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How to deal with difficult people


There is nothing that creates the worse kind of stress at work as difficult people, obnoxious types (and other words that you might think of to describe them).

But it's a fact of life - they are out there and some of them seem to have made it a life mission to make your life difficult.

Here are some smart things to keep in mind to prevent yourself from hitting the roof:

1. Listen to the people who make your life miserable – a lot of those who make your life miserable are acting like this because no one ever listen to them. If you do, you may be the one they've been longing for to talk to and you can see the change right away if they feel that you are listening to what they have to say. Simply show that they don't need to be such an obnoxious person – because you're not.

2. Why isn't a pro as difficult as the obnoxious person in front of you? Well, simply because a pro has a certain aim in mind, more than the desire to look for vengeance. The professionals know that it's part of the business game to achieve goals and that never happens by becoming an unpleasant person. The goal is more important than winning an argument right here and now. A real pro is always thinking long-term. Are you a professional? The difference between a pro and one that constantly must be proven right at any cost will often be found at a particular place - in the wallet.

3. Complaints and angry customers are good because you can learn something from them. If you get complaints about particular things from several people, there is probably a reason. If you get a nasty person on the phone, whining about something that is essentially his/her own fault, you can learn to listen and accept the challenge to make the customer happy (instead of getting angry yourself). Try to be a little cool.

4. Be present. If you need to confront a difficult person - be sure to honor all your agreements so that there are no more reasons to be difficult. This way you'll give him/her more reasons to stop being difficult.

5. Deliver something quickly. If you can do something to help the difficult person in front of you, and it matches what your company stands for - do it and do it fast. Ask what you can do to solve the problem. The difficult people often have an answer.


These tips don't solve all your problems with difficult people. If you surround yourself with many difficult types that only give you a headache or stomach ache – break it off. Tell them to find someone else to bother. This, of course, also goes for your personal relationships (yes, that's hard, but necessary). Sometimes you just have to break things up. Life is too short to be bullied by people in our everyday environment (even if you happen to be married to the bully).





About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.