Starting off the day is tough when our most annoying client calls in with the usual simple problem that he is over-reacting to. We sigh and answer the phone - all while making the facial gestures of a person eating oysters for the first time in their life.
WHY does that client seem to be determined to drive you insane? It's your fault ...
Every morning the manager from the operations department stops in to tell you how your team messed up his operations this weekend. She is soooo abrasive. You answer in abrupt sentences and quite rudely push her out the door.
WHY does that coworker seem determined to drive you insane? It's your fault...
Each week you dread the boss' "mandatory" meeting to review your prior week. You hate the meeting, and your boss is an idiot (and you know the feeling is mutual.)
WHY does the boss seem determined to drive you insane? YES! It's your fault ...
People deal well with people they like, are like them and like them back. There are four primary personality types, so that means that unless you work at it, 75% of people don't like YOU!
Are you "reading" them and listening? Probably not.
The four DISC personalities are always at work and you ignore them at your peril. The Dominants don't like chit-chat and they can only win if someone loses. The Influencers need affirmation that you really like them and they require a "win-win" to get along. The Steady Relators reject you if you are not on the team and they are linked to the details and they will throw themselves under the bus for you and you don't appreciate them! The Calculators believe in the numbers and don't like to lose. They need to win, and they don't care if you win or lose (that's your job) and they don't like you trying to find out personal stuff.
Adding to the complexity of the situation, each personality can be distressed. "Not OK" people can only be "Ok" by seeing someone worse off than them, and you are the only one in the office!
Want to convert these difficult people to your side? Read them, listen to them, and rescue them. If they are not OK, be less OK than them! Check your ego by being emotionally detached because it's rare that someone is making a personal attack on you It's more likely that they are reacting to a role or situation. Match & mirror their body language and tonality.
Effectively doing this takes a lot of self-awareness, self-control, and an understanding attitude. Internalizing this recognition process is very hard but also very worthwhile and very profitable!