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Difficult People

by Archives January 28, 2004

Know-it-alls, negative “wet blankets,” gossips and bossy people can all cause many problems.

Assertive communication – where you state the problem, how you feel, what you need and the consequences if things do not change – is usually helpful. But with certain people, even these techniques do not seem to work!

If you are having trouble with a certain person, first ask yourself: “Are they always difficult or are they a reasonable person who is going through a stressful time? If the answer is “always” here are some suggestions.


Realize that their unpleasant behaviour probably comes from their own difficulty adjusting to life’s problems because of their personality or temperament.

Difficult people may inherit their personality or perhaps have been affected by some kind of abusive, dysfunctional environment in childhood.

X-ray eyes

Imagine you have “X-ray eyes” and you can see through their skull. See a green fungus growing on their brain, making them act the way they do. Let’s all work to find a cure!

Make it a joke

Picture a large sign hung around their neck saying, “It’s not just you I do this to…it’s everyone!”


Quit Taking It Personally!


You may have to take steps to avoid a difficult person. If you do not see this as a current option, try to understand why they are the way they are. Rehearse what you need to say to them and use relaxation techniques to stay calm as you interact with them.


Last, but not least try to find some humour in each encounter and continue to work on changing your reaction to the situation, because trying to change others is usually a huge waste of time!

So laugh it off, be aware, see through, rehearse and QTIP.

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