have some).
c. Be courageous and share things from your life about when you felt unneeded, unappreciated, etc…If you show your vulnerability, they’ll see you as someone who understands what they are feeling. It may help them open up and share insights with you.
It’s your turn: Do you have anything to add? Do you have a successful way to deal with difficult people? What’s your favorite part of this article? Please comment below.
Next up: How man’s best friend can also be man’s savior
Dedicated to YOUR success,
Tandy Elisala, MA, CPSC, ACT, CHt, TFT-fAlg, is founder and CEO of Center for Inspiring Greatness.™ Tandy is a Care Giving Expert, Certified Professional Success Coach, Author and Consultant. She is certified in various alternative-healing modalities. Tandy has 25 years’ proven experience as a corporate executive, speaker and coach. Tandy was a full-time caregiver for both parents simultaneously while kicking cancer’s butt a third time and raising three children as a single parent. Tandy lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her three kids, two dogs, and three cats. Tandy’s book, Healing Through the Chaos: Practical Care-Giving is available for pre-order at http://www.tandyelisala.com.
© Copyright 2013, Tandy Elisala, http://www.centerforinspiringgreatness.com and http://www.tandyelisala.com. Permission is granted to copy, forward, or distribute this article for non-commercial use only, as long as this copyright byline and bio, in totality, is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references. For reprint permission for any commercial use, in any form of media, please contact Tandy at email@example.com.
Join our Facebook community at http://www.facebook.com/groups/EmpoweredFamilyCaregiver
©Copyright 2003-Present All rights reserved
Latest posts by Tandy Elisala (see all)
- Family Caregiving – A Stepping Stone to a Career - February 8, 2019
- Empowered Family Caregiver Blog Interview Highlights with Crystal Kelliher - January 3, 2019
- 7 Ways to Survive Being a Sandwiched Family Caregiver - December 19, 2018