3 Simple Ways to Work with a Difficult Person

"Kindness is in our power even when fondness is not."
- Samuel Johnson

It's a fact of life that we will like some people more than others. We are going to be emotionally drawn to some people while others will rub us the wrong way.  Many people act inappropriately or have a challenging personality. (Keep in mind that we may be a difficult person in someone else's eyes.) Many years ago the Apostle Paul wrote, "live at peace with others, as far as it depends on you."  The key here is to focus on maintaining your composure, despite how the other person acts. Here are 3 simple strategies when dealing with a difficult co-worker, customer, family member or friend.

1. Separate Your Feelings from Your Actions
You cannot control your feelings but you can control your behavior. Don't let the other person lead you into counter-productive behavior such as blaming, yelling or other personal attacks. Be kind, not necessarily because they deserve it, but because you are a kind person. 

2. Exercise Grace
Keep in mind that you have a very limited view of the other person. You likely have no idea about the other person's past or what they may be currently going through.

I am not suggesting that you be passive or tolerate inappropriate behavior, but give others the benefit of the doubt. You can be kind and candid at the same time.

3. Don't Criticize, Complain or Gossip About Them To Others
 Make it your goal to maintain your integrity and poise. When you criticize, complain or gossip to others, you demonize the other person, cause division and most importantly, give away your influence. Remember, you are the only person you can control. Don't try to control the other person, it's futile.

"I decided to resign myself from the position of general manager of the universe."
- Jeffrey Gitomer

Doing the right thing and how someone else responds are two different things. Do your part well. Live at peace with others, as far as it depends on you.