Coping With Difficult People: What Makes Them That Way?

Difficult People

Managing Challenging Personalities: What Drives Troublesome Behaviors?

We’ve all encountered those prickly people. The ones who never fail to rub us the wrong way. Who frequently press our buttons and stir up feelings of annoyance or frustration with their aggravating attitudes and actions. Dealing with troublesome individuals is simply part of life, but gaining insight into what motivates difficult behaviors can aid you in more effectively handling them.

What Prompts Problematic Conduct?

There are various reasons why some human beings prove more disagreeable and bothersome. Including:

Low Confidence – Those lacking inner faith often overcompensate by acting despotic, making unreasonable demands, holding tightly to rigid outlooks, and unleashing criticism freely. Belittling others boosts fragile egos.

Unfulfilled requirements – We share certain core requirements for respect, care, and autonomy over our life paths. Whenever those go unsatisfied, it commonly translates to prickly behaviors as a coping tool.

Programmed responses – If someone was reared surrounded by unhealthy, destructive relationship templates, it can forge neural pathways that perceive all bonds through lenses shaded in distrust, anxiety, and even antagonism.

Obliviousness – Some are simply unaware of how their deportment lands on others, struggling to interpret social cues most grasp readily.

Control fixation – For domineering types, acting difficult centers on securing rules, having their way, and regulating each exchange. An obsession with control overrides judicious conduct.

Self-absorption – Narcissists deem themselves special and superior above all others. Such overweening self-interest breeds indifference toward others’ needs.

Communicative ineptness – Where skillful transmission of feelings, longings, and opinions is lacking, bonds frequently fray under the strain of chronic conflict and clashes.

As you can witness, sundry factors drive disquieting, disagreeable behaviors in difficult entities.

The underlying impetus isn’t always externally evident at first blush. But peering deeper to comprehend where someone’s arising from assists greatly in better engaging prickly personalities when they nettle you.

Difficult People 2

We Are Not Beings of Pure Logic

All of us must interact with other humans. Do you relish these encounters or occasionally find them challenging? How can you best engage when facing troublesome folk? Let’s explore this further!

Indeed, people can be pains – anyone regularly dealing with diverse personality types grasps this keenly. We apply the “difficult” label when someone proves a true headache – or other nettlesome body part!

In engaging thorny entities, one discovers most lack clear aims, drifting along aimlessly. Some charm, others offend, still more occupy a middle spectrum. Individuals may size you up contemptuously or avert gazes altogether. While some dance through life politely, others clearly deem themselves superior.

Yes, people populate wide-ranging temperamental bandwidths! Despite our grounded globe’s breakneck revolutions, I admit hoping now and then some especially difficult specimens might spin right off into space – alas, no such luck thus far!

Do I jest in any measure herein? Not remotely! Ponder these penetrating words from the prime mover of the self-help tide and author of the seminal volume How to Make Pals and Influence People:

“In encounters with fellow beings, let’s remind ourselves we deal not with cool logicians, rather with impassioned creatures bristling with bias and prodded by pride and ego.” Dale Carnegie (1888–1955)

A bullseye summation of the human condition if ever one existed! But pause on that nugget a moment – who precisely constitutes the “impassioned creatures” referenced? None but us! All who walk the earth share this description.

How accurately do you self-analyze? In assuming this piece would target only troublesome external parties, you may have wandered off track, for its true subject lies inward. However subtly, we harbor nearly all the same quirks plaguing even the most difficult among us. Whether we acknowledge it or not!

How To Best Manage People Who Drive You Crazy

Perhaps a useful exercise lies in periodically examining our own relational conduct. Are we unfailingly graceful toward others or occasionally outright churlish? Do we without exception emit only sunshine, or have moments of pitch blackness? Have you ever gazed scornfully down your nose? Do you perpetually greet eyes warmly, or freeze others out via avoidance? We all stumble now and then – none dwell in perfection’s neighborhood.

As Carnegie sagely noted, emotion reigns while logic falters within humanity’s psyche. Our mercurial mood states surge and ebb restlessly as winds over open seas. Who hasn’t oft heard it said, “Mankind are first and foremost beings of passion”?

Indeed, when labeling someone “emotional” or attributing actions to mercurial “feelings”, we reference a lack of conscious control, no?

Emotions run wild, caring not who they trample. We’ve all visited this chaotic mental province, have we not? Assuredly no picnic!

What then, ought we do regarding such tempestuous and contrary creatures – ourselves very much included?

Perhaps a slightly more generous allowance of leeway serves us all best. Each one staggers under some measure of flaws, shortcomings, and persistent faults. While some souls need a sturdier harness to restrain their bedlam, in quiet moments dwell we not in similar realms within? Mea culpa! As wise Gomer Pyle oft reiterated, “Shame, shame, shame!”

That addresses not our universal tendency toward prejudice and the siren songs of pride and ego, either! Deny all you may, but registers of our psyche harbor unreasoning biases we little recognize or acknowledge.

As if stranded up that storied river in Africa! (Interpret my analogy accurately – I mean stuck deep in a state of denial.) How to abstain from such an irresistible quip?

Might we collectively do better to toss harsh judgment, choosing empathy’s comforting mantle instead? Recalling the gnarled digits pointing back every time we accuse another?

Navigating Interactions With Thorny Persons

When facing entities acting in nerve-fraying ways, how can we mitigate attendant frustration and effectively manage the entanglement? Some insights…

Calm rules – prickliness in others fans our own dormant flames hastily. Yet responding in kind only worsens matters. Maintain composure via self-management.

Define boundaries – Delineate which precise behaviors you’ll endorse and what consequences await trespassers. But enforce evenly.

Pick battles cautiously – Not every irritant deserves air time. Determine which factors are worth addressing and which lie better left unprobed.

Don’t take offenses personally – Their actions rarely target you specifically but rather stem from interior quirks demanding outlets. Don’t permit external chaos to infiltrate your self-regard.

Lead with compassion – Even the most troublesome player deserves a measure of compassion. Seek the kernels of understanding that lie buried somewhere below off-putting exteriors.

Communicate clearly – Frame statements around feelings, requirements and impacts of behaviors upon you, minus criticisms or accusations. “I feel X when you do Y…”

Listen attentively – Insist upon balanced communication where you absorb their viewpoint, even when disagreeing wholly. Feeling genuinely heard aids in softening prickly postures.

Teach by example – Modeled patience, compassion, and clear communication will in time positively influence even troublesome sorts far more effectively than scoldings.

Allow breathing room – Those lacking self-awareness typically bristle when confronted about their behavior. Where tensions escalate, disengage temporarily.

Know when to walk away – Sometimes, despite best efforts, troubled souls remain enmeshed in their snarls. Reclaim equilibrium and save your energies by limiting exposure to inevitable stress triggers.

While hardly effortless tasks, heeding suggestions like these smoothes your way in engaging difficult personalities, diminishing associated turmoil. In time and with practice, you can train reflexes to communicate effectively and decline ruined days courtesy of external disharmonies.

Parting Thoughts

When facing trying personalities, remember too that you likely display a fair measure of the same quirks igniting your indignation toward others.

We mostly rail loudest against traits echoing inwardly upon quiet introspection. Though we protest, the truth persists that we’re all fellow passengers aboard this ship of fools known as humanity.

In all of mankind’s immense pageant, a sole soul has walked the earth unblemished by a single flaw.

Yet He earned naught but resentment and rage from contemporaries ultimately moved to murder Him. Would today’s “enlightened” society fare better presented with perfection personified? Doubt haunts me on this account.

While persuaded of superiority, perhaps humankind remains much the same down through the drifting centuries.

Thus each person must pledge to improve where they can, to refrain from a haughty judgment against another’s “speck” whilst ignoring the “log” protruding from their own eye.

When inclined to scowl at imperfections in those across life’s aisle from you, pause first to inquire whether you’ve not uttered or conducted yourself identically at some juncture – often the answer surprises!

I hope these insights serve you well in minimizing needless conflicts and communicating more skillfully with even the most troublesome personalities populating your sphere.

If you find yourself continually at odds with difficult personalities, professional assistance can prove invaluable.

I would be happy to meet with you to share further insights and strategies for communicating effectively, establishing healthy boundaries, and protecting your peace of mind when faced with interpersonal challenges.

Please contact my office today to schedule a consultation at (561) 376-9699 / (305) 981-6434 .

With compassionate guidance tailored to your unique situation, you can learn positive ways to engage troublesome people while safeguarding your emotional well-being.

The choice to seek help is a courageous first step toward reclaiming harmony in all your relationships. I look forward to assisting you on this journey.