Those 'Tough to Love' People: Five Things to Help with Difficult Humans

Uncategorized Feb 25, 2019

Part of the magic of a high performer is the ability to know how to navigate different types of people.  Some people are a joy to work with - they are the helpful, positive, inspiring, all boats rise when we all succeed kind of people.  After working with them, you usually feel inspired, energized, and better.

Others are the "Tough to Love" folks.  Irritable, hostile, sabotaging, demotivating, stab you in the back kind of folks.  You might feel emotionally drained, unmotivated, frustrated, angry, or in full despair when after interacting with these kind of people.

So as a high performer, what do you do?  Do you get pissed and fight with these types of folks?  Do you give up and let them do their thing?  Do you just avoid them altogether?  

The simple answer is:  it depends.

It depends on your relationship with them.  A family member is harder to completely avoid, where that one person at your coffee shop is easier.  You might be able to fight more with your family, or the best strategy might be to not "anger the bees".

No matter the strategy, one this is constant.  You will run into people who are tough to love in your life.  How you handle and interpret your actions when dealing with other people is the definition of character.  How do you want to show up in these tough situations?  Here are a few thoughts on how to handle tough people in your life.

  1. It's about expressing your best self and emotions, not them.  - It can be easy to get lost in negative emotions.  
  2. It's about leading them with proper behavior, not them leading you into negative emotions.  - Their actions, behaviors, and feelings are theirs.  You don't have to accept them, and you don't have to choose to have them impact you.
  3. It's about being clear on your goals... 
  4. ...and how you want to proactively lead change.  -  Do you want/need to maintain the relationship with this person?  Do you need to convince them on project ideas?
  5. Finally, it's about loving them even though it's tough.  Because they are just another silly human.  Holding onto things will only sour your own heart, and finding things to like can help you find things in common to move forward more positively.  

Most people see the ability to handle difficult people as a superpower.  What they don't realize is the super power is really the ability to show your best self under stress.  Remember that the next time you go up against someone who can't be their best self, and you can be the role-model for them and those around you!



PS.  Please post below five things you do to manage difficult people so we all can learn!  


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