I listened to a really good presentation last week on Dealing With Difficult People, by Margarita Gurri, of the Red Shoe Institute.
I was reminded of a story I heard some time ago of when a mother and her daughter were out shopping one day, trying to make the most of a big sale weekend before Christmas. As they went from store to store in the mall, the older woman complained about everything: the crowds, the poor quality of the merchandise, the prices, and her sore feet. After the mother experienced a particularly difficult interaction with a store clerk in one department store, she turned to her daughter and said, “I’m never going back to that store again. Did you see that dirty look she gave me?” The daughter answered, “She didn’t give it to you, Mom. You had it when you went in!”
3 points to keep in mind when dealing with difficult people:
- Your attitude toward others often determines their attitude toward you.
- Recognize that you and only you are in control of your attitude. It’s a choice regardless of the circumstances or what others say or do.
- Hurting people often hurt people. Try to be compassionate, observe and listen for the signs. The pain may be so deep there is nothing you can do to remedy it, but as Rick Warren said, “When you understand a person’s pain, it helps you respond with patience.”
Are you the difficult person? May be a good time for self examination…
Do you have to deal with a lot of difficult people? Still may be a good time for self examination…