The Art of Dealing With Difficult People

By ‘difficult’ people we mean people with certain personality traits or emotional
characteristics that make it difficult for you to communicate with them. The ability
to effectively cope with such people while maintaining a healthy work environment
is known as the skill of dealing with difficult people.

It is inevitable for you to come across a difficult person in your life that bring about
distress, whether it’s in the form of a neighbor, relative, colleague, employee,
customer, or supplier. However, the intensity of their difficulty may vary depending
upon the kind of difficult person they are; downers, better than(s), passives, or
We’ve all been there. Be it work, school or Thanksgiving dinner, we’ve all found
ourselves in situations where we have been forced to interact with people we find
to be “difficult”. For many of us, we’d rather eat glass than have to deal with
challenging people like this but how we survive and, dare I say thrive, in these
situations can separate us from the pack in both business and in life.

Why Is Dealing with Difficult People Important
Whenever we are faced with unreasonably difficult people, our instinct is to react
with frustration and irritation. That, however, is the ticket to destruction. It causes
tension to build in the work environment and can prove a serious threat to the
productivity as well as the overall stability of the work environment.
Therefore, it is important to develop the skills of dealing with difficult people not
only for the sake of your satisfaction but because your long term as well as short
term success depends to a great extent on your ability to smoothly and successfully
interact with such people. To increase the likelihood of your success in life and
career, you must be savvy in dealing with such difficult behaviors.
How to Improve Your Skills of Dealing with Difficult People?
Since it is difficult to avoid crossing paths with difficult people, the best option is to
improve your skills of dealing with difficult people in the following way:

  1. Identify the nature of difficulty. Analyze the specific behavior causing
    distress and identify the kind of difficult person you need to deal with. For
    example, is he a ‘downer’ who is always complaining and criticizing, a
    ‘passive’ who never contributes anything, a ‘better than’ who believes he
    knows everything, or just a bossy ‘tank’. Moreover, you must also analyze
    whether or not the behavior is consistent because sometimes it is possible
    that the person is just having a bad day.
  2. Understand them instead of trying to change them. Mostly when we come
    across someone with a difficult behavior, we tend to advise them to change
    themselves. For instance, we may try to encourage a ‘passive’ to stand up for
    himself or a ‘downer’ to be more positive in his thinking. This, however, only
    causes them to resent us. The best way is to try to understand them, their
    The Art of Dealing with Difficult People
    Discover How to Identify Different Types of Difficult People and 10 Keys to Handling Them with Ease and Grace
    values, and whatever it is that drives their decisions. This not only helps them
    relax but also encourages them to be more open-minded.
    Identifying Difficult People
    Difficult people can take many forms. “Difficulty” can manifest itself in quite a few
    ways, oftentimes, including people who spread rumors, who find the negative in
    everything, those who rarely cooperate, or who don’t value the input and opinions
    of others. They may find every opportunity to create problems or they may simply
    use passive resistance to waylay your best efforts to move your agenda forward.
    At the end of the day, defining “difficult” is a uniquely personal thing. What is
    challenging to me may be a breeze for you. Understanding your personality,
    preferences, and triggers can help you to recognize the types of people and
    situations that irritate you.
    Several types of difficult people and how their behaviors serve to irritate others like
    a course grade of sandpaper:
    ▪ Perfectionists: If you are looking for quick results, perfectionists can be a
    source of frustration.
    ▪ Control Freaks: When you want to do things your way, overly controlling
    types can be a source of irritation as well.
    ▪ Creative People: They’re essential if generating ideas is the plan but can
    cause frustration when you just want to get to deliver a simple result.
    The Art of Dealing with Difficult People
    Discover How to Identify Different Types of Difficult People and 10 Keys to Handling Them with Ease and Grace
    ▪ Shapers: Although shapers may seek to take over as and when they see fit,
    they can really help drive action.
    ▪ Aggressive or Defensive People: Assertion can help move a group forward.
    Aggression or defensiveness can have the opposite effect on a group’s
    ▪ Submissive People: The lack of confidence and fear of failure that many
    submissive types display can be a source of frustration as well.
    Identifying the Issue
    Turning the situation inward and analyzing your triggers and reactions to these
    situations can help you to be prepared and self-aware when they arise. Elizabeth
    B. Brown shares several questions that you may want to reflect on in order to help
    you understand the root issue of why that person at work or in life is making you
    ▪ What emotional tornadoes does the difficult person in your life spin off?
    ▪ How do you react to a difficult person in your life?
    ▪ How does your difficult person react to your reactions?
    ▪ If the other person is the problem, are you growing unhealthy actions and
    reactions in response to him or her?
    ▪ Are you the difficult person driving others to reactive behavior?
    ▪ How do others react to your actions and responses?

Feeding into our frustrations when dealing with a difficult person can become a
vicious cycle. We tend to see or hear an interaction and then interpret that action
based, not on fact, but on our assumptions. Then we react. Unfortunately, we
usually don’t have all of the information as to why an individual may be showing up
the way they are and, in the absence of factual information, we tend to fill in the
blanks with our own theories about what might be going on.

The Art of Dealing with Difficult People
Discover How to Identify Different Types of Difficult People and 10 Keys to Handling Them with Ease and Grace
Managing Your Reactions
It is all about breathing. Slow, deep breathing actually triggers something at the
bottom of your spine called the Vegus nerve, which sends neurotransmitters to
brain that actually calm you down.
Then, take a moment to reflect on how you feel. Ask yourself questions about how
you can respond to difficult person, or how you can create a good outcome from
the situation. While this seems like overkill, this is an essential step to getting your
brain out of its instinctual response (things like sharpness, negativity, and
defensiveness). Forcing yourself to think of ways to create a good outcome makes
your brain go into a more positive mode of thinking.

Leveraging Some Self-Control
Know yourself. Having a clear sense of self, what causes you tension and where
your limits are can serve you well when interacting with people that you find to be
difficult. Staying calm and developing your awareness and emotional intelligence
skills can help you to manage your reactions to frustrating situations.
Seek to understand the situation. Gaining some clarity by asking questions while
managing your own reactions can serve to help find a mutually satisfactory
outcome. Reflecting on what you would determine as a satisfactory outcome
before getting into an interaction with a difficult person can help you maintain
focus on what really matters.
Stick to the facts and acknowledge emotions. Using examples and stating facts as
opposed to interpretations can help keep interactions with people you find difficult
in check. Paraphrasing and checking for accurate understanding can also show that
you hear what people are saying and that you are doing your level best to work
effectively with them. Responding and stating your emotions or the impact that the
person is having on you based on their behavior, if delivered correctly, can
sometimes be the nudge that someone needs to realize that they are rubbing you
the wrong way.
Seek the advice of others. You’re not alone in this. You are not the only person who
has ever had to productively interact with a difficult person. Seeking out the advice
of others or finding someone to help coach you through it can be quite beneficial.
Sometimes, talking it out can help you reframe the situation to a place where you
can facilitate a more positive outcome.
Keep records, if necessary. Sometimes, things can be so abrasive that you run the
risk of hitting an end-state that you never intended. If things are to the point where
interactions are toxic, it may be time to start making intentional effort to begin
documenting things. If things go south, at least you have a good record of what led
to that place.

  1. Critics
    Certainly, there is a time and place for criticism. In fact, the best ideas and the most
    effective solutions often come from debate. All points of view are challenged. But
    difficult critics, destructive critics aren’t looking for answers. They aren’t involved
    in the give and take that leads to consensus and team building. They’re just critics.
    Or as I like to say, “Critics are spectators, not players.”
    I’m sure you’ve noticed. The people who won’t lift a finger to help are often the
    first ones to point one. Or as one disgusted husband replied when he was asked
    whether his wife drove, he said, “Only in an advisory capacity.” So yes, critics are
    non-cooperative. And their negative behavior makes it difficult for us to even want
    to cooperate with them.
  1. Liars
    As Kim Hubbard says, “Honesty pays but it doesn’t seem to pay enough for most
    people.” That’s sad, but she’s probably right. Anything less than honesty makes
    cooperation, teamwork, and relationships difficult to build. And cooperation,
    teamwork, and relationships are built on trust, and trust is ALWAYS built on truth.
    Of course, lies come in many forms. It might be the lies that are told to impress a
    prospective customer or the lies that are told to keep a spouse from getting upset.
    Or they may be the lies that are used in job hunting. As one recruiter told me, “The
    closet most people come to perfection is when they fill out a job application.” Or
    as a former Prime Minister of Great Britain said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies,
    darned (I can’t say the real word) lies, and statistics.”
    However liars lie, they are difficult to deal with. They’re like Jason and Melinda out
    shopping for living room furniture. They found a set they liked but told the
    salesperson they couldn’t afford it. The sales person replied, “That’s no problem.
    You make one payment, and you don’t make another payment for a year.” Melinda
    asked, “Who told you about us?”
    The most unfortunate thing about lying is that it’s seldom necessary. And the truth
    — no matter how distasteful — would probably be easier for others to accept than
    the lies used to cover it up. As La Rochefoucauld said so wisely, “Almost all our
    faults are more pardonable than the methods we think up to hide them.”

Published by

Laura Zukerman

Laura Zukerman has a doctorate in Homeopathy and healing medical remedies. She is extremely familiar with neurology, and studies the brain. She is also a professional life coach and certified drug counselor. She was trained as a model for many years, first signing with Wilhelmina in Pennsylvania and then working with Wilhelmina throughout New York & Miami as well as many other modeling agencies. She did a bunch of shows with all the different agencies including Elite Model Management, One model, Bella models, New York Model Management and many others. Laura began walking for many designers & made many connections through networking at the shows she was doing. Laura became friends with many music artists while modeling and attending parties for fashion galas and began to network her way through the industry. Laura Zukerman did a worldwide commercial at the age of 20 for Mikki More with fox news broadcaster Megyn Kelly (Under L’Oreal). Laura Zukerman then met Al Mason, a man who ran this company called News Butterfly Television, and he signed her on to work for NBC, CBS, ABC & News Butterfly to be a TV anchor to host her TV shows on NBC, news channel 4, in NYC taxi cabs on Time Square billboards as well as many other outlets. During Mercedes-Benz Fashion weeks she would work months in advance prepping to call all of these designers so she could schedule interviews for behind the scenes footage at their shows. It was inspiring getting to know the ins and outs of the industry and paved her way into the fashion industry. Laura Zukerman then went on to become a freelance stylist & worked with many different celebrities on their wardrobes. She worked on styling campaigns for E-News, MTV, Conde Nast, The Hearst Corporation and more. Laura also worked in many stores throughout New York City and networked with many amazing people who were in fashion, television, actors, actresses, singers, models, professional athletes; and also met many people who were in the entertainment world in other aspects. As this began to grow, she decided to figure out a way to put this all together and told Al she wanted to start doing her charity events for non-profit fundraisers. Al then introduced Laura to many Ambassadors of the United Nations and Laura began to have a love for philanthropy and helping the environment. Laura then got signed on as a Model to Jorgen Jorgensen who was the CEO of Heartland Model Management. This company was based throughout the US & worldwide. Jorgen was originally from Malmo, Sweden but knew the ins and outs of all of the ways to walk the catwalk. Laura would have classes every Sunday with her agency to show the girls how to walk for all these different designers from around the world. Laura began walking for many designers and did many charity events. One of the biggest events was for DIYA save the children where Laura and her modeling agency had many amazing people from around the world at the event to help out the charity and raise money for kids in India specifically. Another awesome charity event Laura did was The American Heart Association Walk. One of her clients and dear friends Cynthia Flood who runs the Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation of America also has a big show every year with many famous designers and had asked Laura to be part of her show. Laura has also done many editorial shoots as a model herself & has featured in many magazines. Laura has also interviewed on Good Morning America. Laura became excellent friends with Hilary Flowers who did a bunch of fashion shows for fashion week & they became business partners under Al Mason's company to get clients on all of these different media outlets. Hillary Also ran a bunch of fashion shows for many designers that Laura took part. Laura said "It was so much fun meeting new people and networking with all of these great designers whom all had different approaches to their designs. It's amazing how many people are out there trying to get their foot in the door in the fashion industry and how many talented and creative designers there are that aren't noticed enough but should be. I learned this when working at very high-end fashion houses to working with private labels. I grew up owning a store with my mother and sister in our house, so fashion was always a huge love of mine & having my mother and some other family members to look up to as models; I knew that was the right direction for me to go in. I then got interested in singing and am working on a new album with some amazing producers in the industry as well as singers with whom I had become great friends. I was so lucky to have worked with these great producers on my first single "I Can't Help Myself" copyrights under Mitch Moses Productions. These producers not only worked with the likes of David Bowie, Marilyn Manson, Lenny Kravitz & the Beatles but they took a song from the 80s that they had the copyrights to and recreated it just for me. That was something so special and dear to my heart." Kevin Mccray also introduced Laura to many fashion designers, including the likes of Valentino, where he came up with his idea with Laura for Maison Valentino to create humanism & a story yet to be written. Laura inspired the Valentino Love collection. Laura met Kevin through a bunch of friends when she was working with hot 97 at the age of 19. Laura Zukerman was the CEO of a company called Double L Management where she managed up and coming artists, her business partner at the time was the Vice President of Hot 97, and she began learning all about the music industry and got to meet so many musicians doing that. Laura's older sister Jaclyn Zukerman has her magazine in Boston called Get Scene Magazine; Laura does fashion shows for the magazine all of the time! Jaclyn had a radio podcast out in Boston & that's when Laura first debuted the song I Can't Help Myself & sang it live from Boston Massachusetts. Jaclyn Zukerman works with many celebrities and up and coming artists and creatives. Laura's Mother is an author of two amazing books out on Amazon that every female even male should purchase it is called "Lessons for an Urban Goddess" the second book is called "The Urban Goddess Lesson." You can purchase these books through Amazon or on Kindle. They are life changing pieces of material! Laura's father is a Real Estate Developer worldwide and owns the company Whitestone Realty Capital. Laura says "There are so many awesome designers, actresses & singers that I have worked with and continue to work with because you build relationships with these people. They know what your dreams and aspirations are & they were once in your shoes so they understand and they want to help you. If you push yourself you can be anything you want to be, you have to know what you want and go for it." She goes on to say "Never give up on your dreams." Laura's motto for 2017 was "Work hard, Play hard & Slay Hard" Her new motto for the ending of 2018 is “The world is your oyster, go after it.” Laura Zukerman now has her own Instagram blog where she posts pictures of different styles she wears daily to help inspire others to dress to impress. You can find her on Instagram @lzukerman where she tries to keep it updated daily with many inspiring outfits. These are outfits that she wears out with friends & to events. Laura is complimented on her style, so she thought; why not create a blog where she can help not only friends but all young women to look & feel their best & be the best them that they can be. Laura's friends always ask for advice on how to dress & she asks a few simple questions: She starts with 1) where are you going? 2) what is it for? & 3) how do you want to be perceived? Then she tells them exactly what they should wear for the special occasion. Laura always gets great feedback afterward that they got so many compliments on their outfits & that always makes her feel good! Laura as well as her mother sister and family, in general, are all huge on female empowerment. Laura says "We strive to be our best selves & to present to the world the most amazing person you can be. To believe is to achieve & to dream it you have to do it. I have some great advice from one of my best friends who always said, whatever it is you're doing, always give it your best. You never know where that could take you & you always want to present your best self to the world. Not only for you but to show others that you can and are doing what you were made to do." Acting is something that Laura loves doing, and eventually, she would like to start acting more. Laura recently made her second song off her first album coming out summer of 2017 called " Listen to Me" Laura Zukerman is now the Brand Ambassador for Pookie and Sebastian. She will be up on Amazon Worldwide where you can find her wearing all of the fall 2017 merchandise that you can now shop for from anywhere in the world very soon! Pookie and Sebastian stores located in the heart of New York City. Laura Zukerman currently works with Fashion Designers all over the world and loves it so much; she has no begun to travel to meet these designers and do photo shoots, fashion shows, and interviews wherever they may be! More to come soon! Laura studied Fashion Design at FIT & is now taking what she knows and putting everything to good use. Get ready for Laura Zukerman's Fashion Line to Drop. <3 Laura Zukerman is a GLOBAL AMBASSADOR for CREATIONS FOR A CAUSE. With this, Laura can make a difference both globally and locally. Laura is inspiring others to make a difference in the world by volunteering and giving back to the community and the world around her. Laura is working with many fashion & skincare brands internationally to bring you awesome products. Sometimes even FREE GIVEAWAYS. Lauras Marketing Career keeps expanding as her imagination runs wild with new ideas on and off the Television. Movies, Billboards, Advertisements for many companies, Songs for celebrities, she has done it all. Moreover, she's doing more! As she becomes the Marketing Manager of a big Global marketing firm, where she will be the project manager for the North American region! Get excited because the Marketing Business is about to explode. (in the right way of course) Laura Zukerman also has many experiences in Public Relations and Event Management. Her brother Steven Zukerman along with his wife Sharon Zukerman own the event space, Life the Place to Be in Ardsley, New York. Her mother was the head of The March of Dimes for over 15 years. Laura Zukerman has also been the Brand Ambassador for the New York Rangers Love Collection Ambassador for Valentino Givenchy Tiffany & CO Fashion Manufacturer for: YSL, D&G & MacBook AIR Escada Badgley Mischka Tory Burch Rebecca Minkoff Michael Kors Free People Anthropologie Urban Outfitters Steve Madden Zara & more Laura Zukerman was the Fashion Editor in Chief at No.3 Magazine, and now she is working on a second magazine to the be the creative director for the no.3 magazine's second edition that will be all fashion based. Laura Zukerman is now working on a big project with some of the most empowering women in the world. Laura can not wait to tell you all about it; it is going to be amazing. If you or anyone you know who might be interested, Laura and her team of 3 other women are looking for tons of new faces to hit the modeling realm. Laura has taken ownership of Heartland Model Management, and this means she could have you walking for any designer in the world in just a few weeks, with some practice, some great photos and from the help of some of the most significant models in the world! We will coach and train you on how to walk the catwalk; we will bring in designers who will pick and choose who they want to be in their shows! We will be coordinating a ton of events for fundraisers on many organizations. We know Instagram is fantastic, but unless you have the right connections and the right people to help you get to where you want to be, you cant achieve it all alone! You need our help to BRAND you! With Laura and her team, you are going to be unstoppable! GET IN THE NOW, AND START WHAT YOU DREAM OF DOING. We bring you styling, professional portfolio shoots, designers worldwide, TV and advertising worldwide, magazine editorials, the fashion awards and much more! Laura Zukerman is the regional sales manager for Street Fashion Week worldwide! For any designers that are interested in learning more about Street Fashion Week and want to become involved in SFW, contact Laura Zukerman at her email - Laura Zukerman is the Brand Manager and Buyer for Season-Seven and Hilite, we just opened on sept 9th, however we have been around since 2012 as Bou7ique. They are one store combined into two stores. Season-Seven is for women and is on one side and Hilite is for men and is on the other side. Bou7ique is the name of our other two locations which are in Lancaster, PA and Newark, DE. You might have known us well in Miami as well, however, that store was bought out by a hotel. We are looking to expand to more locations within the next year. If you follow our instagram or facebook page, all of the brands we follow are brands we work with and you will be able to see some of the awesome brands we sell. The best part about it is that SS19 is going to be an even bigger array of brands that you won’t want to miss out on! So come shop our stores - Season Seven for women and Hilite for men on 47 Delancey Street NY NY 10002, the lower east side, it is closest to forsyth street and chrystie street, however it is right on Delancey. Just a heads up if you don’t know the area well. Believe me, you will walk out with an amazing new wardrobe! The season seven instagram page is @seasonsevenboutique give us a follow or just check us out! We are open as of now Monday-Friday from 10-7 Eastern Standard time. Laura Zukerman is also a member of ASCAP- the American Society of Composers, Authors and publishers. It is a not for a profit performance rights organization that protects its members musical copyrights. Laura Zukerman is also a partner at WHITESTONE REALTY CAPITAL. You can also follow Laura Zukerman's Instagram account where she updates daily her outfits & outings at Laura Zukerman also has a new clothing company called AL Laura Zukerman's work is also updated as she makes her portfolio debut: Laura Zukerman will begin grad school to be finished at USC, University of Southern California, to major and finish in hospitality management. Laura Zukerman is now signed to UK Models located in London, United Kingdom. Based worldwide globally. Laura Zukerman is also now the NEW Brand Ambassador for ESIO - - shop the items, I will be giving out free merchandise and discounts on my Instagram account! follow my Instagram @laurazukerman104 Laura Zukerman also works in collaboration with @johnnywas - shop the items below. Laura Zukerman is now working on a huge event in collaboration with the United Nations, internationally, it will be fashion based. STAY TUNED! Laura Zukerman is a Creative Director, Marketing Strategist, Media Innovator, Fashion Icon, Music Manager, Television Host, Public Relations Coordinator and Events Coordinator. Laura has her PHD in psychology and neurology.

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