Got a difficult person in your life? We all do, unfortunately.
So who’s the most difficult person in your life?  Take a minute to think about exactly what makes them difficult for you?
  • Are they often sarcastic?
  • Is the relationship mostly about them and their needs?
  • Do they punish you emotionally if you don’t do what they want?
  • Do they blame you instead of taking personal responsibility?
  • Do they keep showing up late and keep you waiting?
These are just a few of the many behaviours that make some people difficult.  What to do?  This is where verbal and perhaps physical boundaries come into play.

Think about this:  

Is their behaviour OK with you?  If it’s not OK then you need to set up a boundary.  To do this you need to try and keep the emotion out of your communication.  So for the person who is often sarcastic you could say, “Are you being serious or sarcastic?  I’m just not sure I understand.”  Even if they don’t admit they’re being sarcastic they will be more careful the next time they communicate with you.

If a relationship is mostly about the other person’s needs then you first need to ask yourself why you are in relationships that diminish you?  You may get your sense of self esteem from being a pleaser and giver, but if you’re doing this all the time, at your own expense, then the issue is inside you. It would be helpful for you to examine why you do this.

People who punish us when we assert our needs, wants or rights are a serious problem.  Everyone has the right to their own perspectives and needs.  You need to think about why you have this person in your life and if it is healthy for you to continue to do so.  Take our courses on Assertiveness and Boundary Setting.  If you try these approaches and the person is still punishing you you are probably being bullied and damaged in this relationship.

Key Thought:

If someone’s behaviour is “not OK” with you you need to set a boundary.

These are just a few tips for dealing with difficult people.  To learn more, check out our Dealing with Difficult People series.