Communicating With Difficult People: 11 Strategies
We & Others

Communicating With Difficult People: 11 Strategies

People in our surroundings have a right not to believe us, dislike us, misunderstand and disagree with us – let’s admit this. However, it is always possible to find a common language with them. Let’s consider the following dialogue rules that will help us to get in contact and understand our close people, friends, and strangers with a different point of view.

It’s hard to keep balance in the modern world: sometimes, it’s enough to watch the latest news to get psychological trauma. We are being overwhelmed with emotions so that we cannot stay focused on the most important thing. Under such conditions, it’s difficult to preserve one of the most precious human gifts – a possibility to keep in touch with others. It’s very important to preserve the value of a relationship. The first thing that helps to avoid an emotional trap is rationalization. For deeply emotional people, it’s a valuable skill that is to be mastered.

Useful techniques

Get ready for a contact

Before any contact, it’s necessary to get tuned, just like an instrument is being tuned before a concert. Sit down or stand in a position that makes you feel balanced. Tell only the things you are absolutely sure about and that are important to you, keep in mind why you’ve engaged in a dialogue. If somebody is likely to provoke your emotions, find an object or a detail on a piece of clothes that will symbolize stability and balance for you. 

“Yes“to a solution; “No“ to quarrels

Starting a difficult talk with a close person, tell yourself or aloud: “I am starting to talk to stay in contact with you, not to quarrel.” Keep in mind that people engage in a dialogue not to win a battle but understand each other. If you are talking to a child, remain at their eye level, touch their body. After a difficult talk, it’s necessary to say: “I am with you.”

Be open

People differ, just like their opinions do. We cannot like all the people around us, and they may also dislike us. Every person has their own truth. Pay attention to what is lurking behind words, look for a deeper sense. For this, try to calm down and be open during a dialogue.

Respect your interlocutor

Every person has a right to be imperfect, make mistakes, and be wrong, which doesn’t mean that we don’t have to respect our interlocutor. Remember that you also may be wrong, let yourself learn. And if we respect ourselves, our interlocutors will respect us, too.

Show an interlocutor you value him

Talking to a person, repeat at the back of your mind: “I see you,” “Your thoughts and your presence are important to me even if I disagree with you.” Make your interlocutor understand that you value them as a personality. This point has several advantages. Firstly, if your partner sees that you value them, his mood and attitude towards you are better. As a result, it’s much easier to find a compromise with your interlocutor. Last but not least, a respectful attitude is a guarantee of a potential trusting relationship with this person.    

Don’t criticize your interlocutor

Don’t discuss your partner’s personal qualities. Talk only about facts and events that are relevant to the subject of your talk. If a dialogue turns into a discussion, it’s often useless to continue it. Try to turn a conflict into a joke. On one hand, it may help you to reach a compromise or relax a bit; on other hand, your interlocutor may see you in a positive light and consider you a worthy partner to deal with.

Accept others’ peculiarities of perception

Every person has their own language and reaction speed. We perceive information subjectively, according to our experience and character peculiarities. Don’t be shy to ask again. Give yourself and your interlocutor time to “digest” information. Use “I” instead of “you” more often (I feel, I get offended, I am angry, I think).

Separate your feelings from those of others

In communication, we tend to project our thoughts or unfulfilled desires on our interlocutors. Correspondingly, other people ascribe some feelings to us as well. Learn to differentiate between these projections and stay in contact with yourself.

 What is your interlocutor feeling?

Bet you’ve heard an expression “be on the same wavelength.” Try to understand your interlocutor’s mood and find out what is bothering them right now. A nice joke may easily become embarrassing if a person is strict and distant. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to describe your partner’s emotions, like “I see you are anxious right now. Perhaps, we can talk about this later?” Typically, people get embarrassed because their emotions are easily read, and they may change their attitude to an interlocutor.

Don’t let manipulate you

Communicating with aggressive people, you should be able to stop an aggressive conflict at the right time and not accept any accusations personally. To manipulate, such people often use general phrases and the pronoun “we.” However, there are also passively-aggressive interlocutors. They prefer talking behind others’ backs, and poisoning with “after-words.” In this case, it is important not to project the feeling of blame or hyper responsibility on yourself.  After such contacts, don’t forget to have a nice rest.

Learn from your mistakes

The ability to end a dialogue is of high importance, too. “Thank you,” “See you later,” or any other sincere words would be fine. Analyze previous dialogues and draw conclusions from them. Confident people calmly talk about their feelings and expectations, they are grateful for dialogue and know how to accept compliments. 

To sum up, even people that are difficult to deal with at first glance may become the most charming interlocutors once you approach them correctly. Make use of the strategies we’ve just discussed, and we are sure you’ll be able to reach a compromise with your interlocutor! Good luck!  

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