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5 Mindful Strategies to Deal with Difficult People

Introduction

There are times we need to interact with difficult people. These moments help us to test our strength gained through meditation and grow as a person. There are various qualities that you can develop to help you during human interactions. In this article, we will learn about major types of difficult people, and how your meditation practice skills can help you to deal with them.

How to deal with difficult people?

How to deal with difficult people?

Types of Difficult People

Complainer: These people see wrong in everything and are frustrated all the time. They are always complaining, dissatisfied with every aspect of their life, and also want you to agree with them. And, if you spend too much time with them, you will develop a negative mindset.

Opposer: These people are aggressive, pushy, and have harsh feelings towards a particular group of people. They get irritated and angry and blame others. They will pour their anger on anyone next to them. Sometimes they may intentionally hurt you.

Self-obsessed: These people love to talk about themselves only. They will talk about their success, achievement, tours, etc. They want you to listen to them and appreciate whatever they say. If you continue spending time with such people, you will feel that nothing is happening in your life.

Superior: These people think that their opinion is always the best. They believe that they are better than anyone else in the group. They will always judge you and make you feel inferior to them.

Manipulator: These people focus only on fulfilling their self-interest. They have good communication skills and can play with your emotions to achieve their goals. You may sometimes not be aware that you are in a company of a manipulator.

Attention seeker: These people exhibit exaggerated emotional imbalances. They are moody, want your support, attention, and engagement in whatever they do, or else, they will make you feel guilty about yourself.

All the strategies that teach you how to deal with difficult people follow a similar pattern.

Here is a list of five strategies that will help you to deal with difficult people with ease:

#1: Be Kind-hearted

Negative emotions rule the mind of difficult people. There are two possibilities, either they may be aware of it or not. But, these emotions do make them suffer. They may be confused, internally wounded, narrow-minded, less knowledgeable, etc. They cannot change themselves. So, help them but do not punish.

If you want to understand them, put yourself in their place. Try to imagine the situation and circumstances they might have undergone. See the world from their eyes.

This exercise falls under loving-kindness meditation. It develops emotional intelligence and understanding. You will understand their behavior, be less annoyed, and not make a harsh judgment.

#2: Do Mindful Communication

Communication is the most powerful tool to make or break any relationship. Hence, master the art of mindful communication.

But what is mindful communication?

It is clear, to the point, and full of compassion. In this, you have a constructive exchange of thoughts, and there is no sarcasm present during the communication. You do not communicate merely to win an argument.

Here are a few tips for practicing mindful communication:

  • While talking to a complainer, do not attack. Ask them politely their opinion and what they want to say.
  • If you are talking to attention seekers and people who think themselves to be the best, ask questions that force them to review what they are speaking.
  • You can control anger during communication by either not arguing with the person or putting the conversation on hold.
  • You can also try to visualize the point of discussion from another perspective.
  • Express your feelings. Make the other person aware of how you felt about what he said.

To practice this kind of communication, develop a habit of active listening and self-awareness.

What do you mean by active listening?

It means you pay complete attention to what the other person is saying. You show this by making proper eye contact, nodding, and by giving a continuous verbal response.

What is the need for self-awareness?

It helps you to think before speaking. You analyze your words and their impact on the listener before speaking.

#3: Avoid Aggression During Interruption

Meditation not only makes you calm but also makes you aware of your inner strength and will power. It teaches you how to protect your self-respect.

We all have different behavior and communication patterns. If the person you are talking to is not able to see beyond this pattern, then two things can happen: either he will suppress you, or you try to interrupt them. Interrupting using anger is always destructive.

Meditation helps you to make use of the presence of mind to alter the conversation without involving aggression.

#4: The Power of Silence and Questioning

In this, you interrupt differently. You either remain silent or ask questions.

When you stay silent, you do not get involved in the conversation and only stare into their eyes. The person becomes frustrated and will quit the conversation. You eventually win without spending any energy.

You can also interrupt the person by asking questions pointing towards a particular topic. You indirectly force them to analyze things from a different perspective.

Do not fight with them. Be calm and ask as many questions as you can. When you follow this technique, the person might get irritated and try to bring back focus on what he is saying. But, you should politely stick to your viewpoint. In this way, they will get fed up and search for someone else to pour their negativity.

#5: Draw the Boundary Line

What should you do if all the techniques fail to change the path of conversation or negative thinking patterns of the person?

Then you have to handle the situation by putting an end to the interaction.

Here are a few ways to close down:

  • You can put an end by saying as the conversation is not heading towards any conclusion, let us talk about this topic some other time.
  • You can stop by saying that you do not have time to speak right now.
  • You can also politely say that you are not interested in such type of conversation.

Taking charge of the situation is similar to focusing your attention during meditation by ignoring distractions.

Conclusion

Accepting the good and the bad situation with calmness and equality represents your mind's ability to stay relaxed even under stress. It helps you to respond to the present situation effectively. With calmness, you will remain in the present moment, will engage with difficult people, but will remain detached from them.

The list of tips shared in this post covers the main ways and is not the ultimate one.

Do you have any other advice to share?

If yes, share in the comments below.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Preeti Shah