Difficult personalities in the workplace can be a real obstacle, eroding morale and productivity. Fortunately, there are ways to effectively manage this type of person.
Managers or individuals working with difficult personalities need to be aware of their behaviors in order to effectively deal with them. Here are five common behaviors you should be alert for:
Aggression in social psychology refers to behaviors or acts intended to cause harm to another person, animal, or physical property. Aggression can range from an accidental injury that doesn’t involve intent to extreme physical violence intended to cause serious harm.
When it comes to aggressive behavior, there are several factors that can contribute. These include environmental influences, genetics and neurochemicals like testosterone and serotonin.
An environment can shape a child’s attitude toward certain groups by cultivating mistrust, fear, and hatred of those groups. Such circumstances might include poverty, deviant peers, lack of safe recreational areas for kids to play safely and supervised, media violence exposure, bad parenting and lack of social support systems.
Children’s attitudes and beliefs can influence their level of aggression. They may lack self-control in certain areas or believe that confrontational solutions are always the best solutions to problems.
These attitudes and beliefs can make it challenging for children to come up with nonaggressive solutions even when confronted with situations that cause them distress or anger. For instance, if someone takes your book from the library cart and stomps on it, that classmate has just taken away something important to you.
You might feel compelled to share the details of the stomping with your friends, expressing that you are angry with them for taking the book. While this may seem like a harmless reaction at first glance, it could quickly escalate into bullying your peers.
Mental health crises can arise from this. If you believe you might be dealing with aggression, seek professional help immediately. A therapist can offer guidance on how to express your emotions without becoming aggressive or violent.
Challenging personalities are not only difficult to work with, but they can also adversely impact the success of your business in multiple ways. Unmanaged employees may cause disruption in productivity levels and lead to client departures from your company.
One of the hallmark characteristics of challenging personalities is passive difficulty. Passive difficulty refers to a type of challenge which may not be immediately evident to those doing it and requires considerable time for completion. It often arises in situations where someone attempts something they have never done before, such as learning how to operate an automated machine.
It is essential to recognize that passive difficulty does not always indicate a lack of skill or intelligence; in fact, it may indicate quite the contrary. This behavior often stems from someone’s drive to succeed in an activity, as well as being overly enthusiastic about the task at hand.
When selecting a passive challenge for someone, it is essential to understand their motivation and what they hope to achieve in the specific scenario. With this knowledge, you can craft an enjoyable yet meaningful challenge for the individual.
Passive challenges can be used to increase the difficulty of a task at hand, such as adding obstacles or an unfamiliar opponent to the mix. This is an effective way to motivate difficult individuals to overcome their inhibitions and deliver their best work. However, make sure the challenge is tailored appropriately to the person’s skillset and experience level.
3. The Victim
Victimization is a behavior often displayed by challenging personalities as either an attempt to protect themselves from negative repercussions of their choices or as an expression of vulnerability in response to abuse.
Victim mentalities often lack responsibility for their actions or they have difficulty accepting that they have done something wrong. They may complain constantly about their situation and try to shift blame onto others or feel that everyone in their lives is out to get them.
It is essential to recognize that these behaviors are unhealthy and unacceptable. They indicate someone is feeling very vulnerable, in need of mental health help to recover from their trauma.
These can lead to more serious interpersonal offenses, as those with a tendency for victimhood often possess cognitive biases that shape how they perceive and interpret social situations – including interpretation, attribution and memory errors.
Gabay and her colleagues discovered in a study that individuals who tend toward interpersonal victimhood had an increased tendency to perceive low-severity offenses as more serious than those without such traits. This may be because those with this tendency often interpret social interactions negatively because they perceive the other person’s motivation as immoral or malicious.
It can lead to increased aggression when they feel they have the right to take revenge against those who have hurt or taken advantage of them. They may also become less forgiving due to ruminating about painful memories.
Passive aggression, whether it manifests as subtle remarks that make others feel bad about their decisions or more intense forms like gaslighting and emotional manipulation, can have a serious impact on relationships. While this behavior often arises from underlying issues or mental health conditions, it can also be learned and modified.
People who exhibit passive aggressive behaviors often do so to avoid conflict or feel too raw to express themselves directly. This could be due to upbringing, a mental health condition, the situation, or simply feeling uncomfortable with confrontation.
If you find yourself in a relationship where someone often acts passively, it may be time for professional help. A therapist can offer guidance and teach you effective communication techniques so that your needs are understood and met.
Christina Arganda-Stevens, author of “Passive Aggressive Behavior: Understanding and Overcoming It,” states that asking questions about a situation and other details like what someone is eating can give insight into underlying intentions. These kinds of conversational techniques help both parties gain a better understanding of each other on an intimate level.
Once you understand the underlying reasons behind your partner’s passive aggressive behaviors, it’s essential to assert yourself assertively. Doing so can break their cover and force them to alter their approach, according to Arganda-Stevens.
Though practicing this can take some effort, the long-term benefit for your relationship will be immense. With improved communication skills, you’ll be better able to express needs and feelings honestly without resorting to passive aggression. This will lead to healthier, more productive interactions in the future.
Challenging personalities often lack the social skills to form healthy relationships and connections, making it challenging for them to find support and maintain their self-worth.
They may experience difficulty navigating the complexities of a relationship or dealing with challenges and conflict in their work or personal life. This can leave them feeling broken-hearted, misunderstood, and vulnerable to emotional abuse from others.
Fortunately, there are strategies that can help. For instance, confronting the behavior of a passive aggressive person with honesty and compassion may encourage them to alter their ways.
By setting boundaries, you and the individual with passive-aggressive tendencies can break the cycle that leads to resentment, anger and conflict. Furthermore, boundaries create space for both of you to communicate more clearly.
If you are a parent, coworker, or partner who has experienced passive aggression from another individual, confronting them can help take action to address their behavior and give them an opportunity to reflect and accept responsibility for their mistakes. Furthermore, confronting someone gives them an opportunity to reflect and take ownership over their mistakes.
For instance, if your child is always running late for appointments or school, explaining that their tardiness affects their self-esteem can motivate them to take steps toward improving it. Furthermore, you can schedule time together as a family to review progress and discuss any concerns.
In the workplace, if your boss is passive aggressive, you have the option to ask to be transferred to another manager in order to protect your mental health. Doing this may prevent further damage from being done to you mentally.
It can be comforting to understand that passive aggression isn’t your fault and doesn’t have to mean the end of the world if your relationship with a boss takes an unfortunate turn. Ultimately, you can still accomplish your tasks and leave with dignity intact.