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How Smart People Handle Difficult People

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/290372

entrepreneur.com

How Smart People Handle Difficult People
10 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Difficult people defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people's buttons. Either way, they create unnecessary complexity, strife and worst of all stress.

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Handle difficult people

Difficult people defy logic. They create unnecessary complexity, strife and worst of all stress.

90 % of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in ord...

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Set limits

People often feel pressure to listen to complainers because they don’t want to be seen as callous or rude.

Avoid this by setting limits and distancing yourself when necessary.

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Rise above

Difficult people drive you crazy because their behavior is so irrational. 

Distance yourself from them emotionally and approach your interactions like they’re a science p...

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Stay aware of their emotions

Maintaining emotional distance requires awareness

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Establish boundaries

If you set boundaries and decide when and where you’ll engage a difficult person, you can control much of the chaos. 

The only trick is to stick to your guns and keep boundaries i...

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Don’t die in the fight

Smart people know how important it is to live to fight another day, especially when your foe is a toxic individual. 

When you read and respond to your emotions, you’re...

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Focus on solutions

When it comes to toxic people, fixating on how crazy and difficult they are gives them power over you. 

Focus instead on how you're going to go about handling them. This ...

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Don’t forget

Smart people are unwilling to be bogged down unnecessarily by others’ mistakes, so they let them go quickly and are assertive in protecting themselves from future harm.

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Squash negative self-talk

There’s nothing wrong with feeling bad about how someone is treating you, but your self-talk (the thoughts you have about your feelings) can either intensify the negativity or...

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Get some sleep

Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present. 

A good night’s sleep makes you more positive, creative and proactive in...

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Use your support system

Everyone has someone at work and/or outside work who is on their team and ready to help them get the best from a difficult situation. Identify these individuals in your life and make an effor...

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Emotional intelligence when facing uncertainty

Emotional intelligence when facing uncertainty
As we face uncertainty, our brains push us to overreact in a place where emotions, such as anxiety and fear, are generated. And these inhibit good decision-making.
Overriding this mechanism to shift this thinking in a rational direction requires emotional intelligence (EQ).

Strategies to improve the quality of your decisions

  • Be wary of fear and spot it as soon as it begins to surface.
  • Stay positive. 
  • Know what you know—and what you don’t.
  • Embrace that which you can’t control. 
  • Focus only on what matters. 
  • Don’t seek perfection - it leaves you lamenting what you failed to accomplish instead of enjoying what you were able to achieve.
  • Don’t dwell on problems. Rather focus on actions to better yourself.
  • Recognize when you are overly influenced by your assumptions and emotions or by another person’s opinion.
  • Have a contingency plan without asking "What if?"

Happy people are responsible

  • They don't hold on to grudges. Forgiving and forgetting is absolutely necessary.
  • They don't make excuses. They use failure as an opportunity to change for the better.

Happy people are well rounded people

  • They savor the moment. They "stop to smell the roses".
  • They're busy, but not rushed. A healthy work-life balance is key.
  •  They don't sweat the small stuff. They focus only of what is important and within their control.

Happy people invest in their relationships

  • They spend money on others. One reason is that it creates social connections.
  • They celebrate other people's success through "active and constructive" responding.
  • They treat everyone with respect and kindness. Kindness, like happiness, is contagious.
  • They're proactive about relationships. They work on maintaining their relationships.
  • They express gratitude. It improves mood and energy and decreases anxiety.
  • They engage in deep, meaningful conversations.

4 more ideas

Defining difficult people

Defining difficult people

We are social creatures who desire validation. We feel good when others share our belief system. But we feel dejected when others do not value our inputs, crush our ideas, or ignore what we have to say.

These difficult people act in undesirable ways and give us permission to pass judgement and offload responsibility by blaming them for undesirable outcomes.

Influences that define difficult people

We view the world and the people in it from a specific paradigm.

How we relate to someone is driven by our personality, expectations, background, and experience. Why we find someone difficult is then a very personal affair.

The TRICK framework that drives us

  • T - Tagging. We are quick to label others as needy, manipulative, fake, arrogant, but explain away our own selfish acts and believe we are better than others.
  • R - Righteous. When we find someone difficult, we start believing in the righteousness of how we feel, what we want, and why the other person deserves to be treated in a certain way. We reject them as a person, as well as their ideas.
  • I - Intention. Once we know we are right, it's easy to assume they act out of bad intent.
  • C - Confirmation. Once we think someone is difficult, every interaction serves as a validation of our beliefs. We will reject the evidence that contradicts our beliefs and seek information that strengthens our views.
  • K - Keenness to fix others. Without changing our own behavior, we assume the other person is at fault and then desire to fix them.