Follow this two-step process to deal with difficult people.
First, pause and analyze the situation
Don’t immediately jump to conclusions. When you encounter someone you perceive to be dreadfully difficult, pause for a second. Try not to react right away. Consider what you are feeling. Ask yourself questions.
What’s going on right now?
Why am I bothered by this person?
Could it be me? Am I being unreasonable?
Different questions lead to different answers, so try a few on for size.
What happens when you take a step back is this: Your brain and body move away from agitated mode to a more curious posture.
Curiosity opens you up to possibilities.
Second, decide how to act
The next step is when you decide what to do. I make this seem so simple, right? It’s not. It’s always a work in progress.
But I digress.
You’ve thought through the situation. You’ve (hopefully) asked yourself a few questions without Mr. or Mrs. Difficult getting too perturbed.
It’s time to act. So what do you do?
You tap into your higher aspirations. You tap into the best version of yourself. Consider if engaging in a conversation with said difficult person would benefit you in any way. If it would, go ahead and proceed with caution. But if it wouldn’t, it’s totally OK for you to disengage. Some difficult people will not like this, but it’s your prerogative to do what you want with your life.
Slowing down before you act will save you all kinds of trouble. It will help you make the best decisions for yourself. And that’s what matters.