5 Strategies for Dealing With ‘Difficult” People at Work

People having business meeting.

People having business meeting.

Work can be tough sometimes but it becomes even more so when you have to deal with a “difficult” person. The type of person that makes you frustrated because they don’t turn in their work, they miss meetings, are always right (even when they’re wrong), and are always changing the deadline of a project to something a little later.

If you’ve ever dealt with that type of person, you’re not alone, most of us have. It’s easy to start thinking about how difficult a person is and how irresponsible they are. You can always avoid that person or those people that you know to be frustrating (maybe move to a different state). In the end, though, no matter where you go, you’re always going to run into these types of people.

This is why we compiled a short list of things you can do to help you deal with that difficult person. [1]

Be Calm

Losing your temper won’t help matters. Take a deep breath and remain calm, being calm helps portray a more respectable, centered, in control attitude.

Are You Difficult?

Unfortunately, sometimes the reason people are difficult for us is that we’re frustrating to them. Let them know where you’re coming from. When they understand why you’re acting the way you are they’re more likely to get on board with the work you need them to do.

Are They Difficult?

Most people don’t try to make everyone else’s life harder just because they can. Talk to the person you’re having a problem with and try to figure out why they’re acting in a certain way or why he won’t cooperate with you. Then try to help him resolve the situation so both of your lives can go on easier.

Take Actionable Steps

If your difficult person isn’t handing in work or attending meetings don’t continue to think about the past, instead work out a plan of action that you can do to forward yourself. This could include talking with the person and making a change of plans.

Ignore them

If you’ve tried everything and they still manage to get on your nerves, just ignore them. Continue with your work but don’t pay any mind to their antics, unless they play a critical role in your work, in this case you should speak to your manager about that person. This shouldn’t be your first resort though, more like a trump card.


  1. ^9 Useful Strategies to Dealing with Difficult People at Work.” Dumb Little Man, 28 Jan. 2019, www.dumblittleman.com/9-useful-strategies-to-dealing-with. (go back  ↩)

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