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Coping with problem people, from your boss to your spouse

Life from the Top of the Mind
Life from the Top of the Mind
By Bill Crawford, Ph.D

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They may not mean it, but some people are just so difficult. From an offhand shop assistant, sulking co-worker or surly boss, problem people can put us all in a bad mood. In a recent "Psychology Today" article, psychologists suggest that difficult people want to be heard, will always believe they're right and do not respond well to others trying to argue with them. If you do so, a minor issue could escalate to epic proportions in the blink of an eye.

So what to do? Tips include keeping time spent with difficult people to a minimum, focusing the conversation on them and avoiding topics that may get you into trouble. This one applies particularly to spouses and family members.

What issues have you faced with difficult people? How have you dealt with a difficult boss or co-worker? What about yourself; have you ever displayed unreasonable behavior you later regretted? Or perhaps you've been difficult to get your own way? What tactics have you used to cope with problem people?


Bill Crawford, Ph.D, Psychologist in private practice based in Houston, Texas and author of "Life from the Top of the Mind," which deals with techniques for dealing with difficult people