Lessons from a Difficult Person
How to Deal with People Like Us
The funny thing is that Sarah Elliston never realized she was “a difficult person,” –someone who harangued people until she got her way, threw snip fits and temper tantrums, talked over her bosses and pointed out what she thought were their misconceptions. In her family, where she felt bullied, the only way she knew how to get someone’s attention and approval was to voice her opinion–and loudly! Without standing her ground, how could she do what she thought was best for herself and everyone else around her. She wasn’t intentionally mean-spirited. She was just trying to do what she thought was RIGHT!
Until a kind, but firm, boss woke her up! With great compassion, and strength, her boss pointed out that her actions had consequences. That in being “difficult,” she was not only disrupting the office camaraderie and production, but impeding her own professional advancement.
That’s the beginning of Sarah’s transformation— when she started on the journey to leave behind the difficult person, and become the woman who teaches others how to deal with difficult people. Sarah “Sam” Elliston is now bringing forth her vital manual on how to awaken the challenging personality, and change both the relationship and the environment with her new book Dealing with Difficult People; Lessons Learned from a Difficult Person.
Today, Elliston is a highly successful workshop leader and trainer, who offers wisdom learned the hard way–and through rigorous study and certification in many areas of professional training that aid her in her work — Values Realization, Parent Effectiveness Training and Reality Therapy. She is a faculty member of the William Glasser Institute. Glasser is an internationally recognized psychiatrist and developer of Reality Therapy, a method of psychotherapy that teaches people they have a choice in how they choose to behave.
A Word from the Author
I explored what is considered difficult and realized what I thought is outspoken is not an excuse for rudeness and being assertive can be seen as a lack of respect. What I did without thinking as easily as breathing, others found frustrating and aggravating.
And I still wondered why I hadn’t been told before.
I wrote this book to help others talk to the people like me in their lives. The book contains a little about me and my experience and then a number of exercises and strategies for preparing to talk to a difficult person. I hope readers learn that difficult people are unaware of their behavior and when its impact is identified, and when our reaction is listened to we can change.
There are dialogues in the book demonstrating possible conversations and an entire section on preparing for the reader’s conversation. Difficult people can change if the reader can let go of seeing us as the enemy and begin to be in our corner.
(Sarah H. Elliston, November 2017)