dealing with people

4 Books That Help You Deal with Difficult People

Most people do not usually come in wanting immediate judicial arbitration and mediation services for conflicts at work or in their personal relationships. It still happens, though. There’s a crime, an unpaid obligation, an object of discord of considerable value, or some violation that can no longer be handled in the normal way. These require special expertise from lawyers.

The painful reality is that there are difficult people that we will inevitably encounter in daily life. How we handle them will ultimately spell our life’s success and happiness or doom and despair.

Some books can serve as your allies in this regard. Check out these compelling titles that can help you become better at negotiating or resolving you or your loved ones’ conflicts with other people:

When Difficult Relatives Happen to Good People: Surviving Your Family and Keeping Your Sanity
by Leonard Felder

If you happen to have some nosy relatives that you cannot avoid during family reunions or gatherings, Leonard Felder’s paperback may just be the thing you need. This book contains practical advice on how to steer clear of toxic behavior, how to talk your way out of unbelievable uncomfortable situations, and how to healthily establish boundaries without being rude to relatives that you try to stay clear from for the rest of the year.

Play the Part: Master Body Signals to Connect and Communicate for Business Success
by Gina Barnett

That eye contact might just save you a lawsuit. The words uttered are one thing. The actions or body language is another. Sometimes, the things people don’t say speak more volumes about what they truly think deep inside. A person may be saying “Yes,” but with crossed arms and a frown that clearly means “No.” And this is where you can gain an upper hand.

If you are able to read people’s non-verbal cues and gestures better, you may have good timing for asking for a raise, negotiating a property, or defusing a tense situation among work colleagues. Barnett’s books offer a business setting scenario but it can also apply in cases where you are suspecting a cheating personal partner or business associate.

High-Maintenance Relationships: How to Handle Impossible People
by Les Parrott III


Parrott’s book on high maintenance relationships is a classic, and for a good reason. In the same way that we have 16 unique personality types from Myer Briggs, Parrott discusses in each chapter different types of toxic people, including what causes them to act that way, what motivates them, and how to handle them like a champion. Parrott’s approach is also heavily influenced by his Christian upbringing and capitalizes on forgiveness for most situations, and this tiny bit may need to be balanced by the need for legal intervention in cases of crime or extreme violence.

Never Split the Difference
by Chris Voss

The subtitle says: Negotiating as if your life depended on it. This Amazon chart-topper and Wall Street bestseller is consistently in demand for a good reason. Voss was an FBI negotiator, so he knows what he is talking about when it comes to negotiating to your advantage even under hostile situations. He has saved kidnapped lives in his past and shares his wisdom in this book so that you can negotiate better.

While these books are incredibly insightful in the arena of conflict resolution, there are still cases that warrant professional help. Don’t be afraid to approach lawyers and psychologists for deep-seated trauma and legal issues that may arise in some of the unsavory aspects of dealing with other people.

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