Dealing with People you can't stand

date Dec 8, 2007
authors Dr. Rick Brinkman, Dr. Rick Kirschner
reading time 4 mins
  • Book Title: Dealing with People you can’t stand - How to bring out the best in People at their - worst
  • Authors: Dr. Rick Brinkman & Dr. Rick Kirschner
  • Year written/published: 1994
  • Book Source: Google Books, Library
  • Summary: 10 difficult personalities to understand and to deal with well
  • Some extracts:

the 10 personalities…

  1. Tank: The tank is confrontational, pointed and angry, the ultimate in pushy and aggressive behaviour
  2. Sniper:Whether through rude comments, biting sarcasm, or a well-timed roll of the eyes, making you look foolish in the Sniper’s Speciality
  3. Grenade: After a brief period of calm, the Grenade explodes into unfocused ranting and raving about things that have nothing to do with the present circumstances
  4. Know-it-all: Seldom in doubt, the Know-it all has a low tolerance for correction and contradiction. If something goes wrong, however, the Know-It-All will speak with the same authority about who’s to blame - you!
  5. Think-they-know-it-all: can’t fool all the people all of the time, but they can fool some of the people enough of the time, and enough of the people all of the time - all for the sake of getting some attention
  6. Yes Person: In an effort to please people and avoid confrontation, Yes people say ‘yes’ without thinking things through. They react to the latest demands on their time by forgetting prior commitments, and over-commit until they have no time for themselves. Then they become resentful
  7. Maybe Person: In a moment of decision, the maybe person procrastinated in the hope that a better choice will present itself. Sadly, with the most decisions, there comes a point when it is too little, too late, and the decision makes itself.
  8. Nothing Person:No verbal feedback, no nonverbal feedback. Nothing. What else can you expect from… the nothing person
  9. No Person: Disguised as a mild mannered normal person, the No person fights a never ending battle for futility, hopelessness and despair
  10. Whiner:Whiners feel helpless and overwhelmed by an unfair world. Their standard is perfection, and no one and nothing measures up to it. But misery loves company, so they bring their problems to you. Offering solutions makes you bad company, so their whining escalates

When dealing we have 4 choices:

  1. You can stay and do nothing
  2. You can vote with your feet
  3. You can change your attitude about your difficult person
  4. You can change your behaviour

seeing through the lens of understanding…

  • If you’re dealing with someone who you perceive wants to get it done as their top priority and in your conversation you acknowledge this, and your communications are brief and to the point so as not to obstruct, then you will increase cooperation and decrease misunderstanding
  • if you’re dealing with someone who you perceive wants to get it right as the top priority, and in your conversations you acknowledge this and you pay great attention to the details in your communications
  • if you’re dealing with someone who you perceive wants to get along with you as their top priority, and in you interactions you show care with friendly chit chat and considerate communications.
  • if you’re dealing with someone who wants to get appreciation as the top priority, and in you interactions you recognise his contribution with words of enthusiastic appreciation

pygmalion power..

Perhaps you have experience the difficulty in overcoming someone’s negetive opinion of you, where in spite of your best efforts, anything you said or did was distorted into something else. Parents use Pygmalion Power whenever they tell their children, “If i’ve told you once, i’ve told you a 1000 times that you’re messy/clumsy/slob …!!” This mechanism can be utilised instead to bring out the best even in people at their worst. Wise parents will find it far more valuable …

There are a number of dissociation techniques that you can use to step away from an unpleasant event or difficult person, and adjust your point of view:

  • you can compare your difficult people problems to more difficult times in your life, or imaginary worst case scenarios.
  • You can mentally go beyond the problem and project yourself to a future time where the problem could not possibly matter anymore. We call this the Alan Kirschner technique. In times of crisis Alan says, “In 100 years from now, what difference will it make?”
  • You can mentally edit the memory as if you were editing a film. Try this with a memory
  • Through a rigorous self-discipline, you can develop a part of you that serves as an impartial and dispassionate observer, regardless of circumstances.

some quick mental comments…

  1. i go for what i want, and i want what i get
  2. somewhere in this experience is an opportunity
  3. any experience i can learn from is a good one
  4. i can be flexible
  5. i know that anything is possible
  6. oh well
  7. all things must pass
  8. this sued to bother me
  9. in god we trust