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How to Work with Difficult People

I was yelling at him – yelling at my former husband. He doesn’t hear well; I was trying to communicate with him – across 2 rooms. “Where is the light switch in here?” I yelled. My yelling made me feel angry. That bad feeling caused more bad feelings and…before I knew it, I was fighting with him – about nothing. I became the difficult person.

When you raise your voice – in frustration and anger as I did – you increase your negative energy or vibrations. Negative vibrations create upset in your mind (thoughts) and your body (feelings). When you are upset, with bad thoughts and feelings, you can lose control and become the difficult person.

Challenged by a situation? Remember: you are 100% responsible for your behavior. When you raise your voice at a meeting, type a frustrated, angry email – you send negative energy. You can’t feel good with positive energy when you give out negative energy. It simply isn’t possible.

Decide to change your automatic negative reaction. Decide to be the positive person who creates good. This will change your feelings, which will shift your actions.

Here is my favorite tool – PBS – Pause, Breathe and Smile – to use when you are challenged. REMEMBER: “Between stimulus and response is all your opportunity.” PAUSE – Pausing calms your body and brain; it lowers stress and allows you to reconsider your response. BREATHE – Breathe deeply – inhale and exhale; this shifts you on a cellular level, reducing your stress. SMILE – Smile and hold your smile – for 30 seconds – or more. You will instantly feel better. Smiling releases hormones that lower blood pressure, act as antidepressants and boost your immune system. Look at that line (above) again – just smiling improves your health. Commit to smile more often.

The point: when I forgot to use PBS, I became the difficult person. Instead of connecting positively and helping my friend, I upset him and set our friendship back. Next time, I will notice when I am reacting (yelling, stressed, tense) and use PBS to be a powerful, kind person.

It takes self-awareness and self-control to create positive energy, focused work and great results. Ask yourself, “Where is my energy, where do I want it to be?” and use PBS to get back to a better place.

I am 100% responsible for my energy and actions. Next time, I will show-up as a kind and patient person. I will use PBS when I am challenged. And, since my former husband/friend can’t hear well, I will be near him when I speak. I will alter my actions.

Challenged by a situation with a “difficult person?” Take 100% responsibility for your behavior. Plan to use PBS to break your automatic reaction. Then you can be the kind, effective, in-control person – not the difficult person – no matter what.


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