Dealing with Difficult People and Tricky Situations

Janice Davies – Attitude Specialist


Sitting at home in your office, there’s’ no workmates to defuse your anger or feelings of unpleasantness after you’ve read that discourteous email, got off the phone to that abusive customer or spoke to a company associated with your business, that is pushing for you to meet a deadline.  You’re grating your teeth and feel like hammering the computer to disperse your feeling and anguish after experiencing that difficult person you’ve just encountered. Discussing it with your partner at home or tearing your hair out won’t solve the problem. It won’t offer a new strategy to your toolkit for future similar situations.

With the understanding you can’t change anybody else except yourself, any positive outcome of a tricky situation you encounter, is in your hands or rather your head. Whether it’s customers face-to-face, via written communication or verbal over the phone, more than likely, every business owner has encountered this scenario.

Dealing with these situations successfully requires self-knowledge, skills, understanding of situations and confidence. If you understand your own personality, strengths and weaknesses, you can understand another person’s personality. You can ascertain what will ‘grate’ your teeth, about the other party.

If you’re an entrepreneurial person who runs a small business from either home or small office, some of your strengths will be the ability to visualise a gaol for yourself and your business. If you’re ‘creating’ a product, you’re likely to find the creative side of your business is very easy but the technical side (accounts) is a challenge.

Your accountant may be one of your biggest challenges. They want details that you may think are trivial and pedantic.  However your greatest weakness is dealing with analytical data so your accountant is one of your greatest strengths to your success. They’ve asked you six times for your end of month accounts for your GST return and it’s irritating you. Your answer lies in learning new skills so future conversations are less daunting.

The reverse may be true for the small home business accountant.  Having the marketing skills to promote your business will be a challenge.  You need someone from another personality group to assist you with your advertising.  By understanding yourself, it gives you clarity why other people (who counter balance your greatest weakness areas) are those people you define as ‘difficult.’

However, it’s not always possible to categorise people into personality groups, so you need additional knowledge to create win/win situations for you.

A few people have the ability to talk down to you, point their finger and raise the hackles on the back of your neck. It could be a customer over the phone that constantly complains about your products.   Sure, you need to look at this gift horse in the mouth, because it’s possible you need to make changes to your products.  However it’s also the person’s manner that you find distressing.   Having the knowledge and grasping the complexity of the situation, allows you to address it in the appropriate manner.

Remember you can’t change the customer; the only person you can change is yourself.

Learning and understanding these and other important tools are imperative to your road to success. Walking away intact, emotionally and intellectually is a key to improved people interactions.  It lowers your stress and builds your business for it’s future success.

If you want the edge on dealing with difficult people and tricky situations, upgrade your expertise with some key strategies, through learning about yourself and the other person.

That way, you’ll have a greater understanding of the situation you’re experiencing and can learn tips to empower yourself.

I’m an expert because I had to learn for myself. If we allow people to bully us they will.

When we learn skills to empower ourselves, we engage in actions that stop this negative behaviour happening in our life. This choice is yours how you react to these people, be empowered or not. More tips on difficult people below.


Janice Davies is The Attitude Specialist, who teaches people to be positive and empower themselves. As a Professional Speaker, Success Coach and author Janice educates people at conferences, workshops and through books. Janice is the founder of the global movement International Self Esteem annual awareness day and features in the new True Happiness DVD. Janice has an online products featuring about attitude, goals, stress, happiness, relationships and more.  Visit for other complimentary articles and tips.


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