3 Rules for Dealing With Difficult People

By Bridgette Petrino | relationships

Sep 23

difficult relationship

Dealing with difficult people is, well… difficult. Many of us have that one person (or maybe more than one person) who really can get under our skin. Whether they are controlling and manipulative, passive-aggressive or maybe you just have a one-sided relationship, knowing how to handle these types of people is imperative to lowering stress and anxiety. Especially if this person is a family member, or a co-worker who you see daily.

  1. Set boundaries

“A good test to a relationship is how a person responds to the word ‘no.’ Love respects ‘no,’ control does not.” ~Dr. Henry Cloud

Say no when you need to say no. And, instead of explaining yourself, or walking on eggshells around this person, be firm in your boundaries without apologizing. Remember, children need to explain themselves, adults do not.

You should never have to fear disagreeing with someone or saying no to someone. Their poor reaction is really just a passive-aggressive form of bullying.

2. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you, not the worst in you

Now, of course, you usually can’t completely avoid or ignore those who are difficult. But, you also don’t need to go out to lunch with them.

Spend your time with people who bring out the best in you. You don’t need to rescue anyone from a bad situation that they brought on themselves. That’s not ultimately going to help them anyway.

Think about what it is that you are you are looking for out of this relationship? Is it acceptance? Love? Approval?

Don’t depend on the difficult relationship for these feelings. Remember, independence is freedom and relationships without strings attached are the only kind of healthy relationship.

3. Guard Your Heart

This is by far the most important rule. You can not give what you do not have. If you are leaving your heart out on the chopping block for anyone to step on, you are not going to be healthy.

Remember, people will only treat you how you let them. If someone freaks out, or shuts you out, because you say no to something, than you can be sure that this is a difficult relationship.

You can’t control what people do. You can only control how you react.

This is probably the most difficult obstacle for me. I find myself getting hung up when others do something “wrong.” Especially when they get away with it. I want justice! But, it really just means that I have more work to do on myself. Protecting my heart first has brought me a long way. There is always a lesson to be learned.

Sometimes, relationships aren’t meant to be. Check out this post on how to know when to end a relationship.

How to Know When to End a Relationship

Other times, relationships really can change. Check out this post on how to completely change a relationship.

How to Completely Change a Relationship

And, don’t forget to watch our Tiny Talks Shop chat on “bad boyfriend syndrome.” Are you dealing with a difficult person? Let me know if you try these techniques.

PS – In 7 days I will have to stop celebrating my birthday! Check out the Renew program to learn even more relationship tips and how to go from feeling stressed and overwhelmed to empowered and unstoppable. I am ready to work with moms who are done making excuses and ready to change.




About the Author

Bridgette is Founder and CEO of Mommy Needs a Timeout. She empowers moms to reconnect with their identities OUTSIDE of being a mom, without the guilt.

%d bloggers like this: