Dealing with difficult people? 10 questions to help you better navigate relationships.

Think of a situation you interacted with this difficult person.

  1. What positive changes do you want in your interaction?
    • What do you hope to achieve in terms of your relationship with this person?
    • How would you like the interaction to be different?
    • How important is it for you to maintain a positive relationship with this person?
  2. How does dealing with them impact you?
    • What emotions did you experience interacting with them?
    • How do they typically make you feel?
    • How does this person’s behaviour affect you or your goals?
  3. Can you identify triggering behaviours or situations?
    • What communication patterns or styles do they use in the interaction?
  4. How do you perceive yourself and does it align with your values?
    • Are there past experiences influencing your current reactions to difficult individuals?
    • How well-defined are your personal boundaries, and how do you communicate them in challenging situations?
  5. Have you considered why this person might be behaving in this way?
    • Is it possible they’re experiencing personal or professional challenges that might be influencing their behaviour?
  6. What positive qualities can you appreciate about this person?
    • What do you appreciate about them?
  7. Would you consider a direct conversation with them?
    • Would you feel comfortable directly addressing the behaviour with the person?
  8. What have you tried, and how effective were they?
    • Have you communicating differently and how did it turn out?
  9. What alternative strategies could you use?
    • What else have you not tried in your interactions?
  10. What is a specific action you are comfortable taking?

Remember, the goal here isn’t to judge the other person or change their behaviour, but to understand how you can navigate these interactions in a way that feels safe, respectful, and aligns with your desired outcome.

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