How to Deal with Difficult People Part 3

Today:  Give Up the ‘Right’ and ‘Wrong’ Attitude

Don’t miss Part 1 and Part 2!

Most difficult people never see their behavior as ‘wrong.’ They feel they are always ‘right’
even when facts point otherwise. This is a psychological bias, and we all have many of them.

The best way to deal with this is again, within yourself. Can you accept responsibility for things that go wrong? (Remember, “responsibility” literally means “the ability to respond.”)

Do you actively try to learn from mistakes and improve so the same mistakes don’t happen again? If the answer to these questions is an honest ‘yes’, then congratulations! You aren’t the difficult one.

“We are constantly being put to the test by trying circumstances and difficult people and problems not necessarily of our own making.” ~Terry Brooks

Yes, it’s hard to let someone who is clearly wrong ‘gloat’ about their success. This is where you have to be adult and professional and give up the attitude that being ‘right’ is all important. Remember when you first learn how to ride a bike? You probably fell often and had to try over and over before you mastered the delicate balance. Dealing with difficult people and being able to give up ‘who’s right and who’s wrong’ attitudes is the same way. You will fall a lot, but in the end, the results will be worth it.

Emma would simply nod or not react at all when her coworker would insist he was right and his way was the only correct way to accomplish goals. When she could, she allowed him to ‘do his thing’ while she worked on her own, in her own way. She was appropriate and creative in how she communicated up, down, and across in her organization. Emma was able to complete her projects while her coworker often had to go back and re-do things. She didn’t ‘gloat’ about it, she simply moved on to the next project from the never ending pile. Keeping busy helped her focus on being more productive with the things she loved and less focused on the things she didn’t like and couldn’t change.

One of the major tenets of NLP is that the person with the most flexibility will have the most influence.

Remember how Emma’s calm demeanor around her challenging co-worker began to get her noticed by the big brass? As she maintained her “ability to respond” to people and situations, she gained increasing credibility in her organization. While the challenging co- worker ended up living with the limitations they were unwittingly creating for themselves. Take the higher road!

Up next: The Diamond D’s–the best ways to deal with a difficult person

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