Wouldn’t it be ideal if everyone was sweet, funny, agreeable and flexible? In utopia perhaps, but in a real world such as ours we will have to deal with all sorts of people and characteristics; and though we’re not in a position to judge anyone but come on… admit it! I’m sure you know a person or two who are difficult, putting it mildly, or somewhat toxic if we’re being totally honest about it. How can you deal with difficult people without hurting anyone’s feelings …especially your own? Read our tips below…
#1 Bathroom Break
A bathroom escape is your best bet to help you deal with difficult or toxic people. Whenever you find yourself getting sucked into an unwanted argument or a little battle zone, make a quick bathroom stop to gather your wits and take a few deep breaths. These breaths will ground you and diffuse some of your tension to help you face up. Take a few deep breaths through your nose while expanding chest and lower belly. Exhale slowly through your mouth.
#2 Hide Notifications
You can simply mute the alerts on frantic anxious texts from certain people who interrupt your day and make you lose your precious focus. We don’t recommend using this with your boss or close family members however.
#3 Grey Rock Method
The best way to deal with difficult people especially narcissists is to act as boring and uninteresting as can be. You are even encouraged to wear drab clothes. They will lose interest in you and move on eventually.
#4 Have Realistic Expectations
If you’re the type of person who constantly works on improving and enhancing yourself please don’t expect the same from others. Some people are simply stuck in their ways and will never change. Either move on or accept them as they are.
#5 Make It Short
If you must visit that aunt of yours or some other person who will suck away your energy, do it by all means but aim to make it short.
#6 Stay Calm
When difficult people try to provoke you, try your best to remain grounded, calm and composed.
#7 Set Boundaries
Difficult people try to guilt you or dump their problems on you, or to make you feel responsible for things. Be firm, remind yourself that this is not your concern, and break it down to them gently yet firmly.
#8 Be Solution Oriented
So what if your friend’s car broke down or her pipes are frozen. Enough with the complaints; be solution-oriented and look for immediate ways to solve or diffuse a situation.
#9 You May Be Right
How to answer that friend or family member who constantly finds things to criticise? By simply answering “You may be right” and leaving it at that. No buts no justifications. They will find it difficult to argue back.
Find a trust-worthy friend and vent. Your sister driving you nuts but feel bad discussing her behind her back? A trusted close friend will understand your needs to vent.
#11 Small Talk
You have to master the art of useless small talk with certain types of people who will always jump at a chance to criticise and condemn. Don’t give them food for thought …or talk.
#12 Don’t Reveal Too Much
In a toxic relationship you never know when the sails will snap and the relationship starts going south. Don’t reveal anything too personal or intimate that could be used against you in the future.
#13 Limit Your Engagement
If you’re trying to disintegrate a certain relationship then limit your engagement over social media or text. Don’t feel obliged to answer needy texts promptly. Break the pattern and train them to expect less from you.
#14 Practice Detachment
It is very easy to get sucked into difficult people’s emotional tornadoes. Learn to listen without comment, judgement or attachment and move on.
#15 “I Have To Think About It”
Six simple words but with magical powers. Practice saying these words before committing yourself to anything you might regret later on. Your cousin needs help with her bridal shower? You will have to think about it …. assess your work and life loads before committing yourself to anything.
#16 Stop Apologising
If it’s definitely your fault then own up to it and apologise; otherwise refuse to take unwanted blame and stop feeling guilty for everything and anything.
#17 Let Them Go
If all else fails and some people are just bringing you constant negativity then it’s time to let them go. That is if your sanity depends on it!