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“5 Not-So-Effective Ways to Handle Difficult People”

Facebook is a wonderous thing. You can share and care, and laugh at stupid videos, and read someone’s off-the-wall ranting on something or other and immediately un-friend them (haha—showed you). And then other times the posts can be educational or inspirational, and I might pass them along to my friends who share my taste in posts (all two of them).

cherubs staring upwardSo when I saw the post of “5 Effective Ways to Handle Difficult People,” I thought, Oh yeah, …I gotta read that. Of course I did not assume they were thinking of me when penning the suggestions. No, …it must have been all those OTHER difficult people the author was describing because who ever thinks of him/herself as being difficult?

Trying now to recall the suggestions mentioned, I think they all had to do with either ignoring people while they are talking to you or pretending to listen to them while silently doing the Vulcan Mind-Bend on them to change their negative attitudes to something more positive. Is that really ethical or is that a bit manipulative?

The last suggestion listed was to simply stay away from that person—avoidance, in the extreme. Change jobs. Change states. Witness protection program. Something along those lines.

There. Problem solved. Now all those difficult people out there, who are evidently NOT US, are simply left to rant non-stop and be difficult with each other. Hmm, but isn’t that the problem just about everywhere in the world now? All those difficult people are being difficult with each other.

So I thought about it a bit, and decided that I could come up with “5 Not-So-Effective Ways to Handle Difficult People” based on what we see occurring world-wide right now. Here goes:

  1. Argue with them. Tell them how wrong they are and how right you are. Works really well, especially in political and religious arenas.
  2. Stake out your position and never, ever budge. This has been extremely effective in congress for the last 4-5 years. Do you think they consider themselves being difficult? Or do they call it principled?
  3. Show them who is boss. One upsmanship is so effective for further alienating others and festering long-term resentment within them. Beneficent dictators are still dictators who may occasionally have a malevolent day, …unfortunately for you.
  4. Belittle them every chance you get. Tell them what morons they are—what monsters, pretending to be human beings, their actions so blatantly display. Monsters like that a lot. It makes them want to show you how BAD they can really be.
  5. By all means, show them there are no win-win situations that will ever involve them in any way. Not as long as YOU have any say in the matter. That should really cement your relationship of dominance for you and submissiveness for them, if they ever agree to be submissive, which isn’t likely now.

I once had someone call me “difficult,” simply because I dared to say “No” to him when he told me to do something that I did not WANT to do and was not required TO do.

Well, I certainly don’t think I’m a difficult person for refusing to be intimidated and manipulated by someone else who was not my boss. But that’s probably why I was so interested in seeing the Facebook post of how other people should deal with ME—the supposedly difficult one.

To take it one step further, I would suggest that even viewing others as being difficult is perhaps less about them, and more about your own perspective on the relationship between you. Do you wish for a more desirable interaction with the person, or do you simply wish that they ceased to exist at all to make your life easier and less troublesome?

So to the person who actually wrote the post of how to handle difficult people, I’m sure she or he meant well, but handling anyone is manipulation at the least, and borders ill intent at the worst.

But then, what do I know about it? I’m difficult.

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