How to Interact with Difficult People
We all have to deal with difficult people from time to time. Whatever sphere of life we are in, there is no guarantee that we will get on with the people we have to interact with and we cannot always walk away. I learned some useful tips when I was a teacher of adults that I apply in many other situations I am in. I do not always succeed, but the techniques do help in many cases.
The technique is very simple and I learned it in a course on Transactional analysis.
- If you are an adult, then you answer an adult as an adult.
Adults who want to get a rise out of you will begin in a childish mode. You do not have to descend to their level. Adults who are adults speak to each other as adults. Many adults act like children when they feel someone else is in authority.
- You never let an adult force an childish response or action from you.
People who want to harm you professionally, spiritually, mentally, will try to make you into the kind of person who responds like a child. Look at how they make you want to behave and then think about whether you are giving a "grown up" response.
- If an adult is acting childishly you bring the person UP to your level by talking to them as a adult no matter how childishly they are behaving or talking to you.
This really works for me! The other person is acting out. You refuse to go into child mode with them. You speak to them as if they are a grown up. The childish person will find it hard to carry on and find themselves responding in a grown up manner.
- You talk to someone trying to belittle you in adult mode.
There is nothing more annoying than another adult talking to you as if you are a child. Beware of acting like one and letting them get the power. You talk back to them as if you are also a grown up and this forces them to talk to you like one. If you feel put down then go into adult mode. Don't act out yourself or act like a child in your response.
- Refuse to be the child in a relationship
Very few people can resist returning to being adults if they are treated like an adult but the moment you allow them to put you into child mode, then you are sunk.
- Be the Leader and not the follower in the relationship so both of you end as equal grown ups.
Neither of you should end up being the parent unless you really need for some reason, to get the authority, and that should be rare.
Once an adult responds to an adult who is in child mode as a child then the two of you begin acting like children and one of you has to take the lead and be the grown up again.
This might not work for every relationship (especially if the other person knows what you are doing as they did the course, but it usually helps. It works in letters and with Facebook comments too.
If you would like to look at the idea in more depth here is a set of videos that might help . There are many on Youtube.
Image Credit » http://pixabay.com/en/background-blow-heart-mother-s-day-689388/ by steinchen