In the Good Guy Corner

53. 3 Strategies for Dealing With Difficult People

September 05, 2023 Mimi Porter, Certified Master Coach
53. 3 Strategies for Dealing With Difficult People
In the Good Guy Corner
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In the Good Guy Corner
53. 3 Strategies for Dealing With Difficult People
Sep 05, 2023
Mimi Porter, Certified Master Coach

We all have people in our life that we dread dealing with.  Here are three strategies for making it a whole lot easier.   Start using these strategies today!

For more help from Coach Mimi visit the website:

Show Notes Transcript

We all have people in our life that we dread dealing with.  Here are three strategies for making it a whole lot easier.   Start using these strategies today!

For more help from Coach Mimi visit the website:

Hey guys, I’m Coach Mimi here and today we’re talking about difficult people and 3 strategies to deal with them better than you have been. We've all got difficult people, right?  At work, at home, somewhere in your life, at least if you live a full life and you’re not just a hermit, you’ve likely got a difficult person that you need to interact with.  Who is it for you?  Keep that person or those people in mind as we discuss these three strategies.  

What we don't realize is that we are doing things that contribute a lot to the difficulty and letting it take a lot of our energy and power, so that’s what I want to help you see today so that you can get your power back.  If we could just change the other person that would be great, but that’s often not the case, so I’m here to empower you.

So Strategy number one is to recognize that "difficult” is an opinion, not a fact. I know, I know, you want to fight me on this, but stick with me, ok.  Remember, this is about getting YOUR power back.

So, with these “difficult” people, the facts are that they say things, and they do things. OK? Boring facts.  When we see them as difficult, that's our opinion about what they say or do. And this opinion makes dealing with them even harder.  

When we put them in the difficult category,it puts our radar up looking for the evidence that they are difficult.  And here’s the thing. We’ll find it. We‘ll find it because humans are complex enough creatures that we can always find evidence for whatever we’re looking for. But this actually increases the difficulty for ourselves. 

So the way for you to stop adding to the difficulty is to be clear about the facts.  Use that skill I taught you of separating out facts from thoughts.  You’ll see that you’re adding thoughts to what the other person says that makes things worse for you. It could be things like, “What a jerk.  She’s so disrespectful.  He never appreciates me.”  See how, when you add statements like these, you’re increasing the difficulty? Awareness is huge here so that you can drop what you’re adding and stop giving so much of your power to the other person.

Strategy number two is to identify their formula, their F-tear formula. Remember I talked about that formula on multiple episodes. Go back and relisten if you need a refresher.  We humans always have these formulas running in the background all the time and when we've got a difficult person to deal with, we become more empowered when we’re curious about their formula.   

The part of their formula we can see is their actions; what they're saying, what they're doing.  And remember that this comes from how they are thinking and how they are feeling, which we almost never know, but we can be curious about.  And this is a super power for you guys that when somebody is being difficult, view it as a piece of their formula. That's going to help tremendously.  So that’s strategy number 2: identify their formula.

So the third strategy for dealing with difficult people is: don't take it personally.  Don’t take personally what they say. Don't take their actions personally.

There's a really good metaphor for you to use here.  I don’t know who created it but I think it’s super helpful.

Imagine there’s a table with a fruit basket, ok?  With a variety of fruit, some of which you like and you’d pick up and eat. Some of it you’ll want to look over and inspect, before you eat it. Some of it you know you don’t want at all. 

So now imagine that what that other person says or does, is simply something they’re putting on the table; like in the fruit basket. Admittedly, sometimes they throw it on the table and it lands with a big thud! There might be a lot of emotion behind it.  Other times what they say or do is too timid or weak.  Whatever the other person does or says, think of it landing on this table.  There it is and you get to decide if you want to pick it up and do anything with it. 

Just like with the fruit, you get to inspect it and decide what you want to take and what you want to leave. This is a great strategy to use with those “difficult” people.  

So many times we let what somebody else says come at us and we internalize it, we we bring it in, but imagine it just landing on the table instead of AT you. 

So much of what other people say we can just leave on the table just only take the part that's gonna be useful, the part that you can agree with perhaps the part that does say something constructive.  We don't wanna have our eyes completely closed to what people have to say. Lots of times there's something for us to learn, some valuable information there even if it's said in a way that may be immature or a way that we wish were different. It still can be useful information so we want to be able to look beyond the delivery and consider that. 

OK guys so these three strategies will really help.  Here’s a review.  Strategy number one: remember that “difficult” is not a fact and that your brain is going to be looking for, and finding, evidence that agrees with you when you put somebody in that difficult person category 

Strategy number two, identify their formula. What they say and do is from their action line in their formula. What might be the thought and feeling that's causing them to act that way? 

And then strategy three don't take it personally don't bring in to yourself more than is necessary. They put words on the table and you decide what you’re going to pick up.  Assess it, decide intentionally what you want to address or give attention to.

All right guys if you do these three things this is going to help so much with how you show up with these “difficult” people.  And you’ll feel a lot more empowered.  Start today!

I’m Coach Mimi and I’ll be here next time In The Good Guy Corner.