Dealing with difficult people in the workplace

Whether you are the owner of a business, a manager of others or an employee, one of the most challenging aspects of the working world can be dealing with people. People can be difficult. As true as that may be, what if they did not have to be difficult for you? writes Access Consciousness founder, Gary Douglas.

Having dealt with all types of people over the past 75 years, I will tell you that you can handle any situation and even the most difficult people without additional stress.

Here are four types of difficult people that you are likely to encounter and tips and tricks on navigating it all with ease.

1. The ‘always right’ people

One of the most difficult people to deal with are the people who believe that they are right, always have been right, always will be right and … YOU are oh, so wrong.

When you are dealing with someone who has all the answers and is always right, don’t fight them. Fighting them will not get you anywhere. It will only cause them to defend their point of view.

The way around this is to ask a question, such as, “I see what you’re talking about, and how about this?”

Most people don’t ask questions when dealing with someone who is always right. They fight back; they attack. This causes the other person to defend their point of view even more.

2. Liars

Liars are wonderfully predictable because you never have to believe anything they say. You know they are going to lie, no matter what. You can trust that they will lie.

Trust is not blind faith. Trust is acknowledging what someone is choosing. The way you acknowledge when someone is choosing to lie to you is to simply say, “Oh, OK cool. Thank you.”

Those two little words, “Thank you” acknowledge that there is a lie present without going into confrontation or fight. Funny thing is, when you do this, they will start to change

3. Angry people

When someone is angry, don’t fight back with anger.

One important thing to understand in dealing with difficult people is that confrontation never works. Never. It always causes people to get defensive and hold on harder to whatever they are already upset about. And the moment you go to anger with someone, they are going to put up their dukes and be ready to fight you even more. Is that really where you want to live? Is that really where you want to create from? What is it you desire? What is it you are trying to create?

What if you never had to fight anything? Remember, you are making the choice to fight. Choose not to confront, and instead be clear about what it is you want to create, or what you want to do, or how you want things to be. Because if you are not clear about it then you’re not going to have anything that works for you. The most important thing is that you have something that works for you.

4. Bullies

The topic of bullying is being discussed more and more. There are bullies in school, in the workplace, pretty much everywhere. When you are dealing with a bully, a lot of times the first response is to shrink, to make yourself small, to play the role of the victim. That will make you an even bigger target for bullies.

Instead, say to them, “Thank you so much for caring.” Do they actually care? No. They are being judgemental and trying to control you. But, if you tell someone they are being caring when they are being judgemental, they don’t know what to do with that and they back off. They no longer have a place to function from.

Difficult people don’t have to be difficult to deal with

Whether it’s the type of people mentioned above or any other difficulty, remember this:

Acknowledge what is

So many people want to believe in the goodness of man. This stops you from perceiving what is actually true.

If you are dealing with a liar, a bully, someone who is two-faced, someone who will steal from you … acknowledge it. Not to them. To you. Be willing to perceive what others are choosing. Acknowledge what is.

Get them into question

In dealing with difficult people, you want them to get into the place of questioning things that you see that they don’t, rather than concluding that they’re right and you’re not.

When you say to a bully, “Thank you for caring”, when you don’t get angry with someone who is angry with you, when you don’t defend your point of view to someone who is always right, when you say thank you to someone who just lied, you disrupt the way this person is used to functioning and you have put them into question. Question is the place where new possibilities exist.

Working with difficult people doesn’t have to be difficult anymore! At least not for you. Whatever situation you encounter, ask, “What else is possible here? What would I like to create? If I were creating my own reality, what would I choose?”

When you are willing to be clear on what you would like your reality to be and when you are willing to choose that, you can be around the most difficult of people and not be at the effect of it. You can walk through life with joy and a sense of possibility that no one can take away.


Welcome to my world.

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