Dealing with Difficult People

The AA way to deal with difficult people is, according to me, with humility.  I immediately need to bring to mind that I am the difficult person people need help dealing with.  I need to see what I can change in myself, not in them (indirect paraphrase from the Big Book or 12 and 12).

Except when they are someone I gave birth to, or someone I supervise.

But in general.  AA tells me to treat everyone with patience, tolerance, kindliness and love.  I think AA is telling me to do this with difficult people.  After all, the easy people are easy to deal with!  No instructions required.

A trick I sometimes use is to answer difficult interactions with either, “You may be right,” or “I’m sorry you feel that way,” or both.

But usually dealing with difficult people involves changing my mind as much as possible.  Seeing where these people are right, forgiving where they are wrong, and keeping an open mind as to my own ability to know what’s right and what’s wrong.


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