How to manage difficult people: Types of difficulties

Pyramid amidst a group of balls

There are many types of difficult people. Some of them are similar and all of them try to overcome some kind of fear or use their behavior as a mechanism to fulfill a need.

The first step in managing difficult people is to recognize the type of difficulty, whether it is within yourself or others.

With every type listed below, write a name of one or two people that you know who are difficult for you that way. First, ask yourself, “Am I difficult that way?” and then move to other people you know. Try to find at least one person of each type before moving to the next difficulty.

Types of difficult people (1-10)


People that do things to be seen by others and to be in the spotlight. Their desire to be front and center and receive recognition may cause others to feel embarrassed and try to avoid their company.


People who like to be perceived as knowledgeable in a specific area. Whenever there is a discussion about the topic of their expertise, they expect others to consult with them only and if others dare to ask someone else, the expert feels insulted. People do not like being around experts, because they push their expertise rather than being kind about it.

Read more about how to handle difficult people


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