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Dealing with Difficult People
Terms in this set (154)
Resist the urge to be defensive
Understand very clearly that you cannot beat these kinds of people, they're called "impossible" for a reason. In their minds, you are the source of all wrongdoing, and nothing you can say is going to make them consider your side of the story. Your opinion is of no consequence, because you are already guilty, no matter what.
Accept the situation
Impossible people exist; there isn't a thing you can do about it. The first step is all about facing reality: if you think you might be dealing with an impossible person, you're probably right. When in doubt, proceed as instructed below. The headaches you save will be your own.
Do not call out the other person
Bluntly stating the problem will not improve your relationship with someone who is impossible. Instead of reaching a reconciliation, he or she will likely just become more difficult. Recognize that you can't handle this like you would any other personal conflict — it's a special situation.Give up all hope of engaging these folks in any kind of reasonable conversation. It will never happen, at least with you. Remember what happened in the course of the last fifty times you tried to have a civilized discussion about the status of your relationship with this person. Chances are, every such attempt ended in you being blamed for everything. Decide now to quit banging your head against a brick wall.
Understand that it's not you, it's them
This can be surprisingly difficult, considering that impossible people have complete mastery of shifting the blame. Chances are, the more often they blame you, the more they themselves are actually at fault. Keep in mind that this is not to be used as a way to blame them. Blaming is what impossible people do, and they do it well. Instead, you are only facing the facts, for your own sake.
That being said, here's a simple way to tell: if you accept responsibility for your own faults and resolve to improve yourself, it's probably not you. Remember, impossible people "can do no wrong."
Remember to "detach, disassociate and diffuse."
When you're in the middle of a conflict with an impossible person
Staying calm in the heat of the moment is paramount to your personal preservation. Spitting angry words, reacting with extreme emotions such as crying, will only stimulate them to do more of the difficult behavior.
Remove yourself from the situation and treat it with indifference. Do not, under any circumstances bad talk to their face or to anyone else because then you are sinking down to their level. Add something positive by redirection such as by focusing on something, anything, positive in the situation or in the conversation. Whatever you do just stay calm!
It can help to realize that the side of a conversation that contains the most truth will always win out, and it's best to "name the game" that an impossible person is playing, usually by asking them or the group a question that starts "Why...," (rephrasing their "impossible" position to illuminate the consequences). You will move the conversation to a higher level, and the group, or even just the impossible individual, in a one-on-one, will respond to this "higher truth," although the individual will usually respond by (more) obfuscating.
Guard against anger
If it helps, consider the fact that your anger is actually a precious gift to the impossible person. Anything you do or say while angry will be used against you over and over again. Impossible people tend to have amazing memories, and they will not hesitate to use a nearly endless laundry list of complaints from the past against you. Five years from now, you could be hearing about the angry remark you made today (which you didn't even mean in the first place). Impossible people will seize anything that provides them the opportunity to lay blame like it was gold.
Prepare for projection
Understand that you are going to be accused of much (or all) of this behavior yourself. If your impossible person gets a look at this text, to them it will look like a page about you. Prepare yourself for the fact that the impossible person's flaws and failings will always be attributed to you. Remember, in their minds, you are at fault for everything! They will have an endless supply of arguments to support this, and if you make the mistake of encouraging them, they will be more than happy to tell you why you are the impossible person, and how ironic it is that you are under the mistaken impression that it is them.
Be a manager
Until it is over, your task in the relationship is to manage the impossible person, so that he or she deals less damage to you.
As a manager, your best resources are silence (it really is golden in some cases such as this), humoring the other, and abandoning all hope of "fixing" the impossible person. Impossible people do not listen to reason. They can't (and even if they could, they wouldn't).
Recognize that you can't convince them that they have any responsibility for the problems between you. They don't recognize (or if they did, wouldn't try to improve) their flaws for a very logical reason; they don't have any flaws. You must understand and manage this mindset without casting blame and without giving in to anger. It's far easier said than done, and you will slip from time to time, but as time goes on, you'll become a better manager.
Consider that it might be a question of compatibility
Sometimes, a person who gets along with everybody else quite well is an impossible person for you personally. Most relationships between people contain many shades of gray, but some people simply mix as well as oil and water.
It is common to hear your impossible person proclaim "Everyone else likes me." This is an attempt to shift the blame to you, so don't buy it. It doesn't matter how this person interacts with others. The fact is, the way the two of you interact together is terrible. Remember that blame never changes the facts.
Don't get cornered
Avoid one-on-ones with this type of person, actively; in other words, when you see them coming to corner you, suggest, and then demand that at least a third party be brought in. This will often thwart the impossible person's plans, and a typical response from them will be to unilaterally decide that "we don't need anyone else." You are perfectly free to claim your need for a third party to help your understanding, and insist upon it. Bullies never stand up to a crowd.
Protect your self-esteem
If you have regular dealings with someone who tries to portray you as the source of all evil, you need to take active steps to maintain a positive self-image. Focus on the people who validate you. Realize that this person is hurting you on purpose to improve his or her self-image. When he or she comes out with a statement that is designed to hurt you, realize this; realize why he saying that -- to get people to tell him that he's awesome. You are bigger and better than this person if you're not lowering yourself to this level.
Protect your Self-Esteem 1
Remind yourself that this person's opinion is not necessarily the truth. Understand that oftentimes, impossible people are particularly "fact-challenged."
Protect your Self-Esteem 2
If the attacks have little basis in raw fact, dismiss them. You can't possibly be as bad as this person would like you to believe you are. Do not defend yourself out loud, however. It will only provoke the impossible person into another tirade.
Prepare to part ways
Understand that eventually, you'll have to create a separation between yourself and an impossible person. Whether they are a friend, a family member, a parent, even a spouse, the time to leave will eventually manifest. Maintaining a relationship with an impossible person is, literally, impossible.
Part ways 1
If you can't (or won't) make a physical departure immediately, make a mental one. In your mind, you've already left the relationship. The only thing left to do is wait for physical reality to reflect that fact.
Part ways 2
If this person is a spouse, and you plan to stay with them, try to recognize the places you cannot tread (i.e. The subjects that make the person impossible). Avoid, as completely as possible, bringing up these subjects. Keep to yourself. Find a truly wonderful hobby, and focus on it. If you are religious, focus on your religion. Read about Narcissistic Personality Disorder -- this is a definite possibility. Even if it seems to you that they do not have NPD, read the articles about how to deal with them, because following the advice in the articles you find may help you.
Avoid picking up impossible traits
If you aren't careful, you could find yourself adopting much of the offender's own behavior, even if you aren't voluntarily trying. Issue blame entirely by understanding that this is just the way the other person is. These things define the impossible person's actions, and nothing you do can change any part of their past.
Protect your privacy 1
Impossible people will use any information on your personal life however small as a trump card against you. They can spin stories about you to other people (especially those close to you both) on a simple comment you made over lunch. Since they are specialists in manipulation, they are very good at making you talk.
Protect your privacy 2
Impossible people are good at seeming normal, and unless you are very convinced of who you are and where you stand in relation to the slight madness of this person, there will be times where you think "Hey, she's not so bad after all. I guess I could tell her what I am going through these days...." Big mistake! It will come back to you when you least expect it, in the most dirty and manipulative way. Things shared in confidence late night at the office between the two of you can be used in an ice cold analysis in front of the whole company in a moment where the impossible person needs to get on top of you. He/she will spare no information to prove to others how well they know you, and such know what the best way to "handle" you is.
Be the opposite of them
a possible person. Live as an example of tolerance, patience, humility, and kindness.
We are all influenced by the people in our environment — they don't have to be perfect all the time and neither do you. Give respect because you are human. If you don't receive respect, that's -sadly- their problem. Give understanding, and you get understanding. Ultimately this sort of behavior is probably the only thing that might get through to them. They may not change in everything, but you can safely expect a change.
Be detached from anything they say whether it's a compliment or criticism. If you give them power to build you up, then you also give them power to knock you down. Learn to develop a sense of self worth from within.
When the impossible person is abusing or slandering you, other people will start to show sympathy towards you. You don't need to do anything to make them look bad; she/he just digs his/her grave with no help from you. If s/he is angering you, others are also likely to be annoyed.
If the person you're talking with is getting on your last nerve, take a breather. Remember, they might just want to get a rise out of you so show them that they have no effect on you. Count to ten silently if you need to, and then state your views with confidence. Look them in the eye. If you look at the ground or over their shoulder, they will interpret this as weak. If the person is still being impossible, then just ignore them. That person will eventually back down if they notice that they're not aggravating you.
Just be the bigger person and walk away.
When he/she whispers something negative to you in public, just say out loud, "Do you really want to discuss this here?" Hopefully, this will discourage them from extending the negativity within earshot of others.
If you are in a position where you just can't leave, treat your situation like a game. Learn their strategy and develop counter strategies ahead of time. Just avoid taking them too far and becoming controlling yourself. Also know what the possible consequences there may be as a result of your actions so you can prepare for those too. If they still find a way to get to you, then don't feel bad. Just make a note of what happened and devise new strategies for that the next time.
Eventually you'll find what works and what doesn't and you'll probably feel better as you realize you're 3 steps ahead outwitting them at every turn. Impossible people aren't so impossible when you can predict what they're going to say or do next. They'll just seem kind of sad. Just remember your ultimate goal is to help free yourself mentally, not become their master.
If you think that you are impossible, good job for realizing it! Learn to look at other people's opinions with an open mind. You are allowed to have your own, but recognize that just because an opinion is yours does not make it automatically right.
Note that the most healthy way to deal with an impossible person is to remove that person from your environment. Do not torture yourself by exposing yourself to a destructive person. Do not put up with it. You are worth more than that. Remember that you cannot "fix" this person.
Forget about him/her, even if you cannot avoid him/her. Remember that stressing about him/her all the time is the same as giving him/her your precious time when they don't even care about you. Do other activities and make new friends, that way you aren't wasting precious time by thinking about him/her constantly.
When you make your escape from the impossible person stay away. Don't ever go back once you break away -- no matter how much you love them or they say they've changed.
Become aware of your body language when around these people. Speak softly, and move calmly. We reveal a lot of our emotions non-verbally. You don't want to reveal your own feelings unknowingly to these people. Also this will help you maintain your own sense of calm, and will probably have a calming effect on them in the process.
If nothing else helps, resolve to treat your experiences with impossible people as valuable life lessons. Realize that after dealing with them for a while, getting along with everyone else will be easier. You are getting a free education about how to deal with the most difficult people. Although it is unpleasant now, the lessons you learn are going to be valuable later in life.
Ignore them. How better to undermine someone who wants to rant and rave in order to seek attention than to not give them the attention they want? If they cannot get your attention they will move on to someone else who will give them the attention they crave. Don't let it be you.
Make sure you do not make impossible people angry; although they usually (of course) "have no temper" and are "reasonable to everybody," the fact is that if you enrage them, they will blow their stack like you can't believe. Your own moments of frustration with them will pale in comparison. Don't give them a reason. Instead, think of their outbursts in the same way you would a child's tantrum, but do it subtly (in such a way that they can't lash out at you for being "condescending"). This takes practice, but it is a social skill worth developing. It might help to think of this person as having a health problem: this person needs help, needs constant management, and you may not be able to do it alone.
Avoid arguing at all costs because this will only trigger your fight or flight responses making it harder to think clearly.
Don't disagree with them; find ways to be agreeable even if they are wrong. When they tell you that you donated the money for attention or whatever else, you can say that they might be right. Agreeing with impossible people sidetracks their steam as they continually look for arguments. You could even smile a bit as you agree with them, thus maintaining your good humor and away from falling back into anger.
Don't keep taking the abuse. Write down some thoughts. Figure out some numbers. Get your wants and needs right in your head. Then have them sit down and start talking. If they interrupt, stop them and continue your talk, with complete honesty and frankness until you are finished. Give ultimatums if you have too, but remind them of the benefits of staying (and losing the bad behavior), or of losing a very beneficial position. Put the cards on their table. Make the choice theirs. They just may realize that they've got it pretty good, and decide that staying, and changing, just may be the right way to go. But if the behavior continues? Out the door immediately, no ifs ands or buts.
It may also help to call a spade a spade and realize that you are dealing with an emotional abuser. More helpful information can be found in literature on that topic.
Be kind and friendly even though they may act like a jerk to receive negative attention. If they are lonely but don't know how to get attention, then they will appreciate what you are doing and change. If they are just natural jerks who love to make others mad, then what you are doing will enrage them because they can't figure out how to make you mad, and eventually they will leave you alone. Love is crucial, even if it is insanely difficult to perform in various situations.
It's important to keep perspective. Recognize that you are not alone. These situations are not rare or exceptional in any way. Consider that everyone we encounter in life is just at different levels in their thinking than you are. What's seemingly crazy to us may be another person's only way of coping in the world. Simply put, they may not be able for whatever reason to see or think as you even if they wanted to. Also do not be misled by a person's age, intelligence, or station in life to determine their maturity. We all have our own unique fears, beliefs, life experiences, goals, or ideals that make us who we are. Taking that into account we can figure out what we are willing or unwilling to give.
If for some reason you are able to convince impossible people with irrefutable evidence that they (and they alone) are at fault, then there is a possibility that they will completely "crash" in the other direction, expressing the belief that if they can't be right in this one situation, then they must be 100% wrong all the time in every situation. This is a coping mechanism of theirs which attempts to encourage others around them to feel sympathy for them and build them back up.
Don't argue or try to stand up to the person, just smile and nod to whatever they say. It will help you get them off your back If you can't avoid them. Stay out of their business, out of their way, and avoid talking to or about them. Sometimes you just need to suck it up and do as they say or whatever they want you to do.
Do not judge this person as right or wrong no matter how irrational they seem because it will only make you feel worse. The less emotionally involved in what this person does, the better you will be able to manage.
On that note (of a health problem) remember that all of us exhibit some of these personality "disorders" to some degree. It's just a question of how you define "normal".
People with histrionic personality disorders live for attention, and will frequently go to great lengths in order to get it. They have to live in the right neighborhood, wear the right clothes, and send their kids to the right schools.
Regardless of sex / gender, they're often referred to as "drama queens" — further, the term histrionic is no longer gender-specific (it's cognate with "uterus" and "hysterical").
Passive-aggressive people express their hostilities indirectly by pushing other people's buttons without appearing to do so — like the dinner guest who exclaims innocently, "Wonderful meal, folks. I had no idea how delicious the cheaper cuts of meat could be!" or the sneaky "Don't worry about me, I'm fine," when you know perfectly well that if you say, "Okay," and go on with whatever you were doing, there are going to be problems to deal with later because he/she is most definitely not fine, and you should have known that.
Try to focus on the positive, even if you can't seem to think of anything. Something as simple as "God loves him/her" can keep you under control, even if you don't love them yourself, even if you're not religious.
Don't become a martyr. Before you attempt to deal with impossible people yourself, you may have to learn how to control your own emotions. If you are simply unable to avoid an impossible person due to work, family, or other reasons, it is especially important to find other interests, join a support group, and seek therapy or religious counseling if necessary.
Don't let them be the martyr that brings you down either. It is a real source of frustration to have a difficult person "play the martyr" around you to arouse your feelings of guilt and confusion. Beware this tactic and stand aside from them as they serve as their own martyr without you cementing their choice by fawning over them or conceding to their behavior.
Never tell others how you feel about this person, even if you know you're not alone. Vent in a journal or online community if you need to. If you confess the impossible behavior of this impossible person, and the person you tell shares the same views as you have, then it is quite possible that this person might spread the chat you had with him/her. Then, when it reaches the ears of the impossible person in this case, regardless of the means by which this knowledge reaches him, s/he will make every possible attempt to degrade your image, because then s/he will know who started it.
Impossible people can be emotionally, physically and mentally exhausting. Distancing yourself and if need be severing your relationship with them can difficult or painful at first but ultimately will be liberating and give you peace of mind. In the meantime try your best to be calm, positive and detached. Try to deflect their behavior since you can't change them. Change your reactions to them instead. Take care of yourself.
Realize that there will always be people in the world that will obstruct you
The ancient Stoics were very clear about dealing with difficult situations, including people. Their advice was to focus only on what you CAN change: your reaction to them.
Modern psychologists, particularly in the Cognitive-Behavioral school, echo this sentiment and point to the root of most negative emotions as a person's own negative thoughts.
So if you're confronted with a difficult person, remember that if you can't change them, you can at least change how you react and perceive them.
Look at your own behavior
If you find yourself constantly feeling attacked or harassed, you may be unknowingly attracting the wrong people with your own actions.
Examine any past "drama" in your life. What was your role in those situations? Try to look at it from another person's perspective.
Self-knowledge—an awareness of your own limitations and strengths—can make dealing with difficult people easier.
Try to become more aware of your own perception of others 1
If you are sensitive to the many different ways that people behave and react to you, your thought process for dealing with them will be as various as the different personalities you encounter.
Interpersonal intelligence describes a person's ability to distinguish another person's various moods, feelings, and motivations. High interpersonal intelligence means a person will know how to successfully deal with each individual person they encounter according to their temperament.
Try to become more aware of your own perception of others 2
If you are lacking in this ability, you can improve over time by simply paying more attention to the way people interact. Notice how those people who everyone gets along with handle the various personalities they encounter on an individual basis and try to emulate this behavior.
Choose your battles wisely
Ideally, you and this difficult person would be able to set aside your differences and come to a compromise. Sometimes, this is just not possible.
Step back and really examine the situation. Is it worth further stress trying to pursue a conversation with this person? Maybe another person would be able to handle the situation better.
Pause for a moment and breathe
When we are being personally attacked, sometimes our "fight or flight response" kicks in. We no longer have to tend with Saber Tooth Cats but the adrenal response is still the same as our ancient ancestors and this feeling can be very intense.
Sometimes, just taking a moment to think will be enough to avoid saying something that will only make the situation worse. If a person is being confrontational, you must choose your words carefully.
Consider the other person's perspective. If you can empathize with them, it will shift the focus of the interaction from you to them. Be as understanding as possible of their frustration and you may find yourself an ally.
Continue being as polite and accommodating as you can
Remember the old saying, "you catch more flies with honey than vinegar"? A good dose of honey can go a long way in defusing a potential confrontation.
When you remain pleasant and undisturbed, it makes it hard for the other person to continue being combative. Keeping yourself calm will often have a calming effect on others.
Don't go overboard with the honey. If you're trying too hard, it will be obvious that you're really just masking your true feelings.
Talk to your peers about it
If you've been experiencing continuing problems with a person, maybe you're not alone.
Sometimes, your difficult person is just terribly misunderstood. Maybe you know someone close to them that can offer some insight on how to deal with them?
Creating allies will make any future confrontation easier. If this person is truly difficult to work with, having a group of people to echo your concerns gives you some legitimacy.
Do not resort to petty gossip. Be careful when voicing your concerns to other people. If it gets around to the person you've been having difficulty with, it will only make the situation worse.
Directly confront them in private
If things get really bad, you may need to have a frank discussion about the issue.
Make sure to use "I" sentences. Keeping the conversation focused on your experience will make it seem less accusatory. 
If you're funny, use it to your advantage. Humor can help any difficult message come across better.
Talk to your superiors
If all else fails, you should speak with your boss or any person of authority about your concerns.
If you've talked to others who have had similar difficulties with this person, approaching your superiors with a complaint as a group can be helpful.
If the difficult person is your superior, don't be afraid to speak with their superiors.
Cursing will only make the other person angry and even worse, make you look like you've lost control.
You're in the best of moods and the day feels just great. Suddenly you feel sapped of energy and your spirits have been dampened. The source of the deflation? You've just encountered someone who has a bad attitude and it has cast a spell over your own mood. While it's a personal choice to seek to deflect the negative moods of others, it's not always that easy - emotions are contagious and we're programmed to empathize with others around us and to tune into their emotions.
The negative moods and thinking of a toxic person are pervasive - nervous energy, anger, sadness, complaints, clinginess, a view of the world constantly tinged with negativity. And if you happen to be caught up with toxic people daily in your life, by letting their negativity get to you, it can erode your own sense of self and deflate even the most optimistic outlook. Constantly negative emotions can lead to illness and a shortened lifespan - toxic personalities are not healthy for themselves or for you. And since misery loves company, miserable people will try to drag you into their fold; however, take charge of defending yourself and learn how to break free from toxic attitudes around you, to sustain your healthy, fulfilling, and optimistic outlook.
Discover your current attitudes towards life in general
There is no point in striving to be progressive and successful, when you yourself possess the negative energy that holds you back. Take stock of your actions and words. If your own behaviors head in the direction of self-pity and pessimism (a self-perceived victim status), it's time to re-track and start over by making a choice to adopt more optimistic beliefs and attitudes. Life will give you what you expect, so that your expectations need to be balanced with realistic measures and a more positive framework. This starts with you as a person before looking to blame others for your failures and miseries.
Learn to pick up on the energy (or vibes) around you 1
Besides knowing yourself well, you need to know how you feel when toxic people are around you. You probably already know how to do this but learn to make it a conscious act, not just an unconscious reaction. For example, think about how you feel when you walk into a business where everyone is friendly and cannot do enough to engage you in casual conversation. Then, think about walking into a business where the mood is sour, the assistants are barely able to mumble a hello to you and appear to have other things to do than to engage with you, their faces filled with resentment and a desire to be anywhere than where they are.
Learn to pick up on the energy (or vibes) around you 2
The energy in both cases is enormously different and you pick up on it immediately. It is the same with individuals; you will grow to consciously notice when you feel immediately uplifted or plunged downward by the people in your presence and you can take steps to make choices about how to react once you recognize these feelings.
Recognize the toxic personality types
We all have our down days, and each of us is prone to the blues now and then. However, when it comes to toxic people, the blues appear to be a permanent state of being and feeling down, glum, angry, etc., becomes a primary personality trait rather than a temporary state of mind
Angry at life
A person who is always angry, blowing up, shouting, and reacting to everyone in a volatile manner is a toxic person. They need a lot of help but you don't need to be their battering board. Staying around a person like this will cause you to become angry too, to see slights where there are none, to react instead of reflecting, and to fear things.
Everything in the world is rotten
A person with this worldview is always down and always finds the dark side in everything. And they love miserable company; the more dark thinkers agreeing with their conspiracies and frightening theories, the better. Oddly enough, this person will often be competitive about their misery, trying to outdo any other person's misery. Prone to seeing other people's mistakes as enormous transgressions (and therefore cannot forgive) and to fearing that people are going to let them down/let them go at any moment, they live in constant state of fate-determining negativity and lack hope. Since they don't feel capable of changing their trajectory, they'll try to drag you in with them.
Insecure, unable to create their own sense of self-worth, and emotionally immature, this person is a "clinger". They want your attention, they want it when they want it (now!) and they need to be at the center of everything. This person's constant need to be heard and rescued will wear you down eventually and their inability to settle down and take a good, long hard look at themselves means that they try to suck the energy and life from elsewhere, namely from you.
"When all else in your own life fails, spill the beans on other people's misfortunes" is the motto of this difficult character. Instead of keeping confidences and being supportive, this person allows envious feelings to get the better of them instead of rechanneling their envious feelings. Unfortunately, gossip feels exciting to those receiving it initially, but it's like a sugar high- it soon crashes and the nasty after-effects harm everyone. If you have found yourself caught up with a gossip and you've enabled them or benefited from them, don't get hung up on worrying about your complicity; forgive yourself, make a choice to only speak well of others from this point on, and remove yourself form their sphere.
Worry, anxiety, "what ifs", and fear push this personality. Everything in life, from relationships to crossing the road, holds some potential for fear and terror, and this person's anxiety is unfortunately very contagious.
Take a look at the company you keep (or attract) 1
Looking at the list in the previous step, analyze friendships, family relationships, working colleagues and decide objectively just how healthy these people are in terms of your overall well-being and composure. Do they bring out the best in you or do you serve as a sponge for all their problems and miseries? If the latter is the case, for your own sanity and well-being, let them go.
Take a look at the company you keep (or attract) 2
This might be really hard initially because of the expectations and sense of obligation that builds up in relationships but staying with people who lead you into constant misery isn't going to be rewarded, so don't subject yourself to it. Disengage yourself from their company politely by minimizing contact until a healthy distance can be maintained. You need this time to ponder and reflect on saving and preserving yourself, drawing on the optimism, hope and positive energy you have within.
Primal instinct to mirror others
There is a primal instinct in each of us to mirror others we're with. It's a survival and a social technique. And if that mirror is murky, negative, and lacking in self-esteem, it's a mirror you need to throw a drape over for the sake of self-protection and moving forward. Remember that you can't change another person, only yourself, so don't bog yourself down with excuses about being responsible for them or feeling pity for them. You can only truly help a negative person when you're no longer influenced by them.
selectively when engaging in any conversation. Seek to hold onto the positive and constructive aspects of any conversation. Train your mind to consciously throw out the bad essence of the conversation. It becomes a matter of choosing what it is you wish to dwell on; allow the good side to hold stronger for you and to serve as the thoughts you focus and ponder on. When negative Ned starts getting really trying, return positive energy through positive words or suggestions that are supportive. Doing this creates a space between you; while the other person may be internally struggling to refute to your positive insistence, it is clear to them that you aren't going to be won over to the dark side!
Create a personal signal to remind yourself to keep deflecting the negative conversation and signals beamed at you from a toxic personality. It might be pulling a piece of your hair, digging your thumbnail into your palm, flicking your wrist, tapping your knee, etc. This minor action is a protective mechanism to remind you to consciously note that negativity is being sent your way and to make a conscious effort to refuse it entry into or lodgings in your own thoughts.
When dealing with blamers, shift the perspective. While the toxic personality wants another person to take the blame for a situation, stay calm and keep insisting that the problem be solved instead of discussing whose fault it is. Seeking to blame someone keeps things static, and stuck in time, and a solution won't be found because it has been lost from sight and the blamer doesn't want to take responsibility for improving their own situation anyway. Stick to the facts and point out what needs to be done to fix a problem. If they become hot-headed or violent, remove yourself from them and allow them the space to calm down.
Use empathy and compassion with those who seek to spread fear. Limit your exposure to their fear talk by turning their negative talk back on itself. For example, if they insist that your business venture is going to fail, ask them "Well, what if it doesn't?". Help them to see the possibilities rather than endless negatives. And when they really get to you, see their fear as a form of being upset and tell yourself over and over again that this is their reaction, not yours, and that you have the choice to remain grounded and true to your goals.
Always remind yourself that negative emotions have a time limit; they do not last, they will soon pass. You do not need to carry the ball of negativity with you beyond the encounter.
Develop a beautiful mind
This can be achieved by accepting the reality of things that cannot be changed. Let bygones be where they belong - in the historical archives of repressed memory. If these emotions become too difficult to attain closure, seek help to close this chapter fully and finally. In this way, you won't allow the negative thoughts to fester and control your present and future self; understanding and learning to accept what has been as a lesson in growth rather than a crystallization of who you in time for all time is the way to break free from negativity. Acceptance forms a great part of this beautiful mind, bringing closure and leaving the mind and body free to achieve a more fruitful and higher quality lifestyle.
Take up practices that help to ground you. Some things that might help you include meditation, yoga, reflection in nature, martial arts, endurance sports, a hobby that fulfills a passion, etc. Find something that calms and centers you and to which you can retreat when you need to re-energize yourself.
Know what your needs and desires are
Take time to decipher what is important to you. Know what your likes and dislikes are and develop some idea of where you would like to see yourself in the future. Write down your plans on paper. Paste it on a wall where you can constantly remind yourself and stay focused. This will also help you when times get tough and you feel the gripping desire to fall back into older negative habits. More importantly, knowing what you want in life acts as a shield to prevent you from taking on board other people's expectations for you and treating those as your own instead. By all means remain open to hearing what others have to say but don't be swayed by what doesn't fit with your needs and desires, or by what stops you from being true to yourself.
Stick to your own beliefs and be comfortable with yourself
The doubts, regrets, and misgivings that others feel should be of no consequence to you and the paths you follow in life. It is commonplace to hear such comments as "My parents wanted me to do X, so I did", or "My spouse wanted to go to X city, so we did" and then to see the speaker behave as if their life were determined by someone else's choices. Or, there is the perennial "If only I had done things differently, I'd be famous/rich/important by now, but X held me back."
Believing in your own beliefs 1
None of these thoughts about the past are helpful to the person you are now: Don't allow other people or their preferences to serve as your excuse for a lack of an internal moral compass and set of beliefs. Your faith and confidence in your own beliefs will get you to where you want to be. Once again, listen if you have to, but do it selectively. Keeping away from people who confuse you is the next very best choice to make - make excuses to stay away.
Believing in your own beliefs 2
At times, you will need to make compromises with the people close to you or who impact your professional life; but, do so knowingly and confidently, and not because you feel bludgeoned into making choices by a toxic personality.
Find like minded people 1
As we all know, no person is an island - we humans are social creatures. As time progresses, your entire being will become accustomed to happy and wholesome interactions. What you will discover when you focus on sustaining an optimistic mindset and refusing to dwell on the negativity is that you will attract people with a similar mindset to you. Mingle with company that helps you to develop a healthy body and mind - be with optimistic, upbeat, and happy people.
Find like minded people 2
The more time spent with people of this nature, the happier and brighter you will feel. Their nourishing, healthy, and positive attitudes are contagious in a good way and will help you to stay on an even keel. Equally, once you reach the point whereby anything or anyone who disrupts your sense of balance and inner peace starts to irritate you, you know how to politely deflect them, and this confirms that you're well on your way to a greater and more contented life.
Find like minded people 3
Pass it on. Use the inspirational example of the more positive people in your life to guide yourself away from the toxic thought dwellers. In turn, become more like the optimistic people by seeing the best in others and complimenting the good you see in people. Be the source of a "healthy chain of emotions" by remaining upbeat when interacting with others; accept and give compliments with thankfulness, maintain eye contact with them, and smile.
Strive to become one with yourself, the environment and your needs
This may be difficult at the onset but given time, the routine of seeing everything as a wonder and finding the good and positive in everyday interactions will eventually fall into place. A calm and collected mind is ingenious and complements productive and sensible thinking.
Dealing with others tip 1
It matters not if people think of you as antisocial or arrogant; such terminology is all too easily applied to a person who assertively strikes forth to make a mark in the world and to better themselves. You need to become the most important person in your own life. If their presence brings you undue grief, then you are better off without them or their presence and this is not disloyal or snobbish; remember that toxic people will attempt to make you see it that way so as to drag you back into their toxic worldview but even their judgment of you is wrongheaded and in reality an excuse for their own behavior rather than a level-headed summation of who you are.
Dealing with others tip 2
Strive to see the best in everything you do. Once the voices on the inside echo louder than the voices on the outside, then you have achieved a higher level of thinking within yourself.
Dealing with others tip 3
Review and follow the above steps, Your mind and psyche will then be prepared to stand guard against those who knowingly or unknowingly put you down, thereby creating doubt about your own potential and capabilities.
Dealing with others tip 4
Force yourself to do this until it becomes a daily habit you cannot live without. You will discover that it causes negative encounters to move away from your thoughts and will replace these with more harmonious, happy, and productive thoughts.
Dealing with others tip 5
Find one thing a day to be grateful for.
Dealing with others tip 6
Spend as little time with negative people as possible. Even if it's just five minutes a day, that's five fewer positive and productive minutes for you.
Dealing with others tip 7
Use a small, lovely photo frame to post a simple note that says Be Thankful Always; place it in a prominent place where you pass it and see if often.
How do you deal with criticism? The first reaction for many of us is to defend ourselves, or worse yet to lash back. And yet, while criticism can be taken as hurtful and demoralizing, it can also be viewed in a positive way: it is honesty, and it can spur us to do better.
Show your true talents while revealing your toughness by controlling the immediate challenge: resolving your own internal conflict. Be tough, and don't whine or howl. Learning to accept criticism with grace and appreciation will not only help you out in academic and professional circumstances, but will help you become a better person overall.
Postpone your first reaction
If your first reaction is to lash back at the person giving the criticism, or to become defensive, take a minute before reacting at all. Move slowly (not acting-out) toward the person, then turn away saying, "Let's talk about this in a minute." Take a deep breath, and give it a little thought. For example, let a critical email sit in your inbox for at least an hour before replying. That is like walking away from someone instead of saying something you'll regret later. Save your reply as a draft and come back an hour or a day later to polish it before sending. Remember, emails can be forwarded to others by the recipient with a few clicks.
You have to absorb and convert some heat to positive energy. That cooling off time allows you to give it a little more thought beyond your initial reaction. It allows logic to step in, past the emotion. This is not a criticism against emotion, but when it's a negative emotion, sometimes it can cause more harm than good. So let your emotions run their course--while making positive and pro-active inputs as usual--and then respond more specifically when you feel calmer. Don't get into a dog fight of snarls, red-eyes (burning tears) and glares that stem the flow of purposeful work or study...
If you can rise above the petty insults and attacks, and respond in a calm and positive manner to the meat of the criticism, you will be the better person. And guess what? There are two amazing benefits of this:
Others will admire you and think better of you for rising above the attack. Especially if you remain positive and actually take the criticism well.
You will feel better about yourself. By participating in personal attacks, we dirty ourselves. But if we can stay above that level, we feel good about who we are. And that's the most important benefit of all.
Turn a negative into a positive
One of the keys to success in anything you do is the ability to find the positive in things that most people see as a negative. Sickness forces you to stop your exercise program? That's a welcome rest. Tired of your job? That's a time to rediscover what's important and to look for a better job. You can do the same thing with criticism: find the positive in it. Sure, it may be rude and mean, but in most criticism, you can find a nugget of gold: honest feedback and a suggestion for improvement.
See it as an opportunity to improve — and without that constant improvement, we are just sitting still
Improvement is a good thing. For example, this criticism: "You write about the same things over and over and your blog posts are boring and stale", can be read: "I need to increase the variety of my posts and find new ways of looking at old things." That's just one example of course — you can do that with just about any criticism. Sometimes it's just someone having a bad day, but many times there's at least a grain of truth in the criticism.
Thank the critic 1
Even if someone is harsh and rude, thank them. They might have been having a bad day, or maybe they're just a negative person in general. But even so, your attitude of gratitude will probably catch them off-guard. Thanking a critic can actually win a few of them over. Also be sweet, as you might have done the same with someone knowingly or unknowingly.
Thank the critic 2
All because of a simple act of saying thank you for the criticism. It's unexpected, and often appreciated. And even if the critic doesn't take your "thank you" in a good way, it's still good to do — for yourself. It's a way of reminding yourself that the criticism was a good thing for you, a way of keeping yourself humble — not cocky.
Think about who it is who has criticized you
Is it a stranger who has attacked you? Then, walk away, knowing he or she is feeling the need to bully and you were convenient. That is all.
Is it someone you have offered advice to or criticized, perhaps in a gentle way or a brutal way? Realize, the person feels threatened. If your motive was meant to help, then try to remedy the hurt by offering support. If your motive was to make yourself feel superior, then you need to apologize, at the first opportunity.
Is it someone you love and feel love from, in return? Seriously consider that this person was, indeed trying to help you improve. The same thing said one day might be taken badly or might be taken well, depending on your mood.
Consider what is your role in the exchange
How much do you value the opinion of the other? Think through these specifics and measure your response. With maturity comes grace. Be a grown up. It is about time.
Rise above the criticism
How do you stay above the attacks and be the better person? By removing yourself from the criticism, and looking only at the actions criticized. By seeing the positive in the criticism, and trying to improve. By thanking the critic. And by responding with a positive attitude. A quick example: Someone criticizes something you have written by saying, "You're an idiot. I don't understand what x has to do with y." A good typical response should be to ignore the first sentence.
Take the interjection as an opportunity to clarify
Thank the critic, overcoming the insult by using the opportunity to explain your point further. By staying positive, you have'accepted the criticism with grace and appreciation. Say something like, "Thanks for giving me an opportunity to clarify that. I don't think I made it as clear as I should have. What x has to do with y is... and... Thanks for the great question!" And in doing so, remained the wiser person, and you will feel great about yourself for overcoming and adapting the insult to a higher purpose.
Learn from the criticism
After seeing criticism in a positive light, and thanking the critic, don't just move on and go back to business as usual. Actually try to improve. That's a difficult concept for some people, because they often think that they're right no matter what. But no one is always right. You, in fact, may be wrong, and the critic may be right. So see if there's something you can change to make yourself better. And then make that change. Actually strive to do better as a communicator. You'll end up being glad you made the extra effort.
Avoid seeing business and training as a "contact or blood sport"
See that you are not mainly hanging them high or letting them twist in the breeze: instead you are being the masterful communicator showing the low-achiever how it's done. Be the one who is thoughtful and demonstrating how to communicate to achieve your goal!
Use humor or deflection 1
There may be some times where an insult isn't as bad as someone calling you a horrible name of some sort, but they say something that could embarrass you.
Use humor or deflection 2
Think of it as a chance to laugh or make your day better. Smile at it as if it were a joke. Who cares if you turn red. See that moment happening only once in your life. You'll look back on it one day and laugh. So, pretend you're grown up in the future, looking back on that day and laughing at it.
Use humor or deflection 3
If you can handle it, fake-agree. Fake-agreeing speaks for itself. Just agree, but fake it in a fun manner, such as a snappy, funny (possibly sarcastic) way.
Use humor or deflection 4
Here's an example: "Man, you got some messed up hair" (everyone notices and laughs). Smile (or laugh) "Yup, hair dryer won." Or whatever else you can think of. Yeah, you might feel a little bad, but others will admire the positive part of your reaction.
Be the better person 1
Too many times we take criticism as a personal attack, as an insult to who we are. But it's not. Well, perhaps sometimes it is, but we don't have to take it that way. Take it as a criticism of your actions, not your person. If you do that, you can detach yourself from the criticism emotionally and see what should be done. But the way that many of us handle the criticisms that we see as personal attacks is by attacking back. "I'm not going to let someone talk to me that way."
Be the better person 2
Especially if this criticism is made in public, such as in the comments of a blog or on a forum. You have to defend yourself, and attack the attacker ... right? Wrong. By attacking the attacker, you are stooping to his level. Even if the person was mean or rude, you don't have to be the same way. You don't have to commit the same sins. Be the better person.
Dealing with Criticism Tip 1
Ignoring a personal attack might make you look like a better person in some people's eyes. However, a simple request to the person asking that they not use name-calling and personal remarks would be appropriate.
Dealing with Criticism Tip 2
If the criticism persists, use nonviolent communication to make it stop. There are some people who are difficult to deal with, but when they fail to get a reaction from you, they will eventually stop or leave you alone. Plus, others will learn from your example.
Dealing with Criticism Tip 3
Never throw in the towel, but sometimes you should find a position or line of work that offers more opportunity and allows you to apply your personality and skill sets even better and more fully. Thus you come back to fight another day.
Dealing with Criticism Tip 4
Being brave includes not falling back, looking away or turning to the side, but it can be inspired by fear and the adrenalin rush of the moment. So courage is despite the fear and ignoring any doubt: it is largely persistence when faced with trouble!
Dealing with Criticism Tip 5
Do not confuse criticism with insults. Insults are ad hominem (personal conflict like off-topic descriptions of a person) but criticism may change your life for the better because you may use it to redirect your communication and efforts. Stay engaged and active while not allowing the criticism to stagnate you, but use the stirring-up to prompt a flow of more appropriate inputs and outputs...
Dealing with Criticism Tip 6
If you are being constantly attacked, bullied, or verbally abused, you will need to take greater measures to make it stop, such as reporting the person to an authority (manager, teacher or coach).
Dealing with Criticism Tip 7
Do not argue with non-businesslike detractors or muckrakers who sling-mud (while cleaning sewer drains--not that there is anything wrong with that) as you would be putting yourself in their category by joining them in the muck and mire of their shallow thought and their feelings of inadequacy.
There's an art to giving critical feedback that encourages someone to improve, rather than hurting his or her self-esteem. Constructive criticism should be positive in tone with a focus on a clear, achievable objective. It's also important to choose a thoughtful time and place to deliver the critique, since any type of criticism can be hard to take in front of others.
The goal of constructive criticism is to improve the behavior or the behavioral results of a person, while consciously avoiding personal attacks and blaming. This kind of criticism is carefully framed in language acceptable to the target person, often acknowledging that the critics themselves could be wrong. Read on to learn more about how to give effective constructive criticism.
Have good intentions 1
Your reason for critiquing someone's work or behavior is going to affect the way you deliver feedback. If you have an ulterior motive outside of just wanting to help the person improve, that could come across as overly negative. Reflect on whether you are the right person to give constructive criticism to the person in question, and whether the criticism you intend to impart will actually be productive.
Have good intentions 2
Many people decide it's OK to criticize someone else "for their own good," but in some cases the criticism can be more harmful than helpful. For example, if you have a friend who has gained a lot of weight since you last saw each other, telling her that she should lose weight for the sake of her health probably won't fall on receptive ears.
Have good intentions 3
If you are in a position of authority or someone has explicitly asked you for feedback, it's fine to give constructive criticism. For example, if you run a business and it's time for your quarterly check-in with employees, you'll need to be ready to discuss ways the employee can improve.
Ease your way in
The way you present the topic at hand can have a huge effect on how it is received. Couching the criticism in gentle terms is a good way to get your point across without sounding too blunt or harsh.  When possible, avoid words that have negative connotations. Here are some examples of words you can use to ease your way into giving the critical feedback:
You may want to consider changing your approach here.
I noticed these numbers have slipped. Could you tell me why?
Good effort, but I see a few areas that have room for improvement.
Don't get emotional 1
If you're giving feedback on a personal matter, you may feel emotional during the conversation. If you appear angry or upset, your body language and tone of voice could cause the other person to become defensive and less likely to take your criticism into consideration.Try to imagine the situation from their point of view and talk about how their behavior affects you rather than what it reflects about them.
Don't get emotional 2
As an example, instead of saying, Your behavior is making me crazy. You're not being a good boyfriend. Say something more objective, like this: I know your schedule has been full this week and it has been hard to find time to keep up with your share of the housework. I'd like to talk about it and come up with a good solution.
Choose the right time and place 1
Even if you have the best of intentions and only want to help someone improve, giving critical feedback in front of other people is never a good idea. No one wants to be told they've done something wrong in public. That leads to embarrassment and humiliation, which are the exact emotions you're trying to avoid by being constructive. Plan ahead and find a private place to talk. Ideally try to talk to them when they're already in a positive (or at least neutral) mood. Make sure you have plenty of time for a full conversation so it doesn't get cut short.
Choose the right time and place 2
The environment where you talk should feel neutral and pleasant. If you're speaking with a loved one, it might help to get out of the house and take a walk together, or go for a drive to a place you both like.
Choose the right time and place 3
If you're speaking with a colleague or student, meet in a conference room or another neutral space where you can close the door and get some privacy.
Focus on criticizing the behavior, not the person
Think carefully before critiquing someone's personal traits. Never give unsolicited criticism on someone's looks or personality; it's almost guaranteed to cause hurt feelings. If someone explicitly asks you what you think about his or clothing choices or new hairstyle, it's still important to tread lightly. Stick to matters they have the ability to change, and avoid saying something negative about inherent traits they can't do much to alter
Try the feedback sandwich method 1
This method is often used by companies to keep up employee morale while also helping people improve, but it's a good method to keep in mind no matter what your relationship with the person you are critiquing may be. Start the conversation with a compliment, bring up the criticism, then mention something else that's positive. Hearing critical feedback sandwiched between positive statements makes the medicine go down much easier.
Try the feedback sandwich method 2
Here's an example of an effective feedback sandwich: Cathy, this piece is exceptionally well organized and easy to read. I'd like to see you flesh out the section on metalworking to include more examples of what not to do. I really appreciate the great list of resources you provided at the end."
Try the feedback sandwich method 3
You can also start by mentioning a similar mistake you've made yourself in the past. This way you'll seem more empathetic and won't seem like you're asserting superiority over them.
and use warm body language. Let the other person know that you are empathetic. This will help the person feel more at ease, and let them know you've been there, too.
The point is to actually help the person get better, so chickening out and glossing over the truth isn't going to serve either of you. Now that you know how to approach the situation in a positive way, it's OK to go ahead and tell the truth as you see it. Be prepared to back off a bit if you see a hurt look on the person's face
Don't make unwarranted assumptions
To avoid being disputed and maintain your credibility, base your criticism only on objective facts. Also, give them time to explain themselves in between criticisms so that they will feel like you respect them and will be more cooperative in coming to an agreement.
Be specific when you offer feedback 1
Giving vague feedback isn't very helpful, especially in a work or school setting. It leaves the person feeling confused about how to better meet your expectations. It's much better to give specific, concrete feedback so that the person knows exactly what changes to make
Be specific when you offer feedback 2
Instead of saying, You tried hard on this project, but it's incomplete." Say something like, "I see that you made a good effort to track down the best restaurants in town for the newspaper's writeup. The list is complete, but the descriptions of the restaurants need to be more thorough. Please expand this with information on what type of food each restaurant serves, their signature dishes, and where they are located.
Be specific when you offer feedback 3
In some cases it might be more appropriate to let the person come up with his or her own solutions before giving your opinion on what should happen. Once you've stated your critique, ask the person how he or she thinks it should be handled. This can make them feel more useful and competent.
Focus on the future
There's no point in dwelling on something that has already happened and can't be changed. You can bring up past mistakes when they are relevant, but be sure to direct the majority of the conversation to goals that can be met in the days or weeks to come.
Don't say too much at once
You don't want to overwhelm the person with too much information. Even if your criticism is couched in positive terms, it will begin to sound like you have a laundry list of issues you want the person to address, and eventually the tone of the conversation will feel negative. Limit your critique to a discussion of a few actionable items. If you have more to address, bring it up in a different conversation.
End on a positive note
Don't let the conversation end right after your deliver your critique. Say a few kind words, then change the subject to something else entirely. Don't worry about whether the person will remember the critique - no one ever forgets a criticism they've received. If you end on a sour note, your future attempts to provide constructive criticism will not be welcome
Talk about progress next time you meet
Subsequent conversations about the issues you critiqued should focus on progress the person has made. Discuss what concrete steps the person has taken toward the goals you laid out and praise improvements he or she has made. If further changes are necessary, it's fine to bring those up, too.
Know when to stop critiquing
After you've given constructive criticism on a particular topic once or twice, you've probably said enough. Harping on the same issue over and over isn't going to be productive, and could lead to negative feelings on the part of the person you are critiquing. Pick up on cues that the person has had enough, and don't say more until you are asked for your opinion.
Constructivie Criticisim Tip 1
Getting acquainted with " How to Make Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie, will greatly expand your insight on the points dealt with in this article.
Constructivie Criticisim Tip 2
Pick your battles. Decide if it is really worth criticizing the person. If not, don't. How important is it really?
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