Tips for Parents
Dealing with Difficult People
Dealing with difficult people is something your student has faced and will likely face again. Here are some tips to share to keep this issue in perspective:
- Most people just want to be listened to. Are you practicing reflective listening when talking with individuals so that they know you are hearing and absorbing what they have to say?
- People are socialized in different ways. When someone does something that you consider rude, consider the fact that he may not have been socialized in the same way that you were. Your points of reference are likely different as a result of different upbringings.
- We all need attention. And some people may go about garnering that attention by being difficult. Perhaps you can turn the tides by recognizing them for positive attributes so they may not feel the need to solicit negative attention.
- Too much attention can backfire. When difficult people see that they're getting a rise out of you, this can reinforce their negative behaviors. Keep your reactions in check.
- We all need an outlet. Dealing with difficult folks can take its toll. That's why it's important to have a confidential sounding board at your disposal. Talk with a supervisor or advisor about the struggles you're facing. An objective party can often help you wade through hurt feelings, anger and frustration to come up with more effective ways to manage the turkeys trying to get you down.
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