How to Deal with Difficult People and Situations: From Theory to Practice

How to Deal with Difficult People and Situations: From Theory to Practice
People who act in a tough way are called “difficult people.” This is behavior that makes it hard to get things done or a conversation that is hurtful and/or unpleasant. (Tantra, 2019). On the other hand, difficult situations are caused by stressful differences or situations that make it hard to get work done. People have different styles at work, and some like to pick on others and make them feel bad. Sullivan (2013) says that dealing with bullies means following a few rules. These include thinking that all “fish are sharks,” not letting yourself “bleed,” controlling your anger, responding quickly to aggression, avoiding behaviors that make you look good, using anticipatory retaliation, and, finally, keeping a record of all attacks. It may be hard to follow these rules, and it depends on the person how useful they are.

Remembering a Face-to-Face

Most people do everything they can to stay out of fights. But it’s better to solve problems right away so that you don’t carry around thoughts of anger toward each other. I found out the hard way that this is very important at work. I was the leader of my study group when I was in school. I was in charge of giving the group members their tasks so that we could get together later and put our individual results together. In every group like ours, there were always one or two people who didn’t do their part when it came to finishing the job. Two of these kinds of people were in my group. The two would never finish what was given to them, and when it came time to put everything together, they would always come up with lame reasons. The first time this happened, I didn’t do anything about it because I was in charge of the group. The two then did the same trick again, but with different reasons, as if to see how forgiving we would be.

After their third try, some members came up to me after the meeting to report about this problem. So, I had to talk to them to make sure that the same thing didn’t happen a fourth time. Even worse, they said that if I didn’t tell them to stop, they would, and that would be the end of my term. I talked to the two of them, and even though the fight got heated, we were able to come to an agreement.


When I think back on that argument, I can think of a few things I could have done better. The first and most important step is to figure out what the problem is. (Choudhary, 2020). If I had noticed right away that the pair wasn’t going to finish the job, the problem wouldn’t have gotten as bad as it did. I could have also worked with other people to find a solution, since this was a group situation. When addressing the two, it would have been smart to include the other members so that everyone could know what was best for everyone. The other people in the group would have also helped make sure that things didn’t get as hot as they did when I was by myself. Lastly, I should have followed the steps of a confrontation, which are: identifying the problem, telling the other person how the problem affects you, saying what you want to happen, asking the other person if they are willing to do what you want, and deciding what will happen next. (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016)


Conflict can’t be avoided, but it can be handled. There will always be difficult people and situations, so it is important to learn and build the skills you need to handle a difficult conversation or interaction in the right way. This is the key to getting along with others, especially at work.