Individuals with threatening, intimidating and negative personality traits undermine relationships, households and organizations. Individuals all around us have their own unique personalities. Undoubtedly, we all encounter individuals from time to time with personalities that are challenging, emotionally abusive and even aggressive. When we better understand individuals with difficult personalities, it keeps us from taking things personally, and enables us to help create a safe and productive environment for others.
Some of the more dominant difficult personality traits include:
When interacting with hostile people:
✓ Find ways for them to let off steam and calm down without becoming abusive.
✓ Address them by name, and calmly state what you want to discuss.
✓ Set boundaries and avoid engaging them in front of an audience.
When interacting with narcissistic people:
✓ Refuse to argue or act like you know more than they do.
✓ Explain that you would like to use your knowledge too.
✓ Set clear boundaries, expectations and consequences.
When interacting with passive-aggressive people:
✓ Focus on the issue, not the person, and limit potential for personalizing.
✓ Meet with the individual in private or with one of your managerial peers.
✓ Let them know you will not tolerate their sarcasm and undercutting.
When interacting with negative people:
✓ Focus on the facts of a situation and what needs to happen next.
✓ Avoid engaging in discussion or debate about possible solutions.
✓ Instead, ask them what would be different if the problem was solved.
When interacting with antisocial people:
✓ Use open-ended questions when you speak to them and engage them.
✓ Be comfortable with silence and wait for them to respond.
✓ Build rapport casually rather than engaging intensely too quickly.
KEEP IN MIND
Dealing with difficult personality traits in the people we love or work with requires effort, and it can be frustrating and discouraging. Remember, you’re not alone when it comes to figuring out how to work with those who have some of these traits. Consider engaging a life coach or counselor for guidance on next steps.