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When we’ve been under stress, we sometimes get a little sensitive.  Sometimes we get accused of having a thin skin.  When dealing with difficult people, you do have to grow a little bit thicker skin.

Here are four helpful strategies to consider when dealing with difficult people so that you won’t take it so personally.

First strategy is to move closer to them.  At the next meeting with that person, instead of sitting in the opposite side of the room, just move over one chair.  Next month, move another chair closer.  And repeat.  Pretty soon you’ll be sitting right next to them.  Changing the distance changes the dynamic.

The second strategy is to remember that this is a game.  Repeat to yourself that this is just a game, not out loud, just to yourself.  The game could be intimidation or it could be humiliation.  But, since it is a game, you get to choose whether or not to play.

The third strategy is to think of them as a metaphor.  Think of that difficult people as a metaphor, not as a human being. A human being would never treat you this badly.  For example, think of them as a kangaroo.   Just imagine how silly that would make them look to you.  It is hard to get upset with a kangaroo.

The fourth strategy is to laugh as soon as you can.  Make sure you don’t take it seriously. When you laugh, it releases endorphins, which relieves stress. This will also prevent you from dragging the negative feelings into the next relationship, that is innocent.

By using these techniques, you will take away a lot of the stress, and a lot of the sting, of interacting with people who become difficult.  So, don’t take it personally.  You haven’t been singled out.  They probably treat everybody this way.

Kit Welchlin is a nationally recognized professional motivational speaker and author and can be found at and

If you need to find a keynote speaker, plenary speaker, breakout speaker, concurrent session speaker, seminar leader, or workshop facilitator who can deliver in-person, virtually, or via prerecorded session, Kit Welchlin, M.A., CSP, CVP, is a nationally recognized professional motivational speaker and author and can be found at or