6 Practical Ways to Deal With Difficult People and Customers


Difficult people are all around us. At one point or another, we’ve met and have had to confront difficult people. Sometimes we do a good job dealing with them and other times we just fall flat on our faces. No matter how generous we are to them, uncooperative people will find ways to pester you until they generate the reaction they wanted all along. But if we take some time to learn how to deal with difficult people, we’ll help relieve stress and minimize casualties. 

Customer service representatives deal with customers on a daily basis deal, most good, but some tougher than nail customers can ruin their day and but these 6 practical steps can help in dealing with difficult people/customers and they can help us too: 

1. Ask yourself, ” is getting into an argument worth it?”

Often times, when we take the time to ask ourselves this very question, we give ourselves the time to reflect on the situation. We then realize that these person’s actions are more detrimental to our livelihoods than just walking away, or if in a job setting finding the proper authority to assist in the process.

2. Be quiet and ask questions

This practical step is overlooked when dealing with hardheaded individuals because our first reaction is to imitate what the other person is doing. If they are screaming, we may scream back to demonstrate our strength and power right back at them. But, if we listen closely and ask the proper questions we may realize they have a legitimate reason to be mad. Maybe we did something terrible to them without realizing, or a product/service they received was sub par or broken. By listening and asking the right questions we will realize that we can end this confrontation a lot quicker by finding the solutions that would help alleviate their problems. People like getting their problems solved. The saying, “The customer is always right,” was coined for a reason.

3. Smile

Dale Carnegie in his top-selling book,  How to Win Friends and Influence People, stated that one of the best ways to make friends is to smile. Smiling often exhibits excitement and enthusiasm to talk to a frustrated person. This is why customer service representatives who we talk to on the phone often smile prior to talking to us because even smiling through a phone can change the tone of your voice and show the person you will be dealing with that you are there to hear out their problems and attempt to solve their problems. So the next time you see someone who looks angry and become difficult to handle come towards you, smile and it just may diffuse or de-escalate the situation.

4. Return their rudeness with kindness

When dealing with difficult people, if we return a negative with a positive, people will often be shocked and sometimes this will alter the situation. It’ll show them that despite their nuisance we’re the bigger person. It may further allow the difficult person to reevaluate their actions and take a more humane approach to handling their frustration.

5. Do something out of the ordinary.

Out of the ordinary means out of the ordinary. Just start dancing when someone tries to act in rude manner towards you or better yet say something humorous, but be careful with this tip because it may be taken as us not taking their needs and wants seriously, which defeats the purpose of handling their problems.
6. Spend some time mediating or relaxing after the incident.
Even if we think we had just overcame a difficult situation with a difficult person, not cooling down can lead us to responding to others in a negative fashion. We may let the prior incident cause anger to swell up within us therefore lead to us being harsh towards unsuspecting others.

And lastly, make sure to practice these 6 Practical steps over in dealing with difficult people and customers over and over again. This is because, “You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.
― Wayne Gretzky.


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