How to Handle Difficult People

Everyone has dealt with difficult people. A one-time occurrence is survivable, but long-term relationships such as our families and business associates can be the most difficult of situations. Teaching our children and grandchildren how to handle these situations at an early age, is a valuable lesson.

I think I have finally learned how to deal with those poor difficult souls. I feel a responsibility to pass on my knowledge, lessons that took me years to learn, to my grandchildren. I'm sure you do too.

This is the most valuable lesson I have learned. I surrender! Surrendering is strength. It feels like a breath of fresh air to let go of a situation or a person that you cannot control. You are not caving. You get it. This is the lesson you should teach your grandchildren. You delete. Use your keyboard and show them the delete button as you explain the lesson.

The second lesson you should teach your grandchildren is that being able to surrender is a powerful action that does not come naturally. I suggest saying this to your grandchildren, "As your grandmother I am going to teach you that to "surrender" is a learned skill and your best course of action when dealing with a difficult person."


1. PAUSE when you feel you are getting angry. Take a deep breath. Count to 10 or 20! Your silence is golden and gives you time to think. Let the difficult person rattle on.

2. This is hard but...LISTEN without interrupting. When you interrupt a difficult person their hostility escalates.

3. DON'T ARGUE even when you have the evidence you are right.

4. EMPATHIZE and make an effort to see the situation from the difficult person's point of view. This is a very important value to teach our grandchildren... the ability to have compassion for others. Explain to your grandchildren that difficult people usually are suffering in some manner.

5. CONCEDE A LITTLE. If you agree with even 1 percent of what the person is saying, dear grandchildren, let them know by telling them you agree with that point.

6. KEEP YOUR VOICE CALM. Don't show irritation in your voice even if you are ready to scream.

It is not easy to follow the rules of surrender when you know you are correct. If the difficult person is a family member then emotions tend to run higher. The rule "silence is golden" is another way of saying surrender. It is difficult at best. Our lives are all about relationships so it is important to teach our grandchildren "how to deal" with all kinds of personalities. If push comes to shove and there is no solution in sight...DELETE.


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