When coming face to face with a difficult or irrational person, most likely anger is the main subject matter here. If it takes two hands to clap, then it takes one to step back and let the anger and abuse bounce off. Imagine that the abuse hurled at you as a parcel in the mail, do not accept it and it will be returned to the sender. The anger belongs to the opponent person, it should, therefore, remain there.
Many a time, a quarrel or a fight started when one reacts to the other person’s anger. It is very difficult to remain calm when anger usually spews personal attacks. But if you are very focused on not letting your moods be driven by outside factors, then it will be easier to step back from all the insanity and stay detached mentally.
Only when one is in a tranquil state unaffected by external factors, positive or otherwise, can one plot the next move.
So what is the next move? Onwards, we would want to look at how to deal with it.
Assuming you are a human with a nice balance of pride and ego, having to deal with external negativity must be a real pain in the side. It is not to say there is a sure way of guaranteeing that what you choose to do will be a permanent and surefire solution. As with dealing with human relationships, it is all trial and error. And if you do not succeed, there is always next lifetime to try again.
Remove. Sounds extreme? To protect one self is an animal instinct, and we are living in the animal kingdom. However, I am not talking about murder, but rather what you can do to remove the negativity cause from your life. Move away? Leave a job? End a relationship?
Confront. If you have enough leverage, negotiate. State the terms, voice your discomfort, then draw the line and dare the other person to cross it. Many bullies are promises and back down from a real challenge. You win. But if this does not work, at least you can make a fast decision to cut the losses.
Train. Some nasty behaviors stemmed from lack of emotional control. Adults are just as guilty as children when it comes to being incapacitated of expressing themselves. In this case, it is you who will need to “potty-train” by doling out “punishments” and “rewards” in accordance to the other person’s good and bad behaviors.
Forgive. If the opposition party is guilty of nasty behavior, it would actually look better on us not to stoop to their level. Forgive and move on may be the best advice yet. But be sincere about it, or else anguish may turn to hate and you will join the ranks of the undesirables.
Let’s be honest here for a minute. If you choose to bear with bullies in your life, there must be a good reason. Weigh that reason, was it a decision made because you wanted something in life and having to bear with abuse is part of the package? If it is, then you should not be complaining.
If you think dealing with difficult people on a professional level is hard, let’s talk about dealing with those you have close relationships with. Believe me, not every parent is a child’s best friend, and not every child has a favorite aunt, and how about the in laws?
Every child who has to deal with difficult parents will probably agree with me when I say it is so hard to say ‘No’ when the unreasonable scenes start. Be it filial piety, sincere gratitude or respect, it is so hard to tell the other party to stop trampling your feelings. We may have primates for ancestors, but really, how can you forget the kindness your parents shower you with to bring you up?
And that is rather it. Guilt. That is the manipulation tool parents would use. It takes emotional maturity not to fall into such guilty traps and win a truce.
First and foremost, boundaries need to be set. Clashes in relationships start from not being able to respect each other’s space. However, this is probably very difficult to achieve. You can set a boundary and the opposition party will step over it before you could blink. It is the sense of “I am your kin, what’s yours is mine.”
Next, avoid suspect traps and eliminate them. Every time you sense a guilty trap in the making, do not fall for it, do not react to it. Rather, step back and encourage the opponent person to stop. If you can understand that such manipulators use guilt because they are powerless, then you can develop empathy for them.
Lastly, if all else fails, then running away will be an option. If your inability to deal with or bear with these negative aspects is hampering your life’s development, then it is feasible tactical to move away from the sources.
Here is the bottomline. Difficult and irrational behaviors are signs of emotional immaturity. To deal with it, we must, as human beings living in a social circle. Success in handling such situations requires the level of security the offender shortcomings and to want to deal with the problem is the first sign of security.
Success may not be guaranteed in every instance but to try is half the battle won.