One of the most challenging aspects of life is learning how to effectively deal with difficult people. Learning to deal with difficult people is a priceless skill that will enable you to not only defuse volatile situations, but will gain you the respect of your co-workers and in general your fellow man. Difficult people are everywhere. They work at the grocery store, restaurants, and offices. They drive cabs, make music; they're web designers, and they're stay-at-home moms. In fact, everyone on the face of the earth has the potential to be a difficult individual and at some point in life probably is a difficult individual. This is important to keep in mind when coming face-to-face with someone who seems to want nothing more than to ruin your day.
There are a number of practical tips that you can put into practice to help you deal effectively with the difficult people you come in contact with on a daily basis. The first thing you'll want to do is check yourself and watch what you allow yourself to think. Don't allow yourself to get caught up in the heat of the moment and spout off foolish nonsense that's uncalled for. I have done it on many occasions, only to realize that I looked as stupid as the other person. Confronting a difficult person with the mindset that you are going to go set them straight and prove you're right is not going to solve anything in the long run. I know you want to win. I do to. But, I realize that by diffusing the situation is also winning. You should go into this type of confrontation with the mindset of solving the issue and moving forward, rather than simply spouting off in anger.
Another important tip for helping to defuse a volatile situation with difficult people is to watch what kind of tone you speak with. If a situation is quickly becoming heated, you can avoid making a big scene by controlling the tone of voice you use when speaking to the other individual. One technique that I teach is to speak softer as the other person gets louder. It actually the diffuses the situation much quicker because they to be quiet to hear you. It's amazing how far this principle will actually take you in dealing with someone who is caught up in the throes of their emotions. Make sure you speak in a clear, calm voice, being as friendly as possible while confronting the individual.
Be sure to act natural and not to come off as a phony individual. If you come off as only pretending to be sincere, you'll more than likely be spotted as a phony right off the bat, and this could make the situation worse. One way to be perceived as sincere is to ask questions about the solutions during the confrontation. It gets the person to focus on the solution and not the problem.
Learning some effective anger management tips will be a great benefit to you as well. There are a number of deep breathing techniques that can help cool off your anger and help you to think more clearly before speaking or making a decision.
It's crucial to the situation to take into consideration the feelings of the other individual, regardless of how difficult they may be to deal with. Be respectful and careful of your word choices so that you can successfully defuse the situation.
Finally, remember to take responsibility for your own actions. By doing this you're encouraging the other person to also take responsibility for the part they played in the situation.