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7 Rules for Dealing With Difficult People

… (Previous page – 7 Rules for Dealing With Difficult People) PREVENTION. We protect ourselves by being prepared. We tell ourselves beforehand that no matter what the other does, we will not let him/her push our buttons. We’ll remain calm and deal with the situation without giving away our power, without being in a reactive mode.

In an encounter with a difficult person, remember:
a. Many times you have to deal with that person whether you want it or not.
b. Don’t be judgmental; everybody has his own issues.
c. Find the good intentions in others. Give them the benefit of the doubt.
d. The more effort you put into getting along with another, the greater the benefit for yourself.
e. Treat others the way you would like to be treated
f. Learn, keep, and frequently use the 7 rules
g. Remember, the person that has to change is the one who can and is eager to make the change.
h. Keep in mind that being complacent and sometimes giving in, does not mean you are relinquishing your power.
i. Remember many people are just not aware of their behavior. Nobody wants to think or himself as being mean or difficult. After all, everybody wants to have a good life.

Recipes for Life:
1 cup of self-control
1 bunch of perspective
1 slice of purpose/target
3 drops of acceptance
1 pinch of noble eyes

Cleverness, endurance, and hope

1. You always have a choice to control yourself. Nobody can make you feel, say, or do something that you don’t want. You are your own chef, therefore you are responsible for your actions.
2. The only person that you can change is yourself. When you accept and change your behavior and/or thoughts, you can relate to others in a new and fresh way. Trying to change others is a fruitless task, with dashed hopes and full of disappointment
3. At all times remember your goal. These will empower and provide strength, patience, and a clear point of view, helping you to act calmly and wisely.

What are your rules for dealing with difficult people? Tell us in comments!


Written by Sabrina Alexis

I’m Sabrina Alexis, the co-founder, and co-editor of A New Mode. I love writing relatable, insightful articles that help people understand relationship dynamics and how to get the love they want. I have a degree in psychology and have spent the last 10 years interviewing countless men and reading and studying as much as I can to better understand human psychology and how men operate. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Instagram.

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Zama Good

advice me on how to deal with difficult situations on regular basis

Reply March 3, 2017, 12:35 pm

mikaela jovanji

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Reply February 21, 2016, 5:29 am


Pretty good rules, I think. I’ve done pretty well in business for a long time with just two:
– Treat everyone with dignity and respect and expect their reciprocity.
– If someone refuses to do so, get away from them asap or they’ll grind you down.

Reply March 2, 2013, 11:25 pm

The False God

The world is full of three things: things that are your responsibility, things that can be made your responsibility by your stupid butting in or malice, and everything else.

To the first thing: live, love, drink, and handle it.
To the second thing: know what you could be getting into, and avoid being made the fall guy.
To the third thing: if it’s someone else’s f—ing fault, then leave them to their impending buffet of crow.

Reply March 2, 2013, 11:23 am


A few years ago, upon graduating from a course “How to Deal with Difficult People,” no doubt based on these principles, a friend of mine shared that the only thing she learned was that she was a difficult person!

Reply March 2, 2013, 7:00 am


I highly recommend the book “Dealing with difficult people” by Dr Rick Brinkman and Dr Rick Kirschner. I re-read it once every couple of years, it is funny, insightful, and very helpful in dealing with the difficult personality types we deal with every day. I also bought a copy for my boss.
From one of the comments
“. I have had my fill of books which tell me to “be nice” or “work towards a compromise”. My response is, I know that, but how do I DO that? How do I keep the other person from popping off at me? THIS BOOK does that. It’s simple – exactly right for line managers with DAY to DAY conflicts.”

Reply March 1, 2013, 7:01 pm

Man in the Middle

“Never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by incompetence.”
-Napoleon Bonaparte

Reply March 1, 2013, 5:50 pm


Try being a Ph.D. online global warming skeptic, trying to post simple data to news sites and blogs if you ever want to practice dealing with “difficult” people! The madness of crowds effect kicks in like I’m an unlucky truck driver in a riot.

Reply March 1, 2013, 4:59 pm


How to deal with difficult people? Use the Rat (from Pearls Before Swine) approach. Whack ’em on the head when they get difficult. Figuratively hit them on the nose hard enough every time they act up. Eventually they get tire of their nose hurting and either stop being difficult or leave you alone and go find someone else that is more tolerant and less judgemental about their difficultness to be difficult with. It is the solution to the classic prisoners’ dilemma game.

Best benefit — no ulcer from putting up with them.

The real golden rule is treat others like you want to be treated, and then treat them the way they treat you.

Reply March 1, 2013, 4:17 pm

Mntn Man

All true. Those difficult people that I am not called to help I ease out of my life. They are almost always the takers who just want to suck the life out of me and don’t want to change.

Reply March 1, 2013, 4:16 pm


I whole heartedly agree with the first commenter. Difficult, rude, authoritarian, and incompetent people need to be resisted. The “President’s Rule?” If their joke isn’t funny, don’t laugh. Inappropriate deference isn’t becoming to an honorable human being. Silence may be appropriate, but insincerity isn’t; ever.

The rules are for avoiding conflict regardless of right or wrong will stratify society into the aggressors and those who skitter around in fear for the whole of their existence.

Tit for tat is the way to go – if someone is decent and pleasant then justice calls for us to treat them similarly. On the other hand, if someone is a jerk, why then let us respond in kind. It’s justice and we’re all moral agents charged with implementing on a day to day basis. We deserve and get the world we create through our social interactions. Karma Baby!

Reply March 1, 2013, 4:00 pm


” It’s justice and we’re all moral agents charged with implementing on a day to day basis.”

I’m not a moral agent and I have yet to be charged with anything

Reply March 1, 2013, 7:07 pm


Wow, so basically be cede the alpha role to every a-hole in your life. Nice recipe for putting lunatics in positions of power. Sabrina Alexis, you’re officially part of the problem.

Reply March 1, 2013, 3:44 pm


Without wanting to be the elephant in the room but the list assumes that Ego is not the difficult person. Is there an option for considering that maybe, just maybe, we might be the problem?

While such a consideration might not be ‘reinforcing’ it remains that questioning oneself is a worthwhile exercise.



Reply March 1, 2013, 3:26 pm


great suggestions … for remaining passive and allowing the other person to dominate the situation …

bullies around the world depend on people following this sort of advice everyday …

but thank god you won’t ever be judgemental …

Reply March 1, 2013, 3:03 pm


Within these humorous insights are perils of wisdom that can help you”…

“Perils of Wisdom” is the name of a book series by Bill Halligan, and would also make a nice movie or band name. However, I suspect you meant “pearls of wisdom”.

Reply March 1, 2013, 2:50 pm


Don’t forget the “Golden Rule”
“He who has the gold makes the rules”

Reply March 1, 2013, 2:32 pm


These are great! Thanks for sharing!

Reply February 24, 2013, 6:30 am

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