BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Most people would agree that daily anxieties of life, health problems, and other issues can contribute to a shortening of one’s patience.
And when our patience is short, we may tend to be more triggered by certain personality types.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are struggling when it comes to extending patience. It doesn’t help when we encounter people who are incredibly difficult to get along with.
According to Science of People, there are four qualities that, when especially outstanding in one’s personality, are often viewed as ‘difficult’ or socially challenging. These include:
Negative Nancys: These individuals are often quick to complain, criticize, and judge. It can seem impossible to please them.
Know It Alls: According to Science of People, these folks spend a lot of time trying to impress others with their knowledge, popularity, and wide range of talents. This means they’re quick to brag, name-drop and compete with others.
Push-Overs: For one reason or another, these individuals may not contribute much to a conversation and they often let others do the hard work in their behalf.
Tanks: Science of people says tanks are known for being bossy and explosive. The website says, “They want their way and will do anything to get it.”
But a bit of self-reflection may reveal that there have been times when, due to stress, we’ve all fallen into one of the categories above.
In fact, Psychology Today points out that the qualities listed above may not even be considered ‘difficult’ to everyone. It says, “The inherent problem is that a difficult nature, just like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.”
So, the trick to dealing with a seemingly difficult person, may be in changing our own perspective.
Psychology Today suggests applying the following techniques to do so:
#1 Don’t get angry, get curious
Instead of letting someone’s quirks annoy you, turn your irritation into a question that can lead to an investigation. For example, one might ask themselves: “What’s behind their behavior?” “What motivates this person?” and “What happened in this person’s background to make them the way they are today?”
If possible, you might take a friendly approach in trying to get to know the person better so as to find the answers to these questions. This can lead to expanded empathy on your part, and a lessening in annoyance or anger with the person.
#2 Analyze the source of your irritation
It’s easy to label someone as annoying, and much more challenging to turn the pointer finger around and ask yourself why you’re allowing yourself to be annoyed.
Barring situations involving verbal or physical abuse, it can be helpful to explore your viewpoint, find out why someone’s behavior is triggering to you, and make an attempt to shift your perspective.
Psychology Today says, “Oftentimes, people carry some ideas they have learned in childhood, or from one life experience, and they apply them broadly. See if you can do some forensics on your own beliefs to find out where your impressions originated and whether they are still accurate for you.”
#3 Reframe the person’s behavior
Approaching this suggestion with sincerity may take some time, but after tapping into one’s empathy it may be possible to see the person in a different light and give them a different label in your mind’s eye.
In doing so, a person you once labeled as “pushy” might become “direct.” And a once seemingly “overdramatic” person may become “sensitive” from your newly formed perspective.
This positive way of looking at people can make your interactions with them more successful.
Mental health experts often remind people that while we cannot control the behavior of others, we can control our own perspectives and our own actions.
Where possible, shifting a negative mindset to view a ‘difficult’ person in a more positive light can contribute to more peaceful interactions and allow us to keep our power when dealing with such an individual.
Besides, let’s be honest, we’ve all been ‘such an individual’ at some point in our lives.