7 Ways to Deal with a Difficult Person
Sharon was at her wits end with her friend, Ann. Ann is moody, unstable and easily upset. When Ann is upset, she has an intensity that makes Sharon uncomfortable. Ann’s angry outbursts often result in threats to leave the friendship or to do something impulsive. Sharon doesn’t feel like she can be herself around Ann and often feels responsible for Ann’s bad mood.
Sarah is about to leave her boyfriend, Seth. He is unreasonable whenever there is a conflict. Rather than accepting responsibility for his part of the problem, he blames Sarah. He is always right. And she can’t take his constant criticism. Sarah has repeatedly tried to discuss problems but her efforts always end in Seth becoming defensive.
People like Ann and Seth are difficult for a number of reasons. They react in extreme ways and have trouble regulating their emotions. They don’t tolerate distress well and see things in black and white terms. Their intensity is exhausting. Their inability to talk out relationship problems and work through differences make them interpersonally challenging.
Difficult people do not always connect their actions with consequences and this makes solving problems hard to do. They play the blame game and often control the conversation with yelling, accusations, disrespect or even the silent treatment. If you don’t agree with them, you are labeled a problem.
So what is the best way to react to someone like Ann or Seth? Here are 7 tips: