Working and living in society entails coming into contact with difficult people from time to time. Learning the art of seeing commonalities instead of differences can help turn an aggressive confrontation into one of greater ease, harmony and understanding. Central to the art of dealing with difficult people is to recognize their humanity.Difficult people have their own fears, worries, joys and sorrows, and when we can see this, we begin to understand that we all have much in common with one another. As Plato phrased it, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” As we learn to perceive our shared humanity, we become less reactive in response to the “difficult person” and more focused on how to handle the difficult situation.
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