Don’t let difficult and oppressive people undermine your happiness

Are negative or difficult people affecting your business, your life, and your attitude? Unfortunately, dealing with difficult people is not such an uncommon experience, yet it can be paralyzing if not dealt with properly. Read on for some advice on how to deal with oppressive people in your life, whether in work, family, or other personal situations.


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  • know it is not about you
  • stay focused on the positive
  • improve your communication skills
  • take the high road
  • lead by example

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  • try to change them
  • get hooked
  • invite them to social functions
  • accept their behavior as part of your life
  • feel sorry for yourself

[publishpress_authors_data]'s recommendation to ExpertBeacon readers: Do

Do know it is not about you

The first step is to understand that others who choose to be difficult, abrasive, or negative are not specifically picking out you to share their bad vibes with. They share them with everyone. The key is not to get hooked by their issues. Knowing that their anger is not about you can help you understand that they may have problems of their own, unrelated to your relationship with them.

Do stay focused on the positive

Stay focused on you, what you want to accomplish, and where you want to go. The human brain can only focus and pursue one direction at a time. When you engage with negativity, you are halting your own progress toward success. Focus on the positive – there is no room or time to focus on negative feelings that have no place in your life.

Do improve your communication skills

Many times we get hooked into others negativity by engaging in a conversation. It is important when getting involved in negative conversations to come up with a series of responses that are neutralizing. For example, ”I’m sorry to hear that,” “I’m sorry to hear you feel that way,” “Yeah, that’s too bad,” or “Yeah, that’s unfortunate.” Bottom line: give a neutral response and move on. Change the subject if you have to.

Do take the high road

Negative or difficult people are that way for a reason. They are typically unhappy, unsatisfied or unfulfilled. Don’t buy in and lower yourself to negativity just because they are. Take the high road and help them feel more positive by being more positive yourself.

Do lead by example

Easier said than done, but just do it. Difficult people don’t listen. There’s an old saying that the people who need the most help, never look for it or are open to it. With that being said, spend your time just being your best you. Lead by example.

[publishpress_authors_data]'s professional advice to ExpertBeacon readers: Don't

Do not try to change them

Difficult people are often times difficult because it’s the only way they know how to get attention or be relevant. Don’t attempt to change them. Just move on with your day.

Do not get hooked

Difficult people enjoy getting other people engaged in negative discussions or verbal assaults. The fact is that engaging in negative discussions or verbal assaults doesn’t help anyone, especially you. Take the high road and don’t get hooked in negative conversations. Here’s a solid exit strategy: “Oh, I’m sorry you feel that way. Unfortunately, I need to get going. Hope you feel better.” You may feel like you are pushing them off when you say this, but it is better to not get hooked than to continue the negative cycle.

Do not invite them to social functions

Often times good people like yourself hope they can improve someone’s perspective by inviting them out and attempting to form a friendship. If you want your life to progress, invite someone out who is positive. Invite someone who is making progress in his or her business or their life. Invite people out who add something to your life. Don’t knowingly put yourself in a situation with a difficult person by inviting them out with you.

Do not accept their behavior as part of your life

It’s not okay to be difficult, so you don’t have to accept difficult behavior. Unfortunately, these difficult people could be your family members. It happens. You don’t have to accept it. They can choose to be difficult, yet you don’t have to accept it. You can deny the acceptance of it by communicating with them and saying, “I’m sorry, this conversation is not accomplishing anything positive. I have some work to do.”

Do not feel sorry for yourself

Unfortunately, there are many difficult people in our society, not just the one that you know. As you progress through life, there will always be encounters with difficult people. Rather than feeling sorry for yourself, make a commitment to improve your skills so you can deflect, reject, or walk away from negativity in your life.


Dealing with difficult people is part of your journey to success. Make a decision to rise above negativity and stay focused on being the best you can be. The most important thing is to stay positive yourself, and encourage positivity with other people. Engaging with positive people will help you stay positive yourself.

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