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How to Deal with Difficult People and Anger-Bullying Prevention

angry-640314_960_720No one should ever make you feel uncomfortable at work. A workplace bully may be your boss or your co-worker. Don’t allow the bully to intimidate you or make you feel bad about yourself. You know your true worth – don’t forget what that is! Do your job and do it well. The workplace bully wants you to fail and when you don’t, he or she will be defeated.  The #1 strategy to prevent an “incident” is when you feel you may “blow your top” or feel you may do or say something you’ll later regret – walk away! You may have to sacrifice “having the last word” in order to prevent an “incident”. If you have time and “presence”, before leaving you can say say “I’m going to calm down and we can continue the conversation later.” If possible, go outside and walk a some–do not drive, it can be dangerous since sometimes we can be unfocused while.

It is especially difficult when the “difficult person” or “bully” is your manager or CEO. Below are ten tips that will make dealing with and interacting with difficult people easier.

  1. Ask  yourself, “How important is this person to me at this moment?” Being careful not to devalue them, certain people have greater or lesser significance in our lives. If the party in question does not hold great regard in your life, are you willing to simply let the issue slide and walk away?
  1. How important is this issue? Will it matter ten years from now? If not, let it go. It is not worth  your time and effort.
  1. Can you accept the person as they are?  If you do, you must be at peace with him/her so as not to become resentful and angry later on.
  1. Can I change my perception of this person? A less judgmental observation allows  interaction in a less critical manner.  I.e. Perhaps change “controlling” to “very insecure.”
  1. If the party is an important part of your  life set boundaries and guidelines in your relationship.
  1. Establish a common ground with them, identify something you both have in common. By doing so, this allows both parties to feel a certain connection and increases the levels of understanding and trust.
  1. Build trust. Showing genuine interest and concern in them eases their anxieties and fears, allowing them to feel more comfortable in your presence. Once achieved, they will most likely become more cooperative with you.
  1. Bring out the best in them. Avoid allowing their bad behavior to influence how you behave. Find some goodness and focus on that.
  1. Remember to be fair and open-minded to what they say, believe, and do. Refrain from criticism and judgments, be understanding and compassionate instead.
  1. Some of our greatest gifts in life have been the most difficult people who cross our paths. View them as an important teacher who is enabling you to learn and grow.

You may keep in mind the strategies below to help your self-esteem stay  elevated..  Bullies and “victims” share the commonality of poor self-esteem, so if you’re having challenges with difficult people it’s especially important to keep yours up!

  • Do things to bring you a sense of fulfillment, joy and purpose, that validate your worth.
  • See your life as your own creation and strive to make it a positive one.
  • Pay close and loving attention to yourself, tuning in to your needs on all levels.
  • Take care of yourself: nourish, support and encourage yourself.
  • Release all negative emotions–resentment, envy, fear, sadness, anger.
  • Express your feelings appropriately; don’t hold onto them.
  • Hold positive images and goals in your mind, pictures of what you really want in your life. When fearful images arise, re-focus on images that evoke feelings of peace and joy.
  • Love yourself and make loving the purpose and primary expression of your life.
  • Create fun, loving, honest relationships that allow for the expression and fulfillment of needs for intimacy and security.
  • Try to heal any wounds in past relationships and with parents.
  • Make a positive contribution to your community, through some form of work or service that you value and enjoy.
  • Make a commitment to health and well being, and develop a belief in the possibility of total health – physically and emotionally.
  • Accept yourself and everything in your life as an opportunity for growth and learning. Be open to possibilities. Be grateful.
  • When you make mistakes, even “bad” ones, forgive yourself, learn what you can from the experience and move on. • Keep a sense of humor.
  • We always have a choice to release a person from our lives or to “work” at the relationship. Choose wisely; often it’s irrevocable.

It’s important to keep our awareness up about the relationship between stress-frustration and anger, so we don’t topple over into the overwhelm category of anger.  Feeling stressed, a frustrated, impatient and appropriately angry at times is fine – it’s part of human nature.  Stress is cumulative, so when one reaches an individual tipping point, it’s necessary to take time out and re-group so that you can cope appropriately.


About Eileen Lichtenstein

Eileen Lichtenstein, MS. Ed. has specialized for over 20 years in personal development coaching and training, including stress and anger reduction management, life and career coaching, effective communication and career challenges. Her background includes bio-feedback, adjunct at Hofstra University, certified Anger Management Specialist and EFTtapping Emotional Freedom Techniques practitioner.  Based in Westbury, NY, Eileen also conducts one:one coaching and group trainings via video skype, webinars and onsite.   She is founder and director of Balance & Power and author: SOAR! with Resilience®: The Interactive Book for Overcoming Obstacles & Achieving Success and eBooks. EFT tapping, meditation and breath implementation may be integrated into her training and coaching. Eileen has facilitated interactive trainings within medical, educational and corporate environments.


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