As you are no doubt aware, human beings are driven primarily by their emotions; their map of the world and how they think things should be.
This all comes from their values, and beliefs based on their culture; how they were brought up, what they were taught, and what they believe to be right.
And often we just don’t like things about other people. Perhaps the way they dress, or the way they speak, the way they look, and their attitude.
When they are similar to us, we usually have good rapport with them. But when these people are behaving in a way that we regard to be difficult, we react from one of our inbuilt programs.
I’m okay, it’s the other guy
We may believe that our behaviour is okay, but the other person is behaving in a way that goes against all our values and beliefs.
We may also think that we are doing our best to handle the difficult person, but we may in fact be making them even more difficult.
This comes across in the words we use, our tone of voice, and our body language.
Our behaviour is driven by our inbuilt programs and we react rather than think.
We need a new program
I’m suggesting that to deal with a difficult person, we need to move to our Thinking program.
In the Thinking program, we are cool, calm and reasonable. We are thinking, not reacting. We are not making emotional decisions and we are not allowing the other persons behaviour to influence our own.
We are in charge of our own behaviour, not any other person.
We may not agree with the other persons point of view or their behaviour; but that is their problem not ours. Again, we will not allow the other person’s behaviour to influence ours.
We accept the fact that other people see the world differently from ourselves.
It is about being assertive, not aggressive or submissive. We are not saying ‘sorry’ all the time, only offering reasonable suggestions to resolve the situation.
How we change them
Our programs of behaviour can “invite” behaviour from the other person.
If we are in our Controlling program and tell the other person that we ‘can’t help them’ or ‘it’s not our policy’ to do something. Then we may ‘invite’ them to be Controlling towards us.
However, if we stay in our Thinking program and use more reasonable words and tone of voice such as – ‘I understand why that is a concern for your Mr Smith; I’m unable to do that for you because it would be a security issue that could affect your dealings with us.’
If we stay in our Thinking program, then the other person is more likely to move to their Thinking program.
They may possibly think – ‘I’m not happy with this situation, but this person is very reasonable and I may just have to accept what they say.’
You won’t win them all, but choosing your program of behaviour, and not reacting, may just change the way the other person thinks.
- Do You Think or Do You React (motivationdoc.com)
- How to Manage the Difficult Person in Your Life (motivationdoc.com)