Sharing Some Life Lessons Learnt


I am posting this small tid-bit here because I am tired of saying the same thing again and again to various people….apologies to all my regular readers who are unexpectedly faced with a self-help sorta post!

I must also admit that I sat on this post for a long time wondering whether I should hit Publish or not; something about it made me feel uncomfortable about posting. But then I decided, what the hell; publish and be damned (any guesses where I got this last phrase from? :))

During my not-so long and not-so illustrious career, I have faced the pleasures and the pitfalls of working with a few people who are generally considered “difficult” to deal with.

Sometimes, I get asked “how come you didn’t lose your cool?” or “how did you manage with so and so for all these years” and I never really had a clear-cut answer to give them…

I thought about it for some time, and here is a list of things that I did that I think helped me handle messy situations:

  • Didn’t take things personally. Difficult people have difficulty dealing with feelings, and situations. At first, I used to get angry. But, then I realized that a lot of times that it was just a fear of loss of control that they were struggling to deal with.
  • Picked my battles carefully. Before I reacted to a nasty or negative comment, I would ask myself whether this issue was really worth the unpleasantness? Most often, it was not.
  • Looked for something good in the other person. Yes, someone can be nasty, bossy, and inconsiderate but they can also be smart, and willing to share information. I tried to focus on their good points to ensure that I was less negatively biased against them.
  • Listened to the message, and not the way it was delivered. I would often find that if someone was speaking pleasantly, I would go out of my way to accommodate his/her requests. However, when a difficult person demanded something from me in a very aggressive way, I would stiffen up and just not feel like accommodating. I guess that’s natural and everyone is like that to a certain extent.

    However, I deliberately changed this attitude of mine, and tried to ignore the way something was communicated to me, and focus on what was actually said. This way, I avoided getting negative that affected my work badly.

  • Semi-detached myself. If nothing worked and I had brought down a storm of rage upon my head, I would tell myself that no one has the power to take away my smile. When a difficult person was in a mood the best thing for me to do was semi-detach myself so that I don’t get sucked into their negativity. At times though, it was really hard for me to do.
  • Worked extra hard. This was a no-brainer. I used to work doubly hard just so that I would not get put on the defensive early on itself.

So, you see it is not too difficult after all 🙂

And I must add that I learnt so many extremely valuable skills that benefits me even now – dealing tactfully with people, taking initiative, quality consciousness, and a desire to understand where the other person is coming from…

I can only say that in some ways, I am very thankful to these so-called “difficult” people whom I have met 🙂

Happy Diwali to you all!

  • wow…very thoughtful! It is good that you posted it..i think there is loads to pick up from here! Everyday I face such people and me being short tempered too was not helping either. I myself learned so much and these points would help me more.

    • Wow! I can’t believe so many people found this post useful.

      Thanks guys!

  • Good one 🙂 Thank you for all the tips.. some of them I can identify myself.. have been on some exercises myself too 🙂 others from your post are going to be surely worth a try 🙂 When I think, I have done well, will call you up 🙂

    This is a much needed post today 🙂 Cant thank you enough 🙂

  • sounds a lot like my coping mechanism… nice to have them laid out in such concrete form 🙂

    nice blog, and you’re really serious about these books aren’t you? i need to get back to offline reading soon.

    • Oh….yeah I am an unrepentant bookaholic! Can’t function without them 🙂

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting

  • dmanji

    You did the right thing by publishing this one…. its really helpful … and Looked for something good in the other person Kudos !!! coz I tried but could not do it many times :)… I generally don’t take things personally and that baffles people at times 😀
    and Happy Diwali to you too!!!!!!!

    • Thank you … feeling much better about posting it now 🙂

  • i was surprised that you were hesitant in publishing this post, actually these kind of posts are usually my rant 🙂

    oh wow you have such a nice header, seems you are a graphic designer as well?? 😛

    • I guess I alwaya hesitate when things get a little personal for me.

      Regarding the header, it’s just a photo I cropped and brightened up a bit. Wanted something festive for Diwali 🙂

  • that’s very nice share, Nish. In everyone’s life difficult people come, how we handle them is the real art and talent. 10/10 for this share 🙂

    • Yasser, thanks very much for the response. Makes me glad I did decide to post it 🙂

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