You don’t make peace with your friends. You make peace with your enemies. ~President Barack Obama
"The wheat and the tare grow together… one rotten apple ruins the bunch!" We’ve heard these adages before Royal ☥ Nation yet, no one talks about how to deal with them, or to be perfectly blunt, no one talks about how to deal with “difficult people.” Because silence, as loud and bold as it is – looks a lot like compliance and enabling, one would presume we have chosen to accept certain behaviors and certain footholds from certain folks, as par for the course. Can we snap out of the norm? And how exactly, does a person become difficult to deal with?
In a previous post, I talked about putting an end to people pleasing. It is my opinion that people just experience an accidental addiction to doing it - people pleasing that is. I view it as a constant inner battle or power struggle to take a stand with fixes and tactics, while simultaneously experiencing the overwhelming emotion from the mounting disappointing failures and lack of response from others. The merry-go-round of their frustrations causes them to become the difficult ones, as they perceive no one will follow the rules they have established for others around them to live by. Sounds like a science fiction flick right? To be perfectly clear, principalities in high places are hovering over you in hopes that you sabotage yourself. We have to choose to peel away the layers of isms and schisms of being followers of a religion or showing Webster's dictionary love and niceties, to abiding by and under the word of the Most High God. We must watch, fight and pray that we don’t become what we claim to dislike and shun. Therefore, it is important to be cognizant of how to respond to rude or difficult people – lest there be signs people consider YOU to be “a little too much to handle" - Ouch! Here are detailed tips on dealing with difficult people:
1. Detach yourself – picturing yourself detached from the situation, perhaps looking down from above, helps you to remove the emotion and as a by-product, reduce friction. Telling yourself that this person is not worth your emotional energy makes it easier to keep a healthy distance and not get dragged into a lengthy dispute. To achieve this you may need to work on building up your self-esteem and self-confidence. Try seeing your ultimate aim as having a ‘water off ducksback’ approach with difficult people. Don’t allow the person to see you wound up or behaving irrationally.
2. Don’t take it personally – Avoid personalizing someone else’s behavior. This isn’t a carte blanche for excusing poor, unkind, or bullying behavior though. Often the behavior of others says far more about them than it does about you. When we remind ourselves of this, we tend to take the difficult person's actions less personally. This makes it easier to see their behavior more objectively. It also helps to be aware of cultural differences that might be behind someone’s behavior; it’s not personal, it’s just their way of communicating. This is worth bearing in mind when dealing with difficult people at work who come from different backgrounds and walks of life to you.
3. Separate person and issue – If you struggle to handle difficult people’s behavior, it can sometimes be helpful to look at the situation as two separate parts: the person and the issue. Be soft on the person, and hard on the issue. This enables you to manage the difficult relationship whilst achieving what you need from a business point of view. In order to do that you may need to practice some conversation starters in advance such as: “I appreciate how hard you’ve worked on that, we now need to…” or “That’s really helpful information, how do you propose I…”
4. Pick your battles – Sometimes, and particularly when you’re trying to deal professionally with difficult people at work, it helps to pick your battles. Don’t get involved unless you have to. Do a mental cost-benefit analysis on workplace relationships. It may be that the negatives of getting involved outweigh the benefits. It might be best to just accept that rocking the boat will be counter-productive. This may be particularly true when the difficult person is a colleague who is more senior to you, or indeed your boss. You’ll need to make a choice in situations like this as to whether you get involved, particularly if dealing with the difficult person relates to doing your job properly.
5. Inject some humor – Many difficult situations can be deflected with a disarming smile or a good dose of well-timed humor. This can make it possible to address a difficult issue without confronting someone into further aggravation. Injecting a little humor is a great way of diffusing a situation in the workplace and bringing people back together. Throwing in an odd ‘dry’ comment can be enough to get everyone back on course and help them to realize they’re working towards the same goal. Important: humor doesn’t back people into a corner. In fact, it softens the atmosphere and can give them a way out; this can be very helpful for dealing with difficult people at work.
I hope you read the awesomeness in the behavior above and are willing to reciprocate, as well as acknowledge the enormous effort it takes to pull it off. It’s important to recognize key behavioral signs so that YOU aren’t the one about to get kicked to the curb for trying to demand the impossible, which is demanding everyone to please YOU! Another truth pill that is hard to swallow right? Believe me, being aware of the snares of the enemy and choosing to walk in the Fruit of the Spirit means victory but, it is indeed a ‘process’ getting there! When you think about it, dealing with difficult people is developing a proactive method to dissolving ego while remaining authentic, respecting yourself (the difficult person too), and more importantly, representing the power that resides within you. You must always ask yourself if you are physically or mentally hurt from not reacting to difficult people. Here are three additional tips on how to deal with difficult people:
1. When you feel the urge to react – don’t! (If you do, respond with kindness and without judgment). It is better not to take it personally and objectify the comments. It’s not how it is said, it’s about what is said. I would rather deal with someone who is direct and blunt than nice but fake.
2. Calm the mind by taking three deep breaths. Don’t engage them if you can’t take it or ignore the critical talk.
In closing, I can only reiterate to you that the process of change is very challenging and always will be when we take ownership of our actions, yield to the Most High, and allow ourselves to be pruned and molded into our destiny. So keep pressing towards the rewards and be ready to share the matchless and powerful testimonies of overcoming! It is ok to go through and then come through, to give the Most High all the Glory your relationship with Him deserves! Selah. Or, you can just be prepared to lean with it and roll with it because it will pass. Please chuckle out loud.
Peace Royal ☥ Nation. Praying for you always to receive much love and many blessings from above. Selah!
Lady Shannon Whitney
Host of “Unapologetic Queen Talk”
& Co-Host of “Chatting With The Whitney’s”
on Impact Radio USA
"Dealing With Difficult People 8 Helpful Tips"
SEPTEMBER 24, 2018
Article IV|Royal ☥ Nation | Season II
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