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Chapter 5. Keeping Your Feet on the Grou... > It Isn't Going to Work with Me - Pg. 45

Keeping Your Feet on the Ground with Difficult People 45 It Isn't Going to Work with Me One interesting thing about difficult people is they aren't stupid. They will tend to be more difficult when they feel what they are doing is having an effect on the target. You don't want to send the impression that the difficult behavior is getting to you. You want to send the exact opposite message--that the difficult behavior is not going to work with you. From the Manager's Desk When dealing with difficult behaviors or situations, particularly with people who try to control your reactions, it's critical to avoid overreacting. You need to send this message: "Your tactics aren't going to work with me." You don't reward bad behavior. What does the phrase "not going to work with me" really mean? When and if you allow difficult people to see they are succeeding at getting what they want, they will continue to use difficult techniques on you. If a person succeeds in getting under your skin, you will probably send subtle or not-so-subtle messages that their tactics are working. That's exactly what they want psychologically. Your anger or frustration reinforces the nasty behavior, so they continue. You get more frustrated. They are rewarded and continue, and round and round it goes. To combat this cycle, first you want to develop a mind-set or attitude that allows you to put the difficult person or behavior in perspective. It isn't going to be fatal (usually). It doesn't have to drive you nuts. And you don't have to allow it to control you, your reactions, your health, and your well-being. Re- member this: A difficult person doesn't make you feel anything. Your feelings are your responsibility, and believe it or not, you actually choose to feel angry or frustrated. So you need to learn how to make better choices. This Won't Work! A common mistake people make is to believe that the other person makes them mad or angry. That gives the other person much more control over them than is necessary. Throw that idea out. The devil doesn't make you do bad things; neither does a difficult person. Don't give up control of your life.