People are awesome… That is when you are making friends, socializing, and having a great time. The spoiler in this otherwise perfect scenario are those rude people you have to deal with in life. Sometimes we wish they’d disappear, but maturity is accepting someone for who they are while helping them become more.
Remember the last time you were deciding on a place to hang out and one person had problems with every place. Or perhaps the time when a colleague was rude to you for no reason? All of us inevitably have to encounter rude and difficult people. Knowing how to do with these people frees your attention from the inevitable aftermath of worry that follows when you encounter rudeness. Relax and take a sigh of relief for here are eight tips to dealing you out in the next debacle.
Tip #1: Keep your temper
The quickest way to lose control of a situation is to lose your cool round difficult people. By letting your anger get the better of you, you indirectly validate their behavior. Give yourself a chance of working things out by remaining calm. I’ve found it helpful to keep an open perspective which gives people margin for error. Don’t assume malice for possibility of error or even incompetence.
Tip #2: Be tactful but polite
The key to making others listen to is to tactfully put across your views all the while being polite. It is universally accepted that a polite person is heard over an impolite one because impoliteness triggers people to erect verbal and emotional walls. There is no quick, guaranteed way to ensure politeness. The simplest mind-hack I’ve found is to continually check in with yourself to see if you would treat the person you love most in your life, like you are right now with this difficult person. Use it to your advantage and make both the group and the rude elements listen to you.
Tip #3: Make your displeasure known
Address your issues with a difficult person and keep it between yourselves first unless you cannot resolve the issue. Gossip does not help. You have a responsibility to express your needs and expectations.
Youe should not burst out at every trivial issue but there are healthy times to let your displeasure be known. You have a right to assert boundaries. Inform the concerned people separately what behaviour was uncalled for or hurt you. You may be surprised that if this is shared in a non-aggressive but direct manner, they may have no idea what they did and immediately apologize. Do it also privately.
Tip #4: Praise effort
Acknowledge and appreciate all efforts the other makes. It is the simplest and most effective way of encouraging someone. When you praise their effort, you provide encouragement and comfort in a difficult moment. You also solidify better rapport between you two to handle further difficult conversations.
Tip #5: Ensure proper communication
Wondering what proper communication means? It simply refers to your body language and responses. Simple pointers to take care of are maintaining eye contact with the person while talking (don’t start staring people which is a trait of aggression) and during a telephonic conversation maintain verbal acknowledgements that you’re listening “hmm mm”. Giving proper responses may appear to be too trivial. Pay attention to reading their body language. However many a times things go haywire owing to basic gaps in respect and empathy. Let the person know whether you can understand him or not. Fundamentals are fundamental.
Tip #6: Have evidence to back your words
This is a sketchy tip that can work real well for some people. It can work poorly when you solely focus on the logic of the situation rather than the emotion. Use it wisely depending on the person and situation. The idea is to show him/her proof to back up your words. You could politely bring up documents to prove your words rather than enter into a heated match. Not that you have to start carrying a bulky proof folder every time you step out.
Tip #7: Be an example
I know the above sounds like a lesson in a preaching class, though they are effective measures to make others be nice to you. Concepts like leading by example, being always polite, or forgiving are very relevant and effective. Try these and you will find a marked difference in their treatment at least with you. Successful people are proactive in creating the life they want. You may not reform him or her, but your goal is to alter the way the person treats you.
Tip #8: Reduce your interaction time
It helps during conflict to notice your triggers then give yourself a cooling off period to think through the situation before jumping into it again. If every measure, every effort fails, then you are left with the option to reduce your interaction time as much as possible. Completely ignoring the person might not be possible if you have business with them. But then try to keep your conversations short and simple.
Joshua Uebergang helps shy men show their awesomeness to others with better social skills. He is author of a short-guide to deal with difficult people at towerofpower.com.au.