We all deal with difficult people at some point in our daily lives; at school, at work, even in our social circles. When trying to resolve a conflict, these kinds of people can make a bad situation worse. Unfortunately, we tend to overreact to difficult people, which contributes even more to the conflict. Here are 7 different types of difficult people, and what you should and shouldn't do when working with them.
Who They Are: Aggressive people (or bullies) try to force their viewpoint or opinion on you. They often like to vent and they may verbally attack others.
Don't: Attack aggressive people back. It will only make them more aggressive.
Do: Firmly ask them to take a seat and explain their viewpoint in a calm manor. Listening to them, without returning in anger, calms them.
Who The Are: Know-it-alls like to be "experts" and have little or no patience for the input of other people. Its their way or the highway.
Don't: Do not be intimidated by know-it-alls or allow them to dominate the meeting.
Do: Try to listen to them and benefit from the knowledge they have.
3. The Victim (or Complainer)
Who They Are: Victims often complain about everything and feel like they are being treated unfairly by others. They are the Debbie Downers of the boardroom.
Don't: Don't assume the role of "protector" of victims.
Do: Ask them for their suggestions. Complainers need practice giving positive ideas.
Who They Are: These people often use their words as weapons, ultimately destroying any harmony within a group. They are poor team-players.
Don't: Don't let sarcastic people get away with their behaviour. Let them know that it is unacceptable.
Do: Try complimenting them when they are showing team spirit or say something that is positive.
5. The Nay-Sayer
Who They Are: Nay-sayers have nothing positive to say about other people's ideas.
Don't: Don't try to change them.
Do: Invite nay-sayers to suggest alternatives. They will often step down if they are asked to say something constructive.
6. The Yay-Sayer
Who They Are: Yay-sayers say "yes!" to everything in attempts to gain approval from others.
Don't: Encourage them to take on more responsibilities than they can handle.
Do: Make sure they can handle and follow through with what they committed to do.
7. The Loner (Withdrawn)
Who They Are: Loners often feel like they have nothing valuable to contribute and can be difficult to draw out of their shell.
Don't: Don't push or nag them to speak up
Do: Ask them open-ended questions which requires them to give more than a simple "Yes" or "No" answer. Be patient while waiting for them to give an answer.
Need more help dealing with difficult people? Check out 10 Easy Tips For Dealing With Difficult People