It is a human tendency to identify people as being difficult or easy to get along with and that affects how we interact with them. The question is – is it that some people are difficult or is it their behavior that bothers us?
How Labeling People As ‘Difficult’ Causes Problems
Most, if not all of us, talk about difficult people. We think: “Oh, that’s John again, why is he always a pain in the posterior,” or “Why is Mary so darned stubborn and difficult all the time?” We tend to characterize (or label) people and put them into boxes or categories
This Won’t Work!
Although our brains tend to label people as difficult, that’s not the best way to think about difficult situations. If you label a person as difficult, you are more likely to create more difficult situations with that person, since you will be expecting bad things to happen.
When we label a person difficult and have poor expectations about the person, we are more likely to:
Be quicker to interpret their actions as negative
Be more likely to have strong emotional reactions to them.
Treat them more abruptly
Expect less from them
All of these factors can create difficult situations with someone when no difficult situation is actually present in the first place.
Your challenge: Consider someone who you have labeled as “negative”, list two positive things about them and let them know in the next 24 hours – See what happens!