Difficult people 1

Raise your hand if you have ever had the opportunity to work with a person (s) who was difficult to please, deal with, or be around.  Most have at least been near this grueling situation.

Thinking about how to deal with difficult people often comes after we have begun a road trip with someone who is not happy with themselves, and somehow wants to belittle another person they see as a threat.

Why, I am not real sure, but it seems that women (more than men) in general, have more problems working with other women.  I can guess, like most of you, what some of their internal issues are.

Reasons for bad and difficult behaviors in the workplace:

It is usually jealousy, dislike, fear, bad communications, insecurities, low self-esteem, and sometimes just bad behavior.  It can also be a need to dominate the show.  In most instances, it is a mixture of these reasons, making it difficult to deal with.  Some people are not going to be happy with another person regardless of how one tries to counter the negativity, be friendly and responsive to them.

There are some people who are bullies, (yes, even adults), and do not know themselves very well. They are a pro at everything, and no one can tell them differently.  They are always right and they love to gossip about the people they work with.

What we know to be true:

  • Some people will not change regardless of what you try to do, and in most instances you cannot make them your friend.
  • If you acknowledge their behavior is affecting you, they will continue to play their silly games.
  • Recognizing it is their feelings of no self-worth that is in play; not yours, is one important factor.
  • If it is possible, it is always good to separate yourself from the source, or the difficult person (s), and it will help you deal with these work stress related issues.

Difficult people 2How to deal with difficult people when it  is your co-worker:

  • If your co-worker is taking advantage of what they feel is a productive situation for them, show them they are wrong by your actions.
  • Never let another person know that they are getting to you.  Smile and be the happiest person in the room, and make them believe it. That will get their goat worse than anything.
  • Do not show your discontent.  Is it not always an easy task, but you deserve to be where you are, if you like your job.
  • By disclosing your happiness with your job and by ignoring the attitudes, resentment, and faulty behaviors of the other person(s), it can possibly go away.  If you are doing a great job, it will show and the people in charge will eventually become aware of the issues (if they are successful managers who have “emotional intelligence,” and care about their employees).

How to deal with difficult people, when the Boss has an attitude:

There are times when nothing works for a person to make the boss believe in them.  But, if you use some skill, it just might help.

  • Do your job with enthusiasm, finish every task ahead of time, if possible.
  • Always be professional and offer assistance to someone who might need it.
  • Dare to be yourself regardless of what seems to be the norm within the company.
  • Set yourself apart from the gossip, criticism and chit chat of fellow employees.
  • Never, ever let them see your emotions; this will only make it worse.
  • Be confident of your abilities and know that when you do a good job, it cannot be taken from you.
  • Separate who has the problem, do not let it make you doubt yourself or your ability.
  •  If you do have problem; own it, and correct it.

Difficult peopleI do not ever want to voice negativeness, but as sad as it is, there are managers who do not belong in management.  True and tried management skills are not owned by every manager.

Read here for effective leadership skills. Those are stiff words, but I stand behind them.

Let me give you an example:

I recently read a true story about a young lady who took a job with a financial services company.  Her degree was in communication, she was a high performer and had great ideas.  Nothing she did pleased the boss and the company was stuck in ancient times for production, with a ‘good old boy atmosphere.’ She wanted to write, and she believed in her own abilities as she had written before.  They simply told her she could not write.

Nothing she did improved her ability to work at the company in a successful way.  It could have given her a feeling of incompetency, but she learned that this was not her incompetency, it was the attitude within the company in general.  They did not want new ideas or to promote others.  They were stuck in their own conceit.  She learned how to validate what and who was the problem, and it was not her.

Sadly, this does occur and then one must make the decision to move on, or continue in a negative unproductive job.

She finally had enough, left in the middle of the night (a first for her), got a job within a week.   Two weeks into this lesser paying job, a large corporation called, she had forgotten she had applied to this company before she left the first one.  This was a God send she said, and this is where she began to have her dreams come true, her hard work acknowledged, and a place to grow.  Within six months she became the youngest director of external relations, and brand outreach in a multi-billion dollar corporation.

The above true story is not always the answer to every person’s problem, but it does happen that one has to leave their job. If you are not happy where you are and you are being held back, it is something to consider when you know you have the ability to do more.


P. S.  Never let another person determine your worth!!!


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