How do we deal with potentially volatile situations and difficult people? We all want to walk away from a disagreement feeling good about ourselves, and not because we “won”.
Perhaps it’s time to redefine winning. If you can walk away from a difficult encounter with your dignity, inner calm, hair and clothes intact, you’re doing well.
The art of dealing with difficult people is really about feeling good about yourself. If you react, erupt or dump a scathing retort on a difficult person in your orbit, you will no doubt regret it.
You could permanently damage a professional or personal relationship and end up beating yourself up, riddled with guilt or having to deal with an irrepressibly self-righteous relative or colleague for the rest of your days.
And yes, that applies to the narcissistic boss, helicopter grandparent, vulture colleague after your job, irrepressible gossip, or brutal ex partner, and tormenting in law.
So, best to be dignified, calm and responsive when dealing with difficult people. It’s far more powerful and ultimately healing for all, if you can come from a place of clarity, power and a clear heart.
Yup, be the bigger person. But not from an arrogant, ‘I’m better than you’ kind of a place. From a genuine desire for your own equanimity and the intention to prevent creating more problems for yourself or others.
Remember: “The line between good and evil runs through every human heart” – Joanna Macy (An excerpt from an article I wrote for UPLIFT on the art of dealing with difficult people.)