Tactics for dealing with difficult people

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Tactics for dealing with difficult people

It can be very complicated to avoid that irrational people lose control in the middle of a discussion, but there are tricks to calm them down and achieve not being affected by their anger

Throughout our lives we all run into a family member, friend or co-worker – almost always the bosses – with an irascible, strong and violent character. They lose their temper often and we get involved in nonsensical discussions in which it is practically impossible to make the other person understand.

When we have to deal with people with irrational behaviors, our brain activates the fear response center. This part of the brain can not tell if a hysterical customer is screaming at you or a nervous dog makes a move to attack you, so everything will depend on you being able to start your conscious mind in order to calm the situation.

Not all people react the same to the same responses or attitudes, but you can practice a series of specific techniques to control the situation.

Listen

Step number one to have a conversation with anyone becomes more important when it comes to someone irascible and irrational. When we listen we are really focusing on what the other person is counting on and not on what we want to discuss next. If we do not pay attention to what someone says in a peak of transitory anger and then asks us to give our opinion, our oversight will only increase their anger.

Keep calm

When we find ourselves in a situation with a high emotional load it is difficult not to get carried away by the heat of the moment and jump the gun. Control the breathing with slow and deep breaths or internally count to ten – or a hundred if necessary – will help us not to end up just as nervous as the other person.

Do not judge

Normally we have no idea if something is happening in the person’s life that makes him/her lose his/her temper easily. We have to try to be understanding and understand the reason for the person’s mood without directly undermining him/her.

Be respectful

Regardless of how the other person is treating you (within limits, of course) showing contempt will never help you resolve the situation productively.

Look for the hidden motive of the behavior

Ask yourself what this person is trying to gain or avoid in this moment of hysteria. Perhaps his performance does not intent to but ends up leading to confusion.

Do not reproach him for his behavior

If someone is upset, he gets nervous and can not be calmed down, repeating that he is getting out of control is counterproductive and will only increase his anger. Now, besides, he will feel humiliated, and it will be your fault.

Do not give false empathy

Saying ‘I understand’ usually only makes things worse. Probably he does not even understand himself so you would just be giving him false empathy. Much better to get more information with an ‘explain me more so I can understand better’. While arguing, incidentally, it may relax the mood.

Avoid smiling

If you smile, it may seem that you are making fun of the person. Humor can sometimes relax the mood, but depending on who you’re talking to and what kind of comments you make, it can make the situation more complicated.

Do not get defensive

When someone is attacking us verbally telling us unpleasant things that are not true it can be hard to stay in control, but if you put yourself at their level you will enter an endless loop. Do not take it personally, remember that drama does not go with you.

Do not respond with anger

Raising the tone of voice, pointing at the other person with your finger or responding disrespectfully only adds fuel to the fire. Use a low and calm tone of voice, even monotonous.

Keep a distances

In aggressive and violent moments, even verbally, it is better not to be too close to the other person in case the anger literally gets out of hand. Trying to calm her by putting your arm over hers is not a good idea either. When someone is already upset it is better to avoid physical contact since it could be misinterpreted.

Avoid the “I’m sorry”

Although you may be responsible for the reason for their anger, of course you are not responsible for their behavior. Assuming guilt directly with a ‘fix it right now’ when the other person has already lost their nerve can lead to it becoming something personal. Keep calm and wait for it to pass. On this occasion, victimhood will not save you.

Set limits

Keep calm, let talk, understand your anger … But do not let yourself be trampled. When we are confronted with a person who is too nervous, we have to make him see that he can not get out of line, yes, with all the education and tranquility that we can. Include a ‘please, do not talk to me that way’ will help..

After the storm; discharge the tension

Talking with someone will help you get rid of the stress accumulated after the discussion. You can get rid of the accumulated adrenaline by going for a walk, running or going out to dinner. Do not let the emotions accumulate in your body or you will end up being you who has an outbreak of anger to the minimum.

Have you had any experiences dealing with difficult people? Let me know in the comments below.