HOW DO DEAL WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE
Coach Lorne McAlister
People buy products like “Horrible Bosses” because they work for these nasty people.
Life is sprinkled with bulling bosses, sneering sibling, prying neighbours and insulting in-laws. They are nasty people who make environments toxic and, as unbelievable as it may be, a new study found that “less agreeable” employees earn higher paychecks (18 per cent more among men, five percent among women) than their nicer counterparts.
“Their biggest motivation is that they actually feel inferior to you, so they’ll slash you down to their level,” said psychologist Jay Carter, author of NASTY PEOPLE: HOW TO STOP BEING HURT BY THEM WITHOUT STOOPING TO THEIR Level (McGraw Hill) “The most important step is not to take what they say or do personally,” Carter said. “It is not you, it’s them.”
OK, sometimes it is you.
About one percent of the population is made up of deliberately malicious, anti-social types out to manipulate and control people for their own gain without conscience; another 10 per cent were subjected to others anti-social behavior and picked up the bad habits; and then there are the rest of us, who have moments of meanness when we’re stressed, insecure or succumbing to any number of our baser human emotions. Often we do so unconsciously, to our parents, kids, best friends. Carter calls it engaging in “invalidating” behavior.
Here’s a few of Carter’s suggestion for dealing with difficult people.
SEE IT FOR WHAT IT IS. Rather than internalize the criticism or dwell on what you might have done to deserve the attack, recognize that the nasty person has personal issues.
GET AWAY. Exit the room, the conversation, terminate the call, leave town. Calmly, efficiently and without saying anything you’d regret.
GET THEM ON YOUR SIDE. Invalidators respond well to three things, affinity, acknowledgment and admiration. Repeat back to them what they have said so that they will feel understood, and begin any argument with a compliment.
DIFFUSE WITH HUMOUR. Often everyone is laughing at the end.
SILENT CONFRONTATION. Rather than fire back or get into a row, you can confront without opening your mouth. Just maintain eye contact and give a calm smile that indicates you know what your tormentor is doing; eventually they’ll feel so uncomfortable they’ll stop or leave.
COME AGAIN? Ask someone to repeat their nasty remark (I’m sorry, what did you just call me?) forces them to own up to what they just said -; many people, embarrassed, will water it down the second time around.
STATE THE OBVIOUS. If, say, a co-worker berates you during a meeting, point out the facts -; “You are yelling at me” or “You are embarrassing me in front of everyone” -; and ask to talk about it later. You can always find truth in your feelings, such as “I feel put on the spot.”
ONE ON ONE. If it is not important, let it go. If it is important, get them alone and start by saying something like “Maybe you didn’t know…” Some mean people deliver their biggest sting in front of an audience, and alone they might be apologetic
MIRROR. If someone accuses you of stealing or cheating and they are way off bas, ask them if they are guilt of the same thing.
Life is always punctuated with nasty people. Jesus knew this to be true. His advice includes these statements.
· Turn the other cheek.
· Go the extra mile.
· Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out your true selves, your God-created selves. Matthew 5:38 - 48
Oh yes, find a life coach who can help you handle the nasty in you and the nasty in others. Call me 780 991-6975. I can help you move forward especially with the difficult people you do your life with.