The needy friend, the scheming coworker, the obnoxious neighbor. So how can you deal with these people without losing your cool?
Here are some tips, courtesy of IVillage.com.
Difficult person #1: The needy friend. She always has SOME drama happening in her life. She had a fight with her boyfriend, she’s sick to her stomach, her car is having problems. It’s always something - and it drains you. So, here’s how to handle her. This comes from Sandra A. Crowe, author of Since Strangling Isn’t an Option – a book about dealing with difficult people. After she’s had you trapped in the phone for 10 minutes, say "Wow, that sounds so tough. I feel for you." Then tell her you have to go take care of "X" on your to-do list. If she hears a SPECIFIC excuse, she won’t feel so blown off. Also, when you hang out with her, include other friends in your plans. That way the conversation won’t revolve around her.
Difficult person #2: The scheming coworker. When you wear a new outfit, he "playfully" and LOUDLY asks if you’re job hunting. Or if you complain that you’re swamped, he’ll offer phony sympathy and then tell your boss that you were griping.
It’s best to always tell this person that things are fine when they ask about your workload – and never volunteer information. If they make a snide comment, just smile. Your confidence will show them there’s no point trying to get a rise out of you. Also, Crowe says put them in your debt. Bring them coffee when they’re running behind, or help them with a project. They’ll start thinking of you as their savior – not their victim.
And one last difficult person: Your obnoxious neighbor. You’re convinced that they gossip about you. Crowe says invite this person – along with some other neighbors - over for a barbeque. They might not get a lot of invitations to be social, and they’ll probably appreciate it. And they’re less likely to gossip if you’ve all shared good times together.
If you’d like to go further, the book is Since Strangling Isn’t an Option by Sandra A. Crowe.