7 part series: How to Deal with Difficult People ~ Part 5/7

How to Deal with Difficult People ~ Part 5/7

In this 7 part series, we have covered:

  • 10 common reasons people can be so difficult – Part 1
  • Practical strategies to turn the impossible to POSSIBLE – Part 2
  • 3 ways to strengthen your relationship – Part 3
  • How man’s best friend can also be man’s savior – Part 4
  • 3 ways to save your blood pressure and sanity – Part 5
  • How your car could save your relationship – Part 5
  • 5 things to know before you go
  • The ONE thing that makes all the difference




3 ways to save your blood pressure and sanity


1.    Don’t always agree with a difficult person.  This feeds reinforcement that they are right. Guess what happens then? They continue breeding more negativity.



2.    Set your boundaries. Let the person know you would appreciate engaging in positive, uplifting conversations and let them know that, if they continue, you’ll exit the conversation. The other option is to simply walk away. I would reserve that for after you’ve set boundaries and they’ve demonstrated the same behavior.



3.    When someone has a problem they need help with, they will usually ask. If you know someone well enough to discern the difference then go with the flow and brainstorm or problem solve away! Difficult people don’t want their problem solved. They want to stay in their misery.  One of the worst things you can do is go into problem solving mode with someone who always has something negative to say. You’ll hear more negativity and more problems!  



How your car could save your relationship




Four ways your car is an effective partner in breaking down walls and bringing more positive energy in your relationship:


1.    In part one of this series, I discussed how someone losing control over their lives can make them extremely difficult, hard-headed, ornery, and the list goes on. If someone has lost control of some or all aspects of their life, ask them what one thing they would like to do or a place they would like to see. If possible, take them there. 


 We did this with my dad time and time again. It works wonders. My dad felt understood and respected. This goes a long way in maintaining positive relationships. My dad suddenly looked for the good. I think he felt his ‘cave time’ was satisfied and he could come out and give to us because he felt fulfilled.



2.    Drive them around and if they get on a negative track, ask questions or point things out to distract them from all the negative and critical aspects they are talking about. There is bound to be a distraction to call attention to when you are driving. Repeat as often as needed:-)


3.    Tell them all the reasons you are grateful for them – you have a captive audience. They aren’t going anywhere! Don’t expect anything in return. You are not after any reciprocation at this point.  A related tip is to ask legacy, goal, bucket list or other appropriate questions to help them see things differently. Click the links to my other posts about legacy, goals and bucket lists for ideas.


4.    As appropriate to the relationship, go on a trip together.  There are many movies like National Lampoon Vacation, Griswold vacations (who can forget these!?!  and then there is one of my favorites, RV.   Forced family time together can bring families closer. Some of my favorite memories of our immediate family include when we were all in a car together for an extended period. After the annoyance, drama and such, I have found these experienced to bring us closer together.

Beau Tandy_Elisala

Remember, there’s also inviting canines and/or felines to join the fun! 




If you spend more time with difficult people at work than you spend with your family and friends outside of work, it really pays to do what you can for everyone’s benefit. If the difficult people in your life are close family, I recommend doing everything you can to coach them without realizing they are being coached.              Grin_Coach_TandyElisala

If the difficult people in your life are friends, I recommend you think about how these friendships benefit you and what you are gaining from the situation. Life is too short to surround yourself with negative, difficult people. Remember, your influence is strongly affected by the sum of the five people you surround  yourself with the most. Are these relationships lifting you up to be your highest and best? Food for thought.


Your Turn:  Which tip do you relate more to and why? Does this spark any other ideas you have to share with us? Please comment below.   


If you missed any earlier posts in this 7 part series, you can access previous topics by accessing the links at the beginning of this post.

  • Next up:  5 things to know before you go


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Tandy Elisala Bio PicTandy 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

FREE GIFT:       “Harness Your Power Within: Proven Tools to Transform Your Life TODAY”    Harness your power within-3dcoverC

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© 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 tandy@tandyelisala.com






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Tandy Elisala

Family Caregiver Coach, Cancer Empowerment Advocate and Chief Inspiration Officer at Center for Inspiring Greatness | Empowered Family Caregiver
Tandy Elisala is passionate about helping family caregivers go from being overwhelmed and stressed to empowered and calm. Tandy went through cancer four times and learned how to heal using conventional, complementary, and alternative therapy. Tandy left her corporate career to take care of both parents simultaneously while raising three kids as a single mom. She took care of both parents for 2 1/2 years until their respective deaths. Tandy now teaches what she learned on her journey. Tandy is a family caregiver coach, a multiple best-selling author, inspirational speaker and mom to three adult kids, one angel dog and one diva cat.

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10 replies
  1. Liliana Marsden
    Liliana Marsden says:

    What a wonderful post and blog which I am honoured to have found.

    You are truly an inspiration in this month, full of promise to me as it is a New Year but still battling with BELIEF and REGRETS about what I did not do in 2013.

    I will follow this blog and register with the blog.

    Well done.

    • TandyMain
      TandyMain says:

      Aaawww. Thanks for your comments Liliana. Remember that the only thing you have control over is what happens this day forward. I recommend releasing, as best you can, feelings of regret about what did or didn’t happen in 2013. You did the best you could with the tools you had at the time. Period! Sometimes, we can get caught up in self-limiting beliefs and can be a difficult cycle to change. 2014 is shaping up to be your best year yet! And so it is.

    • TandyMain
      TandyMain says:

      Thanks for your post Brenda. Temper tantrums sounds like a great book. I appreciate your comments. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Magical Mystical Mimi
    Magical Mystical Mimi says:

    I tend to be very blunt. I can see toxic people coming a mile away and I just don’t even deal with them. If I find myself in a situation where I’m suddenly stuck with someone negative, more often than not I just tell them, I don’t have time for the doom n’ gloom. – I don’t. – And I walk away. It’s a little more difficult when it’s family but I’ve set my boundaries there too and although I tend to deal with family in a much gentler and caring way, I still don’t have time for the negativity or toxicity. I’ll help people as much as I can but if they don’t want to help themselves I have to remove myself or risk getting sucked into the dark vortex of all things negative.
    Stopping by from the UBC, FB.
    Happy New Year!

    • TandyMain
      TandyMain says:

      Thanks for stopping by and for your candid comments. Good for YOU! We should all take responsibility for the energy we bring in the world and by stopping negativity in its tracks, you are doing just that! The dark vortex is a bad place to be…

  3. Debbie
    Debbie says:

    Tandy, I love this! So glad to “meet” you. My mom was a negative Nellie, but for some reason became a completely different, very happy person when she could go to a casino, so whenever I could plan a trip with her or take her to one, all was well : ) As far as negative, difficult friends go…well, at this point in my life they have to go. No room for that. I’ll be back to read the rest in your series.

    • TandyMain
      TandyMain says:

      Hi Debbie, it’s great to ‘meet’ you too! It’s fascinating that your mother magically changed when she was in a casino. Hummm. Smart woman to always take her to one when you planned a trip. I agree with you about negative friends. How about colleagues? Do you have any difficult colleagues, and, if so, how do you handle them?


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