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Dealing With Difficult People (Topic #3)

Filed under: Uncategorized — mblittle at 3:03 am on Friday, October 8, 2010

“Speak with you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret” (Laurence J. Peter)

This quote is one of my favorite quotes of all time. I think this quote fits the lesson on “Dealing with Difficult People” quite well J

Watch this video about dealing with difficult people:

Throughout my research, I found that there are numerous “types” of difficult people. The youtube video listed: gossiper, blamers, whiners, and complainers.  Another video I watched explained the “difficult person” as anybody that gets your blood pressure going. Librarians deal with a wide range of people on a daily basis; therefore, they must understand how to deal with these difficult people”. These “difficult people” could be a boss; student; parent; teacher; company; etc. The following website lists 15 tips in dealing with difficult people. These tips are very beneficial in learning how to deal with difficult people in many different scenarios. (You have to scroll down a little bit to the section that it titled “15 Tips for Dealing with Difficult People”)


  •  (register for free “Quick Tips” to be e-mailed to you weekly on how to deal with difficult people; webinars , books, and CD’s are also available on this site)
  • Book: “Dealing with Difficult People in the Library” By: Mark Willis (Although I did not get a chance to read this book, it did have great reviews. A few chapters in the book that I thought sounded interesting were: “The Homeless in the Library”; “Hey Lady- You Forgot Your Kids”; “Good Policies Make Good Patrons”; and “Policy Training”. This is definitely a book that I want to get my hands on!)

Training Staff: In-service days are excellent times to train staff in dealing with difficult people. Tips for dealing with difficult people should be discussed; videos could be shown; and skits could be preformed showing how to deal with difficult people in different situations (role-playing would be a great activity to incorporate within the lesson). The most important part is to make the faculty more aware of simple ways to diffuse a problem with a difficult person. When the faculty is more aware of ways to deal with these situations, they will be more comfortable reacting to a problem if one were to ever occur.


  1. Write a few sentences on your reaction to the phrase, “Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”
  2. Pick 1 “tip” from the “” website and explain a time that you have had to deal with a difficult person, and how you dealt with it. List at least 3 other tips that you commonly use when dealing with difficult people.

                MY SAMPLE ASSIGNMENT:  

  • Tip # 11- GO FOR A RUN: I was teaching a unit on different types of family structures, and I had a parent that accuse me of telling their child that “step parents don’t count”, and “step parents are not important”. I would have NEVER said that to a student… but the parent was upset. I apologized and explained how there had to have been a misunderstanding, but the parent was rude about the whole situation, and never backed down after I tried to smooth things over myself. As I told some of my fellow co-workers about the situation, I got more and more angry thinking about the how rude the parent was to me. (I was breaking Tip # 5 by “Talking About It”…. And I really do think it was making things worse, because every time I talked about it, I could feel my blood pressure raising.) I was stressed the rest of the day, and when I got home that night I went for a run to help release some of the stress. The run helped immensely! I tend to go for a run, or do some type of physical activity when I am really stressed. It always seems to help alleviate some of the stress.
  • Other tips that I will commonly use when dealing with difficult people are: Forgive, Wait it Out, Look for Lessons




October 13, 2010 @ 2:32 am   

Speak when you are angry—only causes more problems. It never fails if you are that angry, you will blurt out things you don’t really mean or can’t take back. You will also not make sense and look dumber than the person you are angry at! good quote:)

8. Choose to Eliminate Negative People In Your Life

After receiving word of a new principal that was making changes in our building two years ago, I had to stop going where the negative people hung out……the teacher’s lounge! I got so tired of listening to what a mean, irrational, principal the district had hired. Every day I walked in there and the office, that is what I heard…bad comments about this or that that the principal was doing. In reality, if they would have stepped back and looked at it in different eyes…she was making changes! So many people can’t handle change in their job or life. They look at it as a hole in the road or curve and don’t know how to handle it so they chat NEGATIVELY about it! I don’t join in…I ignore them and hang with them-not worth my time to sit and talk about how bad it is!
I could think of other tips I use to deal with diffcult people: most important, run it out, lessons!


   Angela Schafer

October 14, 2010 @ 7:00 pm   

It’s such a true statement. When you are angry you say things that are so sharp and so cutting and you know that you are saying exactly what the other person doesn’t want to hear. You know your saying the words that will bother or hurt them the most, but how often do we wish we could take them back. Almost always, because rarely, if ever, do they actually help. Instead, you feel terrible, they feel hurt and you’ve opened a chasm that might not ever heal.

#2 Wait it out.
Once, I had a librarian at my school who went to the principal about me b/c I was always late to pick up my class. I had explained to her that I was the only person doing lunch duty until exactly the time I needed to pick up my class and that if another teacher was late to pick up their students from lunch that it made me late. I was so upset b/c I always RAN down the hall to try to make it in time. My principal agree that I was doing the best the schedule would allow and I decided just to wait things out a bit. Believe it or not, she eventually found something else to worry about and forgot about me being late all together.
I also like “Does it really matter if I’m right”, Be In their shoes and eliminate negative people in your life.



October 16, 2010 @ 12:49 pm   

Wow, what a powerful topic! This has made me think of so many situations in my daily life. It has made me reflect on the many times I must have been that difficult person. Everything I have to comment on ends up being with item 3 – EGO. I have thought deeply of all the items though. They are all relate to ego again. It all rounds up to controlling our ego. We must learn to let go of comments that hurt our ego. It is important to take a minute to meditate and try to separate ourselves from our own self. Putting things into perspective will help feel from the other´s point of view, hopefully calm ourselves and let go of any negative feelings within us. Of course this is easier said than done. It is so easy to hurt others many times without even meaning it.

A person I once met had a quote on his bulletin board which is so true. ¨Be kind, everyone is fighting their own battles.¨ Another saying that has proven to be true to me is, ¨No hay mal que por bien no venga.¨ (Everything bad that happens has some good behind it.)

I have added ¨Think simple now¨to my reader. It is good to stop and think about all the damage one does to oneself by letting our ego take over our lives. Are these thoughts getting too religious? Let me say that they felt very much like my own ramblings when I am praying or meditating. Nice lesson and good advice.

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