To cope with difficult behavior, you need to do the exact opposite of what the difficult person is doing.
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What To Expect From Difficult People
When something comes to us as a surprise, we are unable to handle it properly because we are not prepared for it. The same holds true for bad behavior. If we expect somebody to behave badly, we are better prepared to respond to it. Some of the common behaviors that you may expect difficult people to exhibit are:
- Criticism without basis
- Misplaced anger
- Pessimism, arrogance, irritability and negativity
- Physical violence
A difficult person will, in many situations, try one or more of the above behaviors. To identify bad behavior at its very start, you need to expect it from a difficult person. That way, if the difficult person does behave badly, you will be able to spot it early and take corrective measures promptly. If the person doesn’t behave as predicted, it will be a pleasant surprise. Remember that it is easier to handle difficult behavior at its start than to manage it when it has already caused damage.
Tackle Anger With Patience
It does not take time for a difficult person to become angry. A look, a word or sometimes no reaction on your part can trigger their anger. When faced with anger, you need to do the exact opposite of what the other person is doing – stay calm. The angrier the other person gets, the calmer you must grow. It is difficult to practice it, but if you create an inverse relationship between other people’s anger and your calmness, then your mind will automatically direct you to stay calm when faced with an angry person.
Dealing With Irrationality
When faced with irrational behavior, you must begin to think rationally and find out ways to resolve the issue. Listening to the other person while they vent is the best strategy. After the other person has expressed his/her displeasure, you may then expect him/her to think rationally.
Arguing with an angry person or making them see logically when they are angry only escalates their anger. Therefore, the best strategy to deal with irrationality is to keep calm and allow the other person to vent.
Avoid, Alter Or Adjust
If circumstances allow, it is important to let the person with bad behavior understand that their behavior has negative consequences. Just like children, adults continue with bad behavior if they believe that they will not face any negative consequences because of it. When they understand that they will also be inconvenienced by their bad behavior, they make effort to curb it in future.
When dealing with difficult behavior, you have three choices: avoid, alter, or adjust. Depending on your particular circumstance, you will need to choose one. You may avoid the person, alter the situation, or adjust to the person and the situation.
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