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How Smart People Handle Difficult People

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. Ask complainers how they intend to fix the problem. They will either quiet down or redirect the conversation in a productive direction.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How Smart People Handle Difficult People

How Smart People Handle Difficult People

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

entrepreneur.com

11

Key Ideas

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 order to remain calm and in control. They have well-honed coping strategies that they employ to keep difficult people at bay.

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 project (or you’re their shrink). You don’t need to respond to the emotional chaos -- only the facts.

Stay aware of their emotions

Maintaining emotional distance requires awareness

Sometimes you’ll find yourself in situations where you’ll need to regroup and choose the best way forward. Don't be afraid to buy yourself some time to do so.

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 in place when the person tries to encroach upon them, which they will.

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 able to choose your battles wisely and only stand your ground when the time is right.

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 makes you more effective by putting you in control.

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.

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 help you move past it. 

Avoid negative self-talk at all costs.

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 your approach to toxic people, giving you the perspective you need to deal effectively with them.

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 effort to seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Something as simple as explaining the situation can lead to a new perspective.

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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.

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Stress and motivation

Used effectively, stress can motivate us to accomplish more than we had imagined possible. Stress can jolt us to reach our potential. Without stress, we’d feel rudderless and without purpose.

Not all stress is bad for you
  • “Good stress”: which psychologists refer to as “eustress,” is the stress we feel when we’re excited about something.
  • Acute stress: when something surprises us or catches us off guard. Acute stress is the body’s response to ensure you react and take measures to deal with the unexpected situation. It has no lasting negative effects if we deal with it quickly and move on.
Build your resilience

Resilience is how we deal with stress effectively so we “bounce back” after a difficult time.

As we deal with issues that cause tension and strain, we learn to face adversity, deal with significant issues and overcome problems. We learn how to formulate realistic plans and carry them out.

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