We have to deal with difficult people at some time or the other. It can be your boss, your neighbor, the butcher or worse, someone in your family. The main task here is not to lose your cool, but to be the same person that you are.
Here are some strategies you can use while dealing with such people. Remember that these are just strategies, and you will achieve success only after you learn how to use them effectively.
If you lose your patience, you have joined the battle on their terms. Breathe slowly and stick to the point. Once they see that they cannot agitate you, and neither can they change the topic, they usually tend to relent a little.
It is important that you maintain a distance from such persons. Often their behavior is seen as a personal attack, and if you are able to detach yourself and take an impersonal view, you will be able to assess that, it is usually never anything personal and it is just their general attitude towards everyone in general.
You can also ensure that you have very little face-to-face meetings with them and use other forms of communication like email or text messages. Speaking on the telephone is also a good option, as the amount of conversation will be limited.
Interrupt when things go out of control
When you see that a situation is getting out of control, interrupt and stop the person immediately. Suggest taking a small break and meeting later. This will help calm down both the sides and give both an equal opportunity, to think and reflect on what happened.
You must stop wishing that, things were different and accept the fact that people are difficult in general, and do not have a personal agenda against you. Once you accept this fact, you will not dread facing and handling any person.
Do not give up
Lastly, do not give up. Dealing with difficult people requires a lot of patience and time. The best way is to stop letting these people interfere with your effectiveness. This way you will enjoy your work and will feel more confident.
Remember that you have the right to choose the people in your life. If someone is making life difficult for you, stop and assess if you really need that person in your life.
And if you cannot ask the person to leave you alone, then you and that person in question must sit down and discuss the issues. Maybe the other person too thinks you are difficult. Talking and agreeing on some compromises is usually the best way to resolve the differences.