How to Manage Difficult People Using "Why?" and "What?"

clip_image008_thumbDifficult behavior is always a sign that there is an unfulfilled need. Most of the time, everybody focuses on the desires the difficult people express and not on their needs, while the difficult people are so stuck on what they want that they are not at all in a position to fulfill their own needs.

That can be changed by you helping them find what they need and by helping them get it.

The following technique was developed by observing 2- and 3-year-old kids. At the age of 2, they start with the question phase. Here is a typical discussion I have had with my own children and many kids I have worked with.

“What’s this?”

“It’s a card game?”

“What’s a card game?”

“It’s a pack of cards with things printed on them that we use to play a matching game”.

“What’s a matching game?”

“It’s a game where you have two cards that look exactly the same and you have to find them out of all the cards”.

“Why do we have to play a matching game?”

“It’s good for our brain. We learn to recognize things that are the same and others that are different”.

“Why is it good for our brain?”

And this conversation can go on forever if I could manage answering questions forever. The trick is always to answer calmly. It is a game, a very healthy game, and children learn a lot from it. You could say that this type of questioning is difficult behavior, but I think it is your reaction that makes it a learning experience or a difficult behavior. If you answer calmly, it is a learning experience. If you answer with anger, it becomes a difficult behavior.

Read more about how to manage difficult behavior


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