Coping with difficult people at work can be extremely trying and can suck the fun out of work. Going to work every morning becomes a burden too heavy to carry. This article provides some tips on how to get along with difficult people at work.

Who hasn't encountered difficult people in their life? The world is not a perfect place, it comprises all kinds of people, some easy to get along with, while some that can cause even the most patient people to pull their hair out in frustration! The most effortless approach in dealing with difficult people would be avoidance; however, it doesn't take long for anybody sensible to realize that difficult people are everywhere. You avoid one, and then you bump into another one in no time! So if you try avoiding all of them, you will find yourself avoiding scores of people all the time. But, what do you do about difficult people at work? How to deal with difficult people at work?

It's not possible to avoid difficult people at work, as your work demands communicating with them on a daily basis? If it's a cocky superior or a boss who makes working difficult by showering sarcastic comments, you cannot even show your frustration. Flying into a rage can only cost you your job. Even if you leave your job in a fit of rage, there is another set of difficult people waiting to annoy you at the next workplace. How many workplaces are you going to leave? So how do you control your responses at the same time enjoy your work? Moreover, if you are a team leader, managing difficult people at work can be very cumbersome. Let's look at a few pointers that can help dealing with difficult people at work.

How to Deal with Difficult People at Work


Oh yeah, we've heard this a million times - 'Be patient with the difficult ones', but it's not a practical solution. Even the most patient people sometimes want to pull out their guns and shoot the one making their life difficult. However, this attribute is crucial. You need to respond to the situation rather than react to them. Do not lose your cool even if the opposing party is flaring with rage.

Don't Say Anything Negative

Unreasonable and difficult people can really irritate and frustrate our core being. We feel like giving him or her a mouthful of how stupid and annoying we think they are. However, this is not wise! It will only aggravate the problem and make things worse at work. When you find yourself in such a situation, try not to say anything negative, no matter how difficult it is. Control your temper and do not say things in a harsh and angry tone. Follow the 'agree to disagree' rule. Politely, yet firmly tell them how you wish to agree to disagree and put forth your point assertively.

Know When to Let Go
once you have made your point regarding your stand in a polite and assertive manner, your job ends there. If the opposition party is still adamant about his or her stand, then do not go on arguing. Wise people know when to let go; only imbeciles and immature people go on arguing. If you are facing a problem with your team member, then politely tell him or her that after hearing his or her point, you still want the job done in the manner you want and it's the end of the matter. If you are dealing with your superior who refuses to budge, you need to politely tell him or her how you disagree with his or her opinion, but will still go ahead with what he or she wants you to do. Think about it; no matter how much you argue, yell, refuse to budge, etc. you will still have to do what your superior says, because you work under him or her. So there's no point arguing. Once you make your point clear, let go!

you come out of the meeting all angry and frustrated. You made your point assertively, but still need to go on with what your superior says. It's so frustrating! But now you cannot live with that frustration and bitterness, no matter how unreasonable your superior has been. You need to forgive! Sounds impractical and too idealistic? Well, harbouring bitterness and resentment in your heart against a person will only result in making you a bitter person. You will find release only in forgiveness. I'll give you an example; harbouring un forgiveness is like drinking poison with the hope that the other person will die. However, you are the one drinking the poison, so you know who is being affected at the end. Tomorrow when you face the same difficult person, you should be able to look at him or her without any grudge, not because he's a different person, but because you no longer hold anything against him or her. Forgiving somebody is not easy and will take time, so you have to forgive the person every time the memory of the person floods your mind.

Often the circumstance one faces in life causes one to become and behave in a certain manner. Negative situations, betrayal, harrowing events, etc. cause one to become bitter and angry with life and all people in general. Not responding to such horrendous situations in a positive manner can cause one to be sadistic and a harsh person, making life difficult for all those around. We need to understand this fact and respond accordingly. Don't be vindictive and do not tarnish their reputation. Change your perspective about difficult people at work and empathize with them for what they have turned out to become.

 After the grand World Culture Festival event in Berlin, the volunteer team shared their challenges with Sri Sri.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Challenges are there to make you see that you can overcome them, that you have the energy. Your spirit should be high at all times. It doesn’t matter, never mind, keep moving and keep your spirit high. That is the main lesson - that you are unaffected by the event. Lessons come out of challenges. These are momentary challenges; see them off with a smile.

My boss is very adamant. We have had many conflicts. How do I handle him?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Very easy. Say whatever you want to say the other way around. I want to tell you a small story. This person’s wife was very adamant. She would always do the opposite of what the husband said. The husband was desperate and went to a Swami for advice. The Swami whispered something in his ear. Three months later, the Swami was in the same city and saw that this person looked very happy. The husband thanked the Swamiji and said, “Your trick worked!”Swamiji had advised him to say the opposite of what he wanted! For example, if he wanted fried potatoes, he should tell his wife that he did not want fried potatoes. It’s all about how to handle the mind. Do not talk when communication breaks down. Tough people increase your own skills.

: What do you think about anti-depressants?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Be in knowledge. Listen to knowledge and do your practices every day. Then you cannot get into depression. Follow medical advice and go gradually. Join a team, do seva. When you have nothing to do, you think about yourself and get depressed.
I hope this article on how to deal with difficult people at work may enlighten!

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