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Without going into too much detail - does anyone have any advise or encouragement when you area dealing with difficult people? I have had a rough couple of weeks dealing with someone who is an extremely diffictult person - actually outright mean and vicous!! But I have to deal with her because of my position at the post office and also because her kids are in my 4H club.Any helpful hints or words of encouragement?
 

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Negative human actions come in a pattern, there is always a key that is the trigger. It could be a single word or a phase you hear repetitively. It could be 'this character came into the office today', or 'those ____ down in receiving, ect.'

The key must be in association with the situtation, as applicable. Your job is to change or prevent this by learning to recognize the key.

If you are gender opposite; ladies, I don't think you need further lessons here; if your are gender parallel, handle it another way. Such as returning the key trigger with something very 'off the wall', such as 'my dog wet on my foot this morning' (implied: what are you going to do about it?).

Alter the pattern, the person bringing the static (notice that they always bring it to you, you don't seek it out), can be flabbergasted in short order. Life lessons can be issued without more than a couple of words. You will be consider wise.
 

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Without knowing any specifics, my advice would be to simply let it roll off your back, and always remember that it's this other person's problems, personality, insecurities, whatever - none of which are your issues. Never respond with nastiness in return; amused detachment will do just fine. Deal with this person as simply and as little as possible and try not to give her any thought when you're not actively dealing with her. She isn't worth it.
 

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In Memorium
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Please realize that it is the difficult person's problem, not yours. It quite possibly could be mental illness. Since you have to deal with said person, don't take his/her behavior personally. (They're jerks to everyone.)

Unfortunately, you probably can't use my phrase when I encounter such a person..."Are you rude to everyone or am I just your victim today?"

Feel pity for that person and, if possible, pray for that person. In fact, you might just tell that person at the end of the day that you're praying for him/her.
 

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What I did was to simply cease talking to the person altogether except when it was absolutely necessary. This worked quite well. 95% of her intimidation was verbal. The opportunity for her to bring up the trigger Mitch was talking about never came up. This drove her nuts! Th ething is, I don't like popele a whole lot anyway, and I'm perfectly happy to wander for hours in my own thoughts as I work....so why waste it talking to soemone mean and then feeling anxious? If they're going to be rude or condescending or snotty to me, I just clam up and forget about them.
 

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talk little, listen much
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prairiecomforts said:
Without going into too much detail - does anyone have any advise or encouragement when you area dealing with difficult people? I have had a rough couple of weeks dealing with someone who is an extremely diffictult person - actually outright mean and vicous!! But I have to deal with her because of my position at the post office and also because her kids are in my 4H club.Any helpful hints or words of encouragement?

I have to deal with a person who is a complete negative person too - its her way or everyone hears about how bad you treated her. I deal with her by listening, validating her points and then redirecting her complaints back to her. I don't offer solutions to her, I don't offer to help or give her the impression that I like her. I just listen then walk away and tell the chickens later in the evening what a nut job she is.
good luck with things - just be true to yourself, and don't sayor do things that might come back to bite you later.
 

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Since you have to deal with them in your job, I would have a mental picture of a two year old having a temper tantrum--be calm, firm and polite. When I have to deal with someone like this, I thank God I'm not their spouse that they go home to. Pray for them. Model good interaction.

Being superpolite really disarms them. They want the opportunity to say horrible things and then say they were force to do so. Don't give them that opportunity. Inside it will make them madder because they know they can't manipulate you.

I don't know what makes people mean but I've had my share of toxic personalities. The older I get, the less I intend to interact with them. If you look at their lives, plenty of others feel the same way.

When I hear someone saying, Poor X--their family never visits them in the old people's home, My radar goes up. Often X has stabbed people verbally--sometimes only selective people for years.
 

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I've always been direct. When I was in college, I worked as a Jr. Adm. Asst. in the office of the Director of Cradiology for Emory University. Everyone quaked in his presence because he was so mean and nasty. He came at me with this attitude and I said (politely), "I'm sorry if you're having a frustration day, but I will not allow you to speak to me that way. I would appreciate you offering me the same respect that I offer to you. Now what was it that you needed me to do?" All the while, I was polite, but stern. He was really taken aback. I think you couldn't believe this kid (I was 20 at the time, but looked about 15, young genes, still have 'em :) ) would have the audacity to put him in his place. TMALSS, he was always pleasant to me after that. I rose in position and pay and I was always his go to person to get any task done. He kept up with me after I graduated college and gave me a very substantial graduation present ($$$).
 

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We can certainly relate/sympathize to your problem. Bill had a difficult time last week with a "citizen" coming into the police station to get fingerprints taken as a requirement for a job interview. This person's actions in person and on the phone have been such a problem that this "citizen" is now talking legal action agaisnt Bill.

They have been so polite to him, in person/on the phone (even before he came in, during his time there and afterward on the phone)and even apologizing to him for HIM feeling the way he does it is sickening. Doesn't matter at all to him. He doesn't care what the law is or that it applies to him, it is 'dehumanizing' for him to get his prints taken!

I can have quite a tart tongue at times, (I just never do it here!!) that if I had been there as a citizen waiting my turn, he would have gotten an earful on HIS behavior and that I would be gladly testifing against him when the time came. Give me your lawyer's name, now.

Sorry you are having to deal with this. I hope some of the replies given can help you. I like some of them and wish they applied to us but, alas, the polite/law applies/roll off your back/ignore them route isn't working in this case.

Good luck!
 

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Well, my grandma always said, "Make em zeros!"

While you may have to be around them, you don't have to "deal" with them. As much as you can, don't even speak. If you must, say whatever you must as briefly, succinctly, quickly, and politely as possible and move on. Don't waste your time explaining yourself, stating/arguing opinions, or caring what they think. Just make em a zero in your mind!!

BTW, this also works if you get over on GC any!! LOL!

Rachael
 

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prairiecomforts said:
Without going into too much detail - does anyone have any advise or encouragement when you area dealing with difficult people? I have had a rough couple of weeks dealing with someone who is an extremely diffictult person - actually outright mean and vicous!! But I have to deal with her because of my position at the post office and also because her kids are in my 4H club.Any helpful hints or words of encouragement?
My advice is to approach the situation with a LOT of sense of humor. If you look as the absurdity of this persons behavior, rather than taking it to heart, it will be much easier to deal with them. Just don't laugh out loud.

donsgal
 

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There are many good books and resources on dealing with verbally abusive people. Check these out:

http://www.amazon.com/Verbally-Abusive-Relationship-Recognize-Respond/dp/1558505822

and

http://www.amazon.com/Controlling-P...569X/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b/002-1453837-6387207

Get them used for a song!

I'd suggest the second one. But also check online for good free sources of how to deal with verbally abusive, controlling people.

Pat
Edited to add this helpful link
http://humanresources.about.com/od/workrelationships/a/difficultpeople.htm

an article from About.com on what to do with a difficult CO-worker.

and an excerpt from that link:

These are ten productive ways to deal with your difficult coworker. Let's start with the first five.

* Start out by examining yourself. Are you sure that the other person is really the problem and that you're not overreacting? Have you always experienced difficulty with the same type of person or actions? Does a pattern exist for you in your interaction with coworkers? Do you recognize that you have hot buttons that are easily pushed? (We all do, you know.) Always start with self-examination to determine that the object of your attention really is a difficult person’s actions.


* Explore what you are experiencing with a trusted friend or colleague. Brainstorm ways to address the situation. When you are the object of an attack, or your boss appears to support the dysfunctional actions of a coworker, it is often difficult to objectively assess your options.

# Anger, pain, humiliation, fear and concern about making the situation worse are legitimate emotions.

Pay attention to the unspoken agreement you create when you solicit another’s assistance. You are committing to act unless you agree actions will only hurt the situation. Otherwise, you risk becoming a whiner or complainer in the eyes of your colleague.


# Approach the person with whom you are having the problem for a private discussion. Talk to them about what you are experiencing in “I” messages. (Using “I” messages is a communication approach that focuses on your experience of the situation rather than on attacking or accusing the other person.) You can also explain to your coworker the impact of their actions on you.

Be pleasant and agreeable as you talk with the other person. They may not be aware of the impact of their words or actions on you. They may be learning about their impact on you for the first time. Or, they may have to consider and confront a pattern in their own interaction with people. Worst case? They may know their impact on you and deny it or try to explain it away. Unfortunately, some difficult people just don’t care. During the discussion, attempt to reach agreement about positive and supportive actions going forward.


# Follow up after the initial discussion. Has the behavior changed? Gotten better? Or worse? Determine whether a follow-up discussion is needed. Determine whether a follow-up discussion will have any impact. Decide if you want to continue to confront the difficult person by yourself. Become a peacemaker. (Decide how badly you want to make peace with the other person and how much you want your current job. Determine whether you have experienced a pattern of support from your boss.) If you answer, “yes,” to these questions, hold another discussion. If not, escalate and move to the next idea.


# You can confront your difficult coworker’s behavior publicly. Deal with the person with gentle humor or slight sarcasm. Or, make an exaggerated physical gesture – no, not that one – such as a salute or place your hand over your heart to indicate a serious wounding.

You can also tell the difficult person that you’d like them to consider important history in their decision making or similar words expressed positively, depending on the subject. Direct confrontation does work well for some people in some situations. I don’t think it works to ask the person to stop doing what they’re doing, publicly, but you can employ more positive confrontational tactics. Their success for you will depend on your ability to pull them off. Each of us is not spur-of-the-moment funny, but if you are, you can use the humor well with difficult coworkers.
 

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WIHH replied One I had to resort to from time to time was "What a terrible thing to say!"

This I like! I usually take and take and take, then I explode, when I should not have taken the first time. At times whenever I've come back with something that shocks them as in WIHH's reply, they don't know what to say. I'm going to remember this one and say it with a smile. :)
 

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My DIL and I just had a conversation kind of like this last weekend. She said her sister has trouble understanding phrases like "I'm sorry, but I don't feel like going because I'm tired" as to meaning "I don't feel like going with YOU, period!" She said she blows up easily, so she has to be very careful to make her see that it's not about her because she has very low self esteem and takes things literally. Maybe this is what your coworker is suffering with as well?
 

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Country Lady said:
WIHH replied One I had to resort to from time to time was "What a terrible thing to say!"

This I like! I usually take and take and take, then I explode, when I should not have taken the first time. At times whenever I've come back with something that shocks them as in WIHH's reply, they don't know what to say. I'm going to remember this one and say it with a smile. :)

You forgot the "Well, Bless your heart".... part of the statement :)

Angie
 
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