What is a Difficult Person?
By Mike Martin
We all have our theories about what makes a person difficult to work, live or sometimes even breathe with. A simple answer is a difficult person is one that you simply cannot handle with the resources that you have to rely on. That rules out the annoying, cloying, patronizing or condescending people in your life, as long as you have learned to cope with if not handle them completely. In my view the truly difficult people are the ones who have driven you to leave good jobs, great schools or perfect neighborhoods.
Do you remember the Friends episode whenChandlerand Monica were buying a new house and they found the perfect home, but this annoying, distracting and very difficult person had just bought the house next door? Those are the kind of people that I am talking about. There is something about them that drives you way past distraction and confusion into depression and despair.
The good news is that we can find ways to deal with them. The bad news is that it doesn’t involve hurting, maiming or eliminating them. In fact it’s not about them at all. What I have realized is that the real secret of dealing with difficult people is that it’s always about you and if you are prepared or not, to change. Difficult people always need a partner in order to be difficult. Otherwise they are just their mean, surly, or controlling selves. If you don’t act, react or play in their drama, they become lonely, miserable and totally ineffective individuals.
If you are ready to make only those kinds of changes that you can make for yourself then you might want to take a look at my book. There may still be difficult people in your life afterwards but at least you will know how to better deal with them.
Mike Martin is a freelance writer and consultant specializing in workplace wellness and conflict resolution. He is the author of “Change the Things You Can” (Dealing with Difficult People). For more information about Mike please visit: