Who's your least favorite type of difficult person?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Gallusfarm, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. Gallusfarm

    Gallusfarm Songster

    Jul 14, 2009
    They walk among us. My personal least favorites: the Antagonist and Know-It-All. I fall into the category of space cadet. [​IMG]

    So who's your least favorite - and which of these are you????

    from: http://webuildpeople.ag.org/wbp_library/9508_difficult_people.cfm

    are several types of difficult people. Each has certain characteristics and requires different responses.


    Characteristics: He is zealous to police people's lives. He attempts to force others to conform to his expectations. He's judgmental, an overbearing warden, a meddler in other people's business, and a gossiper.

    Response: Personally commit to giving and receiving only good reports. Refuse to give ear to his gossip. Confront him about the facts, and press him toward personal responsibility. Reprove, then rebuke him redemptively.


    Characteristics: He is controlling and needs to shape his world. He's domineering, aggressive, hostile, hot-tempered, and intimidating. He's a bully who makes cutting remarks.

    Response: Don't argue with him or listen to his opinions. Express your opinions, and don't be intimidated. Demonstrate strength without argument, and give him room and time to respond.


    Characteristics: He is noncommittal, postpones decisions, ignores issues, and wants all the facts.

    Response: Let him voice his concerns. Use face-to-face settings, offer alternatives, press for agreement in stages, and press for decision and action.


    Characteristics: He gripes but takes no action. His gripes may be real concerns, or he may feel powerless and refuse responsibility.

    Response: Let him blow. Acknowledge his concerns, but don't agree or empathize. Ask problem-solving questions. Don't allow complaints to go unsettled.


    Characteristics: He is negative and always says, "It won't work." He's critical, cynical, a wet blanket, a negative influencer, and an impossibility thinker. He finds problems and makes excuses for his lack of responsibility, saying, "It's just the way I am."

    Response: Don't give him a platform to complain or make excuses. Counter his negativism with realistic optimism. Don't try to convince him. Work to influence the larger group toward positive action. Don't allow him to sway the group. Kindly express your confidence in him, but point out that change is a choice.

    Dead Beat

    Characteristics: He won't take risks and is fearful and lazy. He resists change, and he appears apathetic, disinterested, or bored.

    Response: Ask open-ended questions and demand more than a yes or no answer. Draw out his perspectives, and press for conclusions and responses. State presumed conclusions to solicit responses.


    Characteristics: He is strongly opinionated, competitive, imposing, pompous, and intimidating. He often tries to make others feel foolish or dumb.

    Response: Know your facts. Be factual and concrete about the issues. Ask how his facts bear on things, and ask him to restate his views. Allow him to save face when he is inaccurate, and deal with him alone when possible.

    Mr. Nice Guy

    Characteristics: He has a strong need for acceptance and approval and portrays reasonable support in public. He may be a totally different person in private. He accepts responsibility but doesn't follow through.

    Response: Give approval, and help him express his true feelings. Work out task descriptions, and hold him accountable for tasks to help him follow through.


    Characteristics: He's unpredictable and tends to be unapproachable. he causes tension, and others are fearful and uncertain around him. He's explosive, insensitive, loud, and cutting.

    Response: Be calm and poised. Remove him from the crowd, and give him time to blow. Don't argue or interrupt him. You may need to ask him to repeat the details later. Minimize his exaggerations. Remove hearsay, and deal only with facts, not emotion. Hold him accountable for his actions and those he has hurt.

    Sherman Tank

    Characteristics: He has a tendency to intimidate others. His "I'm right, you're wrong" attitude is insensitive and difficult to reason with. He strongly influences others.

    Response: Assess the degree of influence he has, and evaluate the importance of the issue in conflict. If the issue has a direct or negative effect on others, it may be worth fighting for. Be direct, and be sure you have enough influence to fight for the issue.

    Space Cadet

    Characteristics: He lives in his own world and marches to a different drummer. He doesn't respond to normal motivations. Most feel frustrated working with the space cadet which causes much confusion.

    Response: Don't be concerned about this type. Don't evaluate your leadership by his responses. Don't ask his opinions; don't place him in a team ministry; don't place him in a leadership position. Seek to develop his uniqueness.


    Characteristics: He tends to pout, to be full of self-pity, to use moodiness to manipulate others, and to use the silent treatment to get his way. He is sometimes negative, often infantile, and usually irresponsible and hypersensitive.

    Response: Tell him that moodiness is a choice. Teach him he is responsible for the atmosphere he creates. Don't patronize or enable his moodiness. Never reward or give undue attention to him. Expose him to people with real problems, and praise his positive ideas and actions. Ignore him when he pouts.

    Garbage Collector

    Characteristics: He is the most negative type. He gives himself over to negative emotions and loves to replay and nurse his injuries and victimization. He wants to hold on to his wounded spirit and collect negative garbage.

    Response: Confront him about trying to speak on behalf of others. When he complains, make him give you names of those he is supposedly speaking for. Challenge his generalizations and exaggerations. If he has created a serious situation that needs to be resolved, expose him to leaders who have the authority to make the necessary decisions.


    Characteristics: He manipulates others for personal gain, avoids personal responsibility, and demands time and energy from others. He often uses guilt to get his way and may appear weak and needy to get others' help.

    Response: Set predetermined limits. Don't allow him to use others. Require responsibility and accountability, and don't feel guilty or obligated when a firm "no" is the best answer.
  2. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Songster

    Jul 26, 2010
    Aside from those who judge others by how completely they agree with them or how close they 'belief-match', my most unpopular sort of difficult person is the person who tries to simplify people's whole role and personality into over-simplistic and judgemental work-based stereotypes from thirty years ago, and tries to advocate brainless, impractical and overly judgemental ways of dealing with them.

    This sort of difficult person also will typically try to pretend that the family and social and club life, is just like work life, and tries to apply the same rules to family and social life as he does to work. Which is brainless. You can fire an employee if you don't like what he's doing; you can't 'fire' your brother or your mother. You have to come to terms or break the cohesion of the family.

    Too, in a family, no one is the 'boss' who gets to decide who gets their way unless it's a very old fashion family. Everyone's rights and needs are important and have to be considered. Family issues need more conciliation, acceptance and compromise and are very, very different from running a business. Uncle Herman may be an eccentric hermit who lives in a tent in a vacant lot, but the goal is not to make Uncle Herman a cheif executive officer of a company or making a million dollars profit. And you can't fire Uncle Herman, or make him be an executive instead of a hermit. It's his life, he's an adult, not much you can do. Family problems require creativity, flexibility and compassion, and there is no mission statement or standards of how to do things.

    People have personal styles. There is no point or need to try to manipulate or change most of that. It is just not that difficult to deal with, but that doesn't mean these dumb, judgemental recipes work either.

    Many of the complainers really aren't complainers, they are afraid that change will leave them behind and make them unhappy and unneeded. They haven't been given a role in the change and feel disenfranchised. The solution is simple.

    Most, if not all of the 'bullies' and 'volcanos' were created by lax management, and moved into a vacuum where there is no control and no oversight, with management's tacit blessing, and they developed their own little empire. They develop allies in other parts of the business and create a little web that's designed to keep them in an authority role.

    The hollowest bell rings the loudest. If they have something of value get them under control and keep them. If, like most of them they have nothing of value to offer the company, fire them. If they are in the family, a whole lot more creativity is needed.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2010
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    My least favorite type of person are criminals.
  4. I'm married to a man who is half wonderful, and half volcano, spoiler, garbage collector..... geez. I don't know which one I am... how come there are no GOOD personalities? I guess I'm half wonderful and half deadbeat-sherman tank.... geez.
  5. kla37

    kla37 Songster

    Apr 18, 2010
    Hillsborough, NC USA
    Know-It-All. All politicians seem to suffer from this.
  6. Q9

    Q9 General Headache

    A combination of know-it-all and spoiler... Yes! I am probably the single most disagreeable person to be around! [​IMG] Fortunately I'm not THAT much of either... Right? Right? RIGHT?!
  7. littlefork

    littlefork Songster

    Jan 24, 2010
    I worked for a woman who was everyone of those bad personalities, I go so I hated to go to work so much that I woke up with a stomach ache every morning. I hate dealing with any kind of difficult person.
  8. chickenbottom

    chickenbottom Songster

    Dec 30, 2008
    hollister, florida
    i guess my lease favorite would have to be cry baby but i would describe myself with a few of those so im not very good either [​IMG]
  9. SarahFair

    SarahFair Songster

    Sep 23, 2008
    Monroe, Ga
    Crybaby and User...
  10. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Songster

    Feb 6, 2009
    This "thing" confuses CHARACTERISTICS with people. As others have pointed out, individuals can have several annoying characteristics. Thus, there is no one way to react to someone's behavior.

    As a grad student, I researched anti-social behavior with the editors of this book -


    I have a simpler take of this issue: Behavior can be seen as hurtful or helpful. If someone is being hurtful, you should say so.

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