Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How do you deal with difficult people?

Do you have to deal with a difficult person? A coworker, family member, in-law, neighbour, ex, customer, friend or frenemy? The solution is often not simply avoiding him / her. 

The Difficult Person
Recently there is a woman called Lucy who has been causing me Grief, and that's with a capital G. It affected my self esteem and I can feel myself becoming more and more stressed. She is managing a project I am working on and she has been highly critical, condescending, demanding and rude. It has been very challenging. I have spent alot of time thinking about how to deal with it. 

Talking with People
Initially I spoke to other people to see how she behaved with them. It turns out that she has this attitude with everyone. I felt fractionally better. Nevertheless it still bothered me. I thought talking / grumbling to friends / colleagues would help my stress levels. It does help to vent. But the problem doesn't go away.

Changing Myself
I've tried doing everything she wants and how she would like it. At the same time, I am trying to do my job and do it well. But there is a huge conflict between what Lucy wants and for me to get the job done. It is starting to drive me crazy.

Considering Quitting
That has been foremost in my mind almost every day. But I am trying not to be a quitter and t learn to deal with conflict. This is one project. It's a decent job other than this working with this woman. I think she is very unhappy and she possibly wants to leave, so it may be a short term problem. 

Retail Therapy
I have spent an obscene amount of money on shoes for stress relief.  The sales really have fuelled this. It cheered me up tremendously but it is not a practical solution that can be sustained. I have to say that I think I'll look awesome in them but I feel a little guilty because I have completely blown my budget, goals for saving and general limits per shoe.

Laughter Yoga to Reduce Stress
I have been applying laughing yoga techniques in the morning - so making myself laugh so I don't take things so seriously. I picture Lucy's face screwed up, as she does, it has a semi-lopsided way of drooping when she is displeased. That does make me laugh. 

Coming Up with a Plan and My Mentor
I realised that I was avoiding the problem and not confronting it head on. I do hate conflict. I've now thought up a way that might be a good way to work with her on a go forward, but I am hoping to consult my mentor first for tips and get buy in from a colleague also on the same project.

Dealing with difficult people is one of life's challenges that continually rears its ugly head time and time again. In many forums and in the news we hear about kids being bullied. We are exposed to it from young and there are no class room lessons to teach us what to do. It really is about trial and error as to what will work to resolve the situation. It requires patience, thought and time. I wish you the best of luck with your difficult person.

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