What are some words that come to mind when you think of difficult people?
Maybe such words as rude, argumentative, bad attitude, stubborn, disrespectful, loud, lazy, arrogant, conceited, mean, indecisive, non-listener, always right, or boss, come to mind. You do have options in how to respond to difficult people. Some researchers estimate that approximately 20% of the population are considered difficult.
Estimates claim about 5% of the population are sociopaths. So, it seems, that no matter where you go, you will probably have to deal with at least one difficult person. The keys to minimizing the personal and professional damage they can cause you is to be prepared, know your options, and change your behavior. Be prepared. You need to know your buttons, so that you will be prepared, ready and able to respond professionally, rather than react and take it personally. Know your options.
There are really only four options that you can choose to use when dealing with difficult people: stick with the status quo, change your attitude, change your behavior, or leave. You can often recognize and identify difficult people from your gut feelings. Trust your gut. Be ready and minimize the damage.