RESEARCH tells us we spend 70 to 85 per cent of our waking time interacting with other people. These interactions take place at work when we deal with customers, colleagues or staff.

In our personal life, we interact with husbands, wives, partners, children, friends, family and neighbours. Other people are the most important factors in our lives.

We allow these relationships with other people to decide how happy or unhappy we are. Sad to say, many of these relationships are not good, whether in our personal or working life. The problem is — we just don’t communicate well with each other.

Your level of communication will determine how successful you will be with others — emotionally, personally and socially. It will also have a huge impact on your financial success.

However, most importantly, your level of success, in terms of your happiness, emotional well-being or anything else you desire, is a direct result of how you communicate with yourself.

What do we mean by a difficult person?

It could be someone who bullies, manipulates, annoys you and causes you unhappiness and stress. He says or does things you don’t like, or find offensive and unacceptable. And, of course, this creates problems in the workplace.

There are a whole range of behaviours we may classify as difficult — but not all of these are “difficult” for everyone. Some people may regard a “complainer” as a difficult person, whereas others couldn’t care less if someone complains or not.

Statistically, only about 2 per cent of the population can be regarded as genuinely difficult. If you have a problem with a “difficult” person, what you are really experiencing is conflict.

It will make life easier if you identify if you are dealing with conflict or a genuinely difficult person. Truly difficult people are rare, and you may have to accept that it isn’t personal, and they may just be that way. Conflict is personal and you may have to accept that you are part of the tension that is created.

Why are people difficult?

Stress can cause people to be difficult and they can get stressed for all sorts of reasons. Often, it is just their inability to deal with aspects of their job and their personal life. They tend to blame other people and circumstances instead of looking at their own behaviour.

It is often the case in the workplace, that people find difficulty in doing their job and in finding help. Although they may not admit this, they might feel inadequate and express their frustration by complaining, being negative and difficult.

Some people are not conscious of how they are perceived by others. They believe their behaviour is quite normal and are unable to understand why some people see it otherwise.

Some people’s lack of self-confidence and belief in themselves often causes them to be angry at the world. They believe that other people are out to “put them down”.

That person in your team, who gives you all sorts of problems that are often difficult to understand, may just be seeking acknowledgement. Withdrawing or failing to provide acknowledgement, either physical or psychological, will cause people to become difficult.

Article by Alan Fairweather, “The Motivation Doctor”, an international speaker, best-selling author and sales growth expert. For more information, visit Article source: