Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Difficult people

While driving back from a walk Mrs H and I began chatting about difficult people and how many we have encountered over the years. I don't know why - the subject just popped up as they do.

We were not discussing impossible people, but merely difficult people who in a social sense seem to take more than they give. People who tend to be somewhat oafish or unreliable, too needy or too prickly or liable to blow up over trivial difficulties.

What surprised us was the number of such people we had come across. Not so much people close to us or people we had to deal with in our own lives, but people we knew of who made life more difficult than it should be for those around them.

In our experience it is fairly rare for such people to be confronted with the difficulties they cause and even rarer for them to do something about it. Perhaps the problem has its roots in tolerance because tolerant people rarely embark on a contest they probably cannot win.

Maybe excessive tolerance is not necessarily a virtue. It is too easily exploited and the results of exploitation can be worse than a timely confrontation. Confrontation isn’t that easy though. Difficult people know how to be difficult and how to make other people seem difficult. Perhaps we need them for some reason, such as honing our social skills. Or perhaps we don't.


James Higham said...

Maybe excessive tolerance is not necessarily a virtue.

What's the plan of attack?

Sam Vega said...

I have known many. I sometimes wonder how they see us. Are we difficult to them, which is why they have become difficult in response? Or are they congenitally difficult, either blissfully unaware (presumably because they are too thick to see that alternatives would work better) or gaining some psychological benefit from it? I think there are probably sub-categories within a main species.

Check out "O.D.D." - "Oppositional Defiance Disorder". Before I retired I had to deal with teenagers so labelled. The most depressing thing was the fact that adults had bought into the whole spurious psychological game, and played along with it.

wiggiatlarge said...

In my experience 'difficult' people when confronted become impossible people, on the other hand my being confrontational could be construed as being 'difficult' a sort of mirror image in those circumstances.

So unless I become a subservient virtue signaller we end up with two impossible people having a row, story of my life........................

Roger said...

A bit like 2 year olds - but with no naughty step. Often a useful strategy for promotion.

Demetrius said...

I'm not difficult, I just feel that I am entitled to my opinions regardless of other things.

Woodsy42 said...

I am rapidly becoming a difficult person. I didn't used to be, I was quite laid back and understanding, but a combination of modern life and increasingly thoughtless behaviour around me has pushed me into being difficult. I now have a feeling of being hemmed in and hounded by rules and regulation, while an army of officiousness and bureaucracy has been created with the awowed intent to discover some trivial and irrelevant, usually accidental, minor breach of their regulations in order to fine or bully me. Companies that used to provide a service, like utilities, insurance and finance, are increasinglt out to scam and mislead me to increase their company profit.
So I try not to be difficult with friends and neighbours, I try and get along with most people, but I no longer sit back and take any crap, and I can be very difficult indeed on some occassions.

A K Haart said...

James - I'm not sure. Tolerance isn't easy to shake off.

Sam - Mrs H used to come across Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) which sounds somewhat similar but more passive and associated with autism.

Wiggia - yes becoming impossible if confronted is often the threat. A variation of "I'll thcream and thcream until I'm sick."

Roger - it is useful and I've seen it happen.

Demetrius - same here.

Woodsy - I have that feeling of being hemmed in and hounded by rules and regulations too. Walking helps. It all seems so trivial from the top of a hill I've just climbed.