Yes, that’s the question of the millennium! How do we actually connect with difficult people and get our work done.
We all have difficult people in our lives, be it our cranky boss or that spouse who refuses to understand our point of view. How about that colleague who refuses to cooperate on anything. Or the client who is so difficult to please? Or that friend… uff! It is so difficult to convince them for a simple movie, lunch or dinner! Even that stubborn child who makes our life difficult!
Do you ask this to yourself often?
Do you find yourself bewildered in middle of such people?
Do you wonder, if at I knew how to deal with such people life would be so much more sorted?
Let me tell you something, I HAD such people in my life too. Every time they agonized me, I would wonder why me? Interesting, I would notice the same person became most pleasant eventually and things will be a breeze. I would wonder why and how did it happen.
That’s when I found a secret. A secret that is so open that we refuse to see and believe it. A secret that is basics of connecting and working with people.
And the secret is, people are more difficult with themselves than they are with others. Further exploration reveals that they are suffering within themselves for some reason, which makes them difficult with others. Their belief system tells them that if they are not tough with others, people will take advantage of them. Hence, they put an imaginary wall around them. They see the world with their tinted glasses, hence feel being tough is the only way.
Let me tell you a story. When I met a friend of mine for the first time in February 2017, he was quite difficult to connect with. He came across as a very rude, arrogant and unwelcoming person. He would only use monosyllable words to communicate. You ask him, ‘How are you doing today?’, he would respond a cold and meek ‘good’. You ask him, ‘Hey, did you have lunch?’, he would answer an unexciting ‘yes’. Others started avoided him, because he came across as a cold person. However, my inner self didn’t want to believe that he was what he was showing. Hence, I decided I will find an opportunity to connect with him. We did meet up after this for a couple of times, but couldn’t get a chance to speak to with him at length. It remained a Hi, Hello relationship. And, he remained the way he was with me, but there was a change in his self. I could see he was changing as a person. How he walked, talked and carried himself had immensely changed.
Recently I met him once again, this time in a smaller get together. Believe it or not, this time we connected. We spoke at length about various things that we have in common, starting from the place we were raised, to our love for certain food, to relationships, to dreams and aspiration etc. Isn’t that super cool? Yes, the best part is I saw him smiling and talking well this time. It was a blissful experience. I felt I had triumphed over his walls and tinted glasses. What is spectacular feeling it was!
You would ask, how did this happen? What had changed this time. A few things definitely mattered which made it easier.
- I neither judged him nor gave up on him. I always felt there was something that I am unable to see. Remember, difficult people are never difficult by choice!
- My code of conduct was same every single time. No matter how rude, arrogant or unwelcoming he behaved. This worked eventually.
- I made sure to utilize the right opportunity to connect with him at a larger level. The timing for everything matters a lot. Do you look for the right time to connect with someone?
Would it have worked if he wouldn’t have reciprocated this time? I don’t think so. Would I have given up on him this time? No, I would definitely not. Ultimately we decide what would be our code of conduct. When the wavelength matches the connection happens. It is important to keep an open mind for that wavelength to enter and do the matchmaking.
Do you have such cool experience to share? I would be delighted to hear your stories. Go ahead share your ‘I dealt with difficult people escapades!’
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