Communicating With Difficult People: 5 Tips To Make Peace With Difficult People
by: Michael Lee
Communicating with difficult people certainly poses a challenge, but that shouldn’t keep you from trying anyway. In fact, breaking through these people’s barriers can be quite rewarding if you go about it the right way!
Find out how to start communicating with difficult people using the 5 tips below:
Tip # 1: Break the Ice.
Don’t expect difficult people to break the ice first. That’s your territory. One of the easiest ways to do this is to smile.
A smile gives out a feeling of friendliness and openness. Even if said person isn’t ready to dive into a conversation, it will at least assure him that you mean well.
Tip # 2: Don’t Judge.
Difficult people aren’t exactly the most fun to talk with, but that’s only because you haven’t gotten to know them yet. As the famous adage goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover!”
You’ll never know how much you have in common with another person until you get to know each other. Who knows? He just might be the only other person in your neighborhood or office who shares your enthusiasm for the same hobbies!
Tip # 3: Talk About Safe Topics.
When communicating with difficult people, it’s best that you start with topics that won’t make them run away.
If you two are in the same team, talk about how your project is going. If you two are in the same event, talk about how the food is or how the music is. They’ll probably have an opinion about these things one way or another.
Tip # 4: Don’t Take Things Personally.
A harsh word or two doesn’t always mean that a person is out to get you. When communicating with difficult people, keep in mind that they don’t always mean what they say; or if they do, they don’t always want to hurt your feelings.
Walking out on a person or lashing back out will only reinforce their barrier back into place.
Tip # 5: Do It on the Home Turf.
A person who is out of his element isn’t as likely to pose a problem as a person in familiar ground. If you want to have control over what happens, arrange a meeting on your home turf.
That doesn’t mean you should take the person home with you. It only means that you should choose from the places you’re comfortable at, like your favorite restaurant or your own office.
Communicating with difficult people may be tough, but not impossible. As long as you play your cards right, you’ll be able to come out on top.