How to Communicate With Difficult People | 7 Important Rules
We encounter difficult people on a regular basis. They can be passengers you meet on public transport, a colleague at work, a close relative, a spouse, etc. After a conversation feeling tired, the dialogue takes a lot of energy, and the essence of the question may not be resolved because the interlocutor doesn’t want to compromise and does not hear your explanatory arguments. Let’s talk about how to conduct a dialogue with difficult people and not to allow the appearance of negative emotions neither during nor after the conversation.
To begin with, set yourself in the right frame of mind. Don’t allow yourself to become emotional, even if you notice an overt provocation. Any display of aggression will define you as the loser.
If the conversation turns into a conflict, find a kind of fulcrum: a chair in the office, a tie or necklace of the interlocutor. At the moment when you want to respond to the provocation, focus your attention on the chosen object and ignore the lunge in your direction.
Listen to Your Opponent
If you didn’t start the conversation, let the person express his/her opinion. At this point, maintain attention and eye contact, insert clarifying phrases. In any conversation between two people the role of the listener is much more difficult than the role of the speaker. At first, the desire to reject the arguments of the interlocutor will be strong. Try to control yourself, and under no circumstances show an aggressive attitude.
Don’t Emphasize Personality
Difficult people like to use inappropriate and personal remarks in conversation. “As if you couldn’t make a mistake in a report!” – states a colleague. Correctly bring the interlocutor back to the topic of conversation: “We’re not talking about my supposed report, I’m trying to point out a mistake you made and prevent it from happening again.” More aggressive people don’t hesitate to use barbs toward your opponent. Don’t respond to them or stoop to their level. Remember the main purpose of the dialogue is to resolve the error, not to mutually insult each other.
More often than not, difficult people are unhappy individuals. Showing compassion will make your opponent a pleasant and understanding interlocutor, not an object of aggression. For example: “I’m afraid to imagine how you’re pulling so much work to gambling at https://www.playamo.com/games/slots, I couldn’t do that.” Such a start to the conversation will direct the conversation in a positive direction from the beginning, preventing the development of conflict. Surely your interlocutor will be surprised and sympathetic to your requests.
Don’t Cross Your Opponent
A clearly voiced opinion about the wrongdoing will cause the interlocutor to want to start a conflict, so a peaceful resolution of the issue is out of the question. In your mind there is a reasoned point of view. Present it correctly. For example, instead of “You did that report wrong,” say, “You almost got it right. Let me tell you how to get it right.” Afterward, state your view of the problem.
Find Good Qualities in a Difficult Interlocutor
This task is difficult to handle, but it’s worth a try. If you succeed, the dialogue will end in your favor. Before the conversation, think about the positive qualities of the person, his strengths of character. For example, he reacts violently to criticism, but never refuses to help. Set yourself up for a successful conclusion of the dialogue, then the conversation will take place in a relaxed atmosphere, and you’ll quickly find a solution to the problem.
Never Rush Things
Even following all the clues, the conversation can turn into an open conflict. To avoid unwanted consequences, offer your opponent to postpone the dialogue for a while. For example: “We can not come to mutual agreement, let’s postpone the conversation for a while, you need to calm down. This way both you and your interlocutor will have time to think things over again and build a more fruitful constructive dialogue the next time.
Dialogue with difficult people is a kind of test, requiring from you not only brilliant oratorical skills, but also wisdom. The rules described will help you avoid negative moments and get the most out of the conversation.