How do I meet difficult people

Dealing with difficult people

Dealing with difficult people

They only think of themselves, question everything, react mimosa-like - in short: are really exhausting. Avoiding them is not always possible. Getting along with them is.

Within seconds, an encounter with them turns into a communicative hurdle race. Stumbling included. Afterwards we feel drained, our mood is in the basement. We wonder, disturbed: How could it go wrong so quickly? Adrenaline pounds through our bodies. What could life be beautiful without these ... these people! We think annoyed.

We would like to avoid them quietly and quietly. Let them live out their sensitivities somewhere else. Just not with me. But escape is not the solution. Where should we go if such energy robbers belong to the family or circle of friends or sit in the office next door every day?
"The fine art is not to take your behavior as a personal attack," says the Hamburg-based psychologist Carin Cutner-Oscheja. And to try to understand the reasons behind the "difficult" behavior. We have done this for you for the four most common nuisances - choleric, egoistic, hypersensitive and neurotic. Sure, such traits rarely appear in their purest form. We mostly meet “hybrid beings”.
But the same applies to them: we have to know what we want ourselves - and can then use little tricks to undo it.

How do you behave towards such people? Do you have any specific tips for us? Discuss with us on Facebook!

The neurotic

features: fearful, pessimistic, always sees the hook first, no, says, spoils every idea, but does not feel that he is difficult
Frequent occurrence: in doctor's offices, in political discussions, among moderately successful authors and artists, in Internet forums on various diseases
Favorite phrase: "Yes but …"
Soul mate: Peter Plate ("Rosenstolz"), Woody Allen

The ride in the thought carousel never ends
A burnt meal, a broken appointment - what most of us now and then part of everyday life throws neurotics off track. They see life as a chain of problems. Once you have solved one thing, the next is on; at worst two. Everywhere they sense stumbling blocks, searching like sniffer dogs for possible (and impossible) risks and dangers. The problem: In the sincere desire to solve all adversities in the best possible way, neurotics immediately cause new ones and turn others against them. However, if we confront them with their stressful personality, neurotics no longer understand the world. Self-perception and perception of others are miles apart. You feel yourself to be completely normal and honestly claim: "I only mean it well."

This helps: "Neurotic people are constantly afraid of doing something wrong and are easily unsettled," says the psychologist Carin Cutner-Oscheja. Even the slightest criticism, the slightest problem, they immediately relate to themselves. "Make it clear to neurotics right away that you don't want to criticize them, but rather discuss a subject matter"the expert advises. It is important to have a clear position. Avoid subjunctive sentences like “This is how it could go…”. Give a positive course: “This is how it works.” However, show understanding for objections and at the same time encourage them: “I think 100 percent positively on the matter.” If the neurotic is still stuck in the carousel of thought, we are allowed to limit Cutner-Oscheja emphasizes. “Say in a friendly manner how you see the matter and that you don't want to spend another hour discussing all possible options.” Many insecure personalities are even grateful if they get a little “nudge” in the right direction from a strong-willed character.

The selfish one

features: knows no compromises, likes to be the boss, a bad listener, gets angry when everyone doesn't dance to his tune ("My way - or no way")
Frequent occurrence: Senior positions in business, politics, in casting or reality shows on television and on many stages around the world
Favorite phrase: "If everyone thinks of themselves, everyone is thought of"
Soul mate: Ex-Deutsche Bank manager Hilmar Kopper ("Peanuts"), Dieter Bohlen, ex-Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Karl Lagerfeld

I i i!
Egoists know very well what they want - and what they don't. Intermediate tones fall on deaf ears, and compromises bore them. “Why be satisfied with one half when I can have the whole thing?” Is her motto. Because egoists have learned that they are successful with it and how they impress others. Your self-esteem is downright intimidating. As soon as you feel a weakness with us, you really get going. Then argue and manipulate until the "opponent" gives in. Those who still manage to get rid of their criticism and counter-arguments bounce off the thick egoist skin and his simple black and white worldview: “Wherever there is planing, shavings fall. Not everyone has to like me. "

This helps: A clear no at the right time often works wonders. But not with these guys. It only fuels selfish aggressiveness. Give egoists - even if it's difficult - the stage they need. Listen carefully and say kind things like, "This is a smart idea." Carin Cutner-Oscheja explains the tactic: "Everyone opens up when they receive positive feedback, even egoists." This way we can then tell them much better how we think about a topic. Ideally with steady eye contact and a confident smile. "Explain in a friendly and factual manner how you envision a solution," recommends Cutner-Oscheja. This shows the egoist: Here, someone does not let the butter be taken off their bread. If he is stubborn anyway, there is no point in combating it. “Stay relaxed,” warns the expert. "Postpone the conversation with the words: 'Then we just have to find a solution on another day, no problem.‘ "

The hypersensitive

features: insecure, almost addicted to affection, constantly expects offense, feels regularly ignored, tends to mood swings
Frequent occurrence: behind the scenes, in the mailbox ("Why didn't you call me?"), often in social professions, among the "eternal second"
Favorite phrase: "Somehow I have the feeling that something is wrong between us"
Soul mate: Britney Spears, Marilyn Monroe, Liza Minnelli, Nena

As sensitive as a soap bubble
Hypersensitive are dowsers of emotions and professionals at the “Something is wrong here” radar. One look, every spoken, but also every unspoken word proves that everyone has conspired against her. If we don't reply to your text messages or e-mails immediately, you will immediately sense social rejection. They experience a broken appointment like the end of the world. Her psyche resembles a figure eight: Sensitive as a soap bubble: Exulting as high as the sky, now sad to death - without warning. Anyone who regularly deals with hypersensitive people struggles after a while with the feeling that they are constantly doing something wrong, because their constant mistrust tears on their nerves.

This helps: Do you have a rather relaxed tone? Turn it off. Because allusions, irony or teasing sayings are not well received by hypersensitive people. François Lelord, psychiatrist and bestselling author (see book tips on the left) advises messages that are as precise as possible “without the slightest leeway”. You should also pay close attention to forms of courtesy. “Any 'mistake' can be interpreted as a sign of ridicule and contempt,” warns Lelord. “So answer every message from a hypersensitive person immediately. Always let them speak out, congratulate them on their birthday on time. Regular contact like this reduces the risk of tension. ”Sounds exhausting? Sometimes it is. But whoever tries to avoid hypersensitive people only increases their paranoia and makes them even more skeptical. Better: ask every now and then how life is going, bring them a coffee. This is how hypersensitive people get the good feeling that you are kind to them. And this security reassures them.

The choleric one

features: quick-tempered, irascible, hates to be wrong, exudes dissatisfaction, often seems annoyed
Frequent occurrence: on the Internet, because they can wear the cloak of anonymity there, at round tables, on coaches' benches, in the executive suite
Favorite phrase: "I'm freaking out here!"
Soul mate: Naomi Campbell, Mel Gibson, Klaus Kinski, Russell Crowe

They boil like a volcano
Some see red at every little thing, others swallow their anger until they explode - usually without warning. Then the walls shake, the choleric rages and rages. The reason: Irritable people are easily excitable and hardly, if at all, manage to control negative emotions. "But behind the loud, strong facade there are basically insecure people who yearn for recognition," says leadership and personality coach Dr. Winfried Prost from Cologne. The slightest criticism can bring down your fragile ego. Like a defiant three-year-old, the choleric snorts all his anger into the room, insults his counterpart, becomes unfair and generalizing. A rather heavy burden for all of his fellow men.

This helps: If choleric people are on the move, neither warm words nor aggressive resistance will help. Against this - and basically against objections of any kind - they are simply immune at such a moment. Prost chooses drastic words: “You can't feed someone who vomits.” At best, every argument rebounds or, at worst, provides replenishment for even greater emotional storms. There is only one thing left: Wait and try not to take the verbal attacks personally. Choleric people get rid of their frustration and slowly boil down. When the barrage is over, speak up. But beware! Please do not pike in embers, i.e. sensitive topics. Instead, make a factual offer to talk, something like this: “I understand what upsets you. Now let's look for a solution together. ”If the choleric got off the mark, he should find out a few hours after the outbreak. When the temperament is chilled, hotheaded behavior is usually quite embarrassing. And with a bit of luck, you might even hear an honest apology.

"See them as a gift"

Carin Cutner-Oscheja, psychologist from Hamburg, explains how you can grow with difficult people

VITAL: Why do we find some people "difficult"?
Because they always manage to trigger negative feelings in us. We take their actions personally and suddenly feel attacked, injured, taken advantage of or taken advantage of. So it is not only up to these people themselves, but also to our dealings with them.
So make a bow?
Yes. If you absolutely hate someone, avoid them. Avoid people who rob you of strength and energy.
What if these are relatives, colleagues, neighbors?
Then you have to try to be as level-headed as possible. Realize that any behavior makes sense. These people too have reasons to be who they are. Nobody acts solely out of bad faith, just to upset their counterpart. Having this in mind makes things a lot easier, even arouses understanding and sometimes compassion.
What else can I do?
When I notice that someone is not good for me, I keep my distance and ask myself: What is happening here right now? This is how I organize my feelings. Then I make it clear to myself what bothers me and what is important to me. That gives me clarity. Then I decide whether I can change something. What kind of relationship do I want to have with this person?
What skills does that require of me? It's not always easy to see. But I am convinced that difficult people and situations are basically a gift for our personality. They challenge us and help us grow.