We all have to deal with certain difficult people who have difficult or challenging personalities almost in everyday of our life.
There is no book you can read or someone to teach you how to deal with challenging people; it is a skill needs to be developed along the way.
Difficult and challenging people cannot be avoided, they are everywhere they can be some of our family members, friends, colleagues, bosses and we might even encounter them in public places e.g. bank, supermarket etc.
Therefore, keep in mind that it is an essential skill and a very important one to be able to tackle all sorts of personalities. It can save you many conflicts and it can even enable you reach your goal faster charming your way round people.
Here is some of the personalities that you might have come across already or met at some point in your life, its characteristics, and tips that might help on how to handle them.
The know it all personality
A know it all person is a survivor; usually they are bright people and perfectionist in what they do. They have tendency to gather information and learn all the time. They have deep understanding in the topics they discuss. They are great observers and do not trust people easily. They believe only in themselves and their own logic. They would like to think they are in charge of their own destiny and understanding the world around them is essential for their success.
They demand and know how to seize control of situations around them and usually are natural leaders, and hard workers.
How to handle this personality:
· Avoid getting into a discussion with a Know it All person unless you are confident about how strong and logic your information is about the topic. If not, you will only be giving the Know it All person the idea that you are incompetent, and you would need to work harder in changing their minds otherwise later on. Be extra careful if the know it All is your boss, to avoid giving them the wrong idea about yourself!
· Do not contradict their logic, as this will be considered personal attack on them. Instead, plan your strategy well and engage them in topics you have strong background of, avoiding at all costs giving them the feeling that you are trying to take control of the situation or the conversation, on the other hand ask questions in a clever way steering the conversation to your advantage and make a good impression.
One of the worst personalities in a work place is the negative personality people. They tend to feel sorry for themselves, nothing is their fault and everyone is making their life difficult. They also have the tendency to pull others in a sympathetic way and can have a very dangerous effect on work productivity if managed to drag others into their whining attitude game.
How to handle them
· A negative person has neither the courage nor the ability to change situations around them to their advantage. Feeling sorry for themselves and getting satisfaction from people sympathy is what they seek. Helping them by either advising or pointing them to the direction where they can change things for themselves is the wise thing to do. The Negative person will either respond to your help, or will do nothing and avoid you. In many cases, the latest will be the Negative person’s choice, which is not a bad thing for you!
It is a person that is extremely unsecure about him. He has ambitions and many thoughts and ideas but without the ability to act upon them, therefore he gets frustrated with himself and looks for stronger people who have different characters than his own to teach him how to act. Copycat personality person is not a follower. He wants badly to become leader but have neither the ability nor the qualities to do it.
Copycat people usually are quiet and do not like sharing, are not good team players. They keep their business to themselves but at the same token like to know as much information about their chosen person as they could. They will copy the person’s tone of voice, body language and sometimes the way they dress, but mostly the way the person’s tackle problems and his/her people skills.
They dislike their chosen person and envy him, but at the same time admire him and want badly to be him. They will keep their feelings and thoughts about their person away from others. In some severe cases they will become obsessed with their hate and envy that it will affect their life and work.
How to deal with this personality
In most cases, the targeted person very quickly will figure out that something is not right with the copycat personality person. It is not a good idea to get into a will battle with them as they will manage to get on your nerves and will make you act aggressively and therefore you’ll be in the wrong in the eyes of others.
Avoid giving detailed information about yourself, plans and if you can work. Be friendly and boost their self-confidence by praising them when they do something good. Do not show off in front of them about successful achievements of your own, and always guard what you say. With time, the copycat personality person will become relaxed around you, maybe uninterested, as they cannot get what they want from you to feed their insecurities.
The personality characters that I mentioned above are just a few of many more personalities you have or will meet in your lifetime. In my opinion, the first step anyone needs to take is knowing you before trying to figure out others. Developing people skills is an important skill to have; however trusting yourself and your own instincts comes first.