Do you dread holiday celebrations because you’ll have to spend time with nagging relatives and overly-chatty neighbors? Then here’s how to deal with anyone – no matter how difficult they are. This comes from Self magazine and Carrie Mason-Draffen, author of 151 Quick Ideas to Deal with Difficult People:
* The Critic. That’s the person who’s always got a put-down on the tip of their tongue. Mason-Draffen says: Someone who never has anything nice to say probably grew up around negativity. So, their barbs probably have little to do with YOU. Instead, try to disarm them with a positive comment. For example, if they say, “Your cookies are SO fattening!” try saying: “You look terrific. Don’t worry about one cookie.”
* The Social Misfit. The person who makes inappropriate comments, and flirts with everybody else’s date. Mason-Draffen says that a lot of the time, they just want attention. So, TALK to them! After all, it won’t hurt to make THEM the center of attention for awhile.
* The Blowhard. The boastful person who brags about their job, their life, and their new car. Instead of rolling your eyes as they toot their own horn, try to get a kick out of their colorful nature. Then try to inject a little humor. For example, after listening to them go on about the record-breaking fish they caught last weekend, try saying: “You really are Superman. I bet you can even leap tall buildings in a single bound!” That’ll give them the kudos they crave. By pointing out their tendency to boast, you’ll be able to stop the stories without offending them.
* Nosy Ned. Basically, your business is THEIR business and they just HAVE TO discuss it with you. On the flip side, busybodies tend to be an open book. So use their candor to turn the tables. Ask them a specific, sure-to-be-distracting question that requires a detailed explanation, like, “How did you find the landscape architect who redid your yard?” Experts say they’ll be so engrossed in figuring out what to say, they’ll forget all about grilling YOU for information.