7 Tips for Dealing with Someone Who is Difficult to Talk to ...


Have you ever had troubles dealing with someone who is difficult to talk to? Whether it’s your neighbours, your friends, acquaintances or even family members, it’s important to know how you should be handling a bad conversationalist, in order to become a better conversationalist yourself! This will ultimately make you more comfortable and confident with everyday conversation. Here are some tips on dealing with someone who is difficult to talk to. Good Luck!

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The Talented One Who Can Speak without Breathing

The key to dealing with someone who simply won’t stop talking is to first understand why. The trouble with this individual is that they lack the power of conversation, but not the power of speech. You can change the topic or simply use conversation enders with body language, such as letting your gaze wander, or taking a small step away from them. Be assertive and tell them you’re finding it difficult to take in everything they’re saying, then depart with a smile.


The Interrupter

People who interrupt aren’t bad people. Most often, they don't understand the impact they’re having on people. They are so intent on getting their point across that they walk all over yours, which can make you feel disconnected toward the person, with anger and/or resentment, making your relationship suffer. Try your own, much more subtle, interruption, such as asking if they mind if you finish your point before you forget it (with a smile).


The Quiet One

This may mean they’re a hesitant speaker, slow to respond, shy or nervous. Try to draw them out by asking them questions about themselves. What are their interests? What do they do for work or fun? Ask them open-ended questions and try to avoid close-ended questions. Remember to actively listen to what the person is saying and follow up with "how" and "why" questions. If they’re still not contributing, let them be. They may just be having an off day.


It's crucial to provide space and comfort to the conversation. A soft voice and patient demeanor can encourage them to open up over time. Respect their pace and avoid forcing dialogue. Some people take time to warm up to new acquaintances and may prefer to listen rather than talk. By sharing a bit about yourself, you might create a mutual trust that invites them to share too. And if the conversation doesn't spark right away, don't take it personally. Comfort can't be rushed, and sometimes, being a gentle presence is more than enough.


The Battle between You and Their Ego

Everyone wants to be heard and feel important, understood and believed. This person will boast and they’ll attempt to engage in debates with you, to show off. They often don’t want to hear what anyone else has to say. They may feel inadequate discussing topics outside of their own accomplishments. After listening respectfully, attempt to distract, diffuse or challenge the person by talking about other lighter topics or topics you know more about. Usually behind a person's ego is someone feeling inadequate and small.


The Non-Conversationalist

If you think someone is ignoring you, first things first - make sure first that you’re not just being paranoid. Perhaps they’re dealing with some personal issues and need some space. If you notice this person is ignoring you and not others, try to think back. Have you have done something wrong? Try to confront the person and speak to them in private, and ask them why they’re ignoring you. If they continue to ignore you, leave them be.


It's crucial to approach the situation with empathy and patience. Communication problems aren't always about you; sometimes, people struggle with their own issues that mute their social responses. Before initiating a tough conversation, try to empathize by considering what they might be dealing with in their own life. Express that you’ve noticed the distance and you're concerned, but be careful not to come off as accusatory. Remember that, sometimes, the best approach is to give the person some space and time - they may come around when they’re ready.


Ms. Never-Wrong

No matter what, you’re wrong and they're right. They constantly disagree with your viewpoint and correct you. This type of person can be exhausting and frustrating to converse with. Resist the urge to be defensive and instead simply agree to disagree. In the future try to avoid conversations where your viewpoint will trodden on.


It's crucial to maintain your own peace rather than engage in a never-ending battle of wits. Approach these conversations with open-mindedness; sometimes, it's not about changing their mind but about understanding their perspective. And remember, it's perfectly acceptable to set boundaries. If the conversation is turning in circles, it's okay to politely steer away from the topic or even take a break from the discussion. Your mental well-being should always take priority over proving a point.


The Negative Nellie

Maintain a positive boundary; if you’re conversing with a negative person be careful, and don’t let yourself be affected by their problems. If you do, this can often leave you feeling exhausted and drained. Give them support; however know when to draw the line. If they’re being negative give a simple reply with a non-committal "I see." When they’re being positive reply with enthusiasm and interest. Alternatively stick to lighter topics and be cautious of how much time you spend with them. Negative people can be toxic to your mental health.

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said. It’s important to understand why people act out in the way they do. It’s usually because they’re feeling powerless and inadequate. Just remember, that it’s them, not you. It’s important to surround yourself with positive, like-mined people that will bring out the best in you. Have you ever experienced any tricky conversations? Perhaps you have some of your own tips on dealing with someone who's hard (or impossible) to talk to? Let me know!

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