We may have met with people who are difficult to work with or be with. These people can turn a simple conversation into something complex, and they never agree with any of your ideas. Difficult people are those who challenge you and make you stressed for no reason.
Difficult people can be overbearing, and if those working with them cannot help it, their mental health will be at stake. Most overbearing people pass themselves off as toxic, and their toxicity affects those around them. Difficult people are negative in their opinions, which is why they are only tolerated.
People can be overwhelming and overbearing but, they are humans like us. It is just that they have personalities that interact differently. Such a personality, which signifies a difficult person, causes conflict with whomever they come across. Working with a demanding boss or colleague can make you very unproductive. A difficult boss can make you quit the job that you love so much. Teaming up with a difficult colleague can make you dread going to work.
Difficult people can also be in a family. If a family member is difficult, other members of the family will find out later as the family begins to evolve. Family members who are difficult to be with cannot be ignored, like a difficult boss, but boundaries are set for peace of mind. Most often, a difficult family member has an entitlement mentality.
You might also have a difficult partner in a relationship. It is easy to break up a romantic relationship once you find out that your partner is overbearing and you cannot breathe. That is why it is advised in couples counseling that both partners set healthy boundaries for their relationship to grow.
Characteristics Of a Difficult Person
A difficult person is not hard to figure out. They are in your face and easy to spot. A difficult person will not agree with your ideas and criticize them using words that can hurt. Sometimes the overbearing personality of a disagreeable person is not intentional.
These characteristics will give more insight into what to expect from a difficult person. To understand how a difficult person works, you will have to be open-minded. An open mind will determine whether you can handle the situation or ignore the difficult person.
Argument: A difficult person will never be wrong during an argument. They love to argue to prove a point. They will not rest until they win an argument. Even when they have been proven wrong, they will come back to prove otherwise.
Insensitive: a difficult boss is very insensitive to the feelings of those under them. They do not care if their actions or inaction affect those around them. Difficult people disregard others.
Manipulative: difficult people are not all shades of hard; they can be emotional to get what they want. Overbearing people can use pressure or any form of manipulativeness to make people do what they want.
Blaming: sometimes, difficult people hide under the umbrella of blaming others. They blame others for their challenges instead of taking responsibility. They hardly admit their fault.
Judging: It is quite normal for difficult people to judge others or gossip about them during a conversation. Sometimes they do not have facts about what they are saying. The judging traits are all negative.
Competitive: difficult people are very competitive. Even when no one is competing with them. They want to be noticed, so they try to show off any achievements or boast about future works. Competition comes with jealousy.
Dealing with a difficult person will require a lot of patience if you genuinely love the person. Try not to take what they say to heart. It is better to allow them to be competitive, even though it is childish behaviour.
Why Are People Difficult?
There are different reasons why people become difficult. Some people become difficult because of past traumas and experiences that affect them now. These past traumas can be a result of how people treated them, or they may have watched someone close treated badly.
Poor communication is another reason why people become difficult. Overbearing people lack communication skills; they do not know how to listen, and they want their opinion to be heard first.
Difficulty is a coping mechanism for people who do not want to be seen as weak. So, they make life very unbearable for others. Their ego is their top priority.
Some people only care only about themselves. They do not know how to understand the emotions of others. Difficult people may have trouble sorting out how to react to any circumstance; this will make people see them as callous.
Environment and upbringing serve as factors that make a person difficult. So, before ignoring or writing difficult people off, show empathy and try to understand their situation. Showing empathy will help you get along just fine.
How To Deal With A Difficult Person
Dealing with a difficult person means you will have to accept the fact you will encounter them anywhere. It is also good to acknowledge that demanding people will not change their ways. Do not expect them to.
1. Be empathic: being empathic is trying to understand the situation by knowing what they want and why they are making things difficult for you. Listen to them to understand what they are saying. If you have a demanding boss it is better to listen to them to figure out why they behave the way they do.
2. Talk to a trusted person: if you feel choked up by an overburdened person, try talking to a trusted friend or a therapist. Talking will help you breathe and make you focus on meaningful things.
3. Add comic: when a difficult person is being an ass during a conversation, try to add humor to reduce the tension. You can do this by adding a joke to spice the moment.
4. Set boundaries: set time for interaction with difficult persons. If you want to set boundaries for a difficult boss, make sure you are very direct with your conversation. Reduce the amount of time you spend trying to explain or chit-chat. Do not make conversation with them alone.
5. Avoidance: avoiding a difficult person should be the last resort when other ways prove abortive.
The Upsides of Being With a Difficult Person
- The discussion is not only to paint difficult people bad but also to examine their importance. A difficult boss can make work difficult by giving you hard tasks or criticizing your work. But you can learn how to make your task better with such criticism.
- Difficult partners will show you red flags to avoid when there is a breakup.
- Difficult people can change. People see you as difficult, you can start changing by giving people a chance to talk and listen to them. Pay attention to people's emotions.