How to Deal with Difficult People | Jay Johnson | TEDxLivoniaCCLibrary

  • Published on Oct 18, 2018
  • From co-workers and colleagues to friends and family, we are faced with challenging relationships daily. Unfortunately, we often go about managing them the wrong way. Only by elevating our understanding of behavior and acting through an internalized approach will we be able to master the conflicts created by dealing with difficult people. Jay Johnson is a trainer specializing in communication and leadership development. Using a unique perspective of behavioral intelligence, Jay empowers people and organizations across the globe stretching from Main Street to Wall Street. Jay is a designated Master Trainer through the Association for Talent Development (ATD). He is a two-time Excellence in Training Award recipient from the National Association of Professional Communication Consultants and in 2017 he was named “Top Trainer” by the ATD Detroit Chapter. Jay has a devotion to teaching and learning, and is passionate about inspiring people to reach peak performance in work and in life. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Comments • 546

  • aie tubale
    aie tubale Day ago

    Thank you for a wonderful video. Helps me rightnow to deal with my new job .

  • xafa xafa
    xafa xafa Day ago

    basically, when ur playing nice with sociopaths/jealously rewarding them only makes them feel more superior they will get close to you to find something against you so that way they will find out your weakness and try their hardest to get rid of you.

  • Veronica Gress
    Veronica Gress 3 days ago

    Ehhh.... some people just can’t be changed. So they should be fired

  • Ernesto Gálvez Pineda

    All the "dislikes" are from difficult people??? ha!

  • Mahogany 247365
    Mahogany 247365 4 days ago


  • rohit deshmukh
    rohit deshmukh 7 days ago +1

    Label them properly.
    Saperate the person from behaviour
    Be inclusive in your approach.
    Take a deep breadth
    Never, never take it personally.
    Its your heart attack

  • foramagasobeselettucepurplergasmup

    How do you influence a difficult person? PUNCH 'EM IN THE FACE!

  • John Tan
    John Tan 10 days ago

    80 20 rule, also called the Pareto Principal. Only 20% of the people does 80% of the work. This phenomenon can be seen in any organizations and any teams. Best is to recognize that 20% of people and promote them. The other 80% of the people either adds little value, or might even cause problems

    OTTO OCTAVIOUS 12 days ago

    So give praise when it's due you acknowledge other people's efforts be polite be courteous be helpful don't get angry don't raise your voice don't react to criticism just take everything on board and then decide what to do and above all be honest.... if people see you like that that then anyone behaving opposite stands out like a sore thumb and then in everybody knows what they are behaving like and they react to them accordingly forcing the individual to change overtime because they recognise how they are coming off to others.... it does work but it's a slow process

    OTTO OCTAVIOUS 12 days ago

    My religion taught me this and more.

  • Mark Eugene Lee
    Mark Eugene Lee 13 days ago

    Im superhuman

  • Bu Tino
    Bu Tino 14 days ago +1

    The audience didn't get the Bill and Ted reference.

  • Dee Dee Winfrey
    Dee Dee Winfrey 17 days ago

    This doesnt work with combative alcoholics.

  • Grace Kelly
    Grace Kelly 17 days ago

    What if this human is psychopathic?

    TOXIC BHAI 18 days ago +1

    He looks like John cena

  • Jared Debso
    Jared Debso 18 days ago

    Sir Thank you very much you cleared my mind and changed my life forever just a while ago I’m really having trouble on how can I get a long with my co workers

  • Tamara Dawson
    Tamara Dawson 18 days ago


  • Motivator Warrior
    Motivator Warrior 19 days ago

    "another one" (like) 👏

  • Noir Revolvs
    Noir Revolvs 22 days ago

    I do appreciate the effort for this message, but let's be honest if the issue was just like how it was interpreted, I think some of us can deal with that. Like yeah, maybe at times we tend to assume wrongly and all but I would like to know the ways of those where the people just want to manipulate and take advantage of another to the very core, basically they really don't care about the other's well being and so on. Of course there are times where I get back at them be it verbally or physically, but then, some of us grow up and and may no longer be interested to do such things anymore. So usually I use the advice mentioned by others which is be the bigger man and just walk away. But let's be honest, this doesn't work all the time. As in some of these people really will carry on doing their nonsense shits for years. Even tried changing jobs so many times and similar situations tend to occur. So it's crystal clear that walking away won't always be a good solution. I can't be 'walking away' all the time. Sorry for the long rant btw.
    Anyway, I hope that someday, if not all, at least more people could understand and realise the importance and value of being good to others.

  • Tammy Bradshaw
    Tammy Bradshaw 23 days ago

    This guy is awesome! Great teacher of behavioral intelligence!

  • Sehab
    Sehab 24 days ago

    I love it

  • By Grace
    By Grace 25 days ago

    A narcissist is unable to function with normal people, I've known many and worked with a couple.

  • Chan Cuong Huynh
    Chan Cuong Huynh Month ago

    I all of this. This just a basic one. I was expect something more advance.

  • Meow
    Meow Month ago +3

    What about the two-faced people? The ones you consider your "friend" but all they do is be nice to you to gather details about what's up with your life and work and turn around and spread gossip about you? I need help :(

    • Meow
      Meow Month ago

      @Amz Kie sadly, I'm all too familiar with this. I tried avoiding/ignoring her... But i get guilt tripped easily and continue hanging out with this person as i feel guilty for shunning them. It's a never ending cycle 😿 not sure how to go about this

    • Amz Kie
      Amz Kie Month ago +1

      Same here. I am dealing with that kind of person in my life right now. Actually, this person was the one whom i thought trustworthy but what has happened was i was being betrayed by this person and manipulated all the situation/things. I can't stand this toxic person. This person spread gossip and lies about me, and what happened is my friends believed on that person's persona or mask.

  • Melissa O
    Melissa O Month ago +1

    Anyone dealing with a difficult mom

  • Vinay Chauhan
    Vinay Chauhan Month ago +1

    These are very simple use cases real situations are very advance and complex including power game and politics , influencing others through gossips.

  • Vinay Chauhan
    Vinay Chauhan Month ago +1

    Gossip is cancer

  • ddabney67
    ddabney67 Month ago

    I needed this two weeks ago with this arrogant piece of work. "We" are not going to let you disrespect me.

  • Rick Isabelle
    Rick Isabelle Month ago

    14 minutes of useless babbling and one minute of mediocre content. Look elsewhere.

  • Julie Melillo
    Julie Melillo Month ago

    If they are a dark triad person (narcissist, sociopath etc), you can't change them. Their brain's empathy center doesn't work. And they do harm others. You can protect yourself emotionally as best you can, but you're still at risk if you are around these people. It's easier to understand in physical terms. Imagine instead of emotional abuse this was a violent person at work who was attacking others. You can try your best, but if they feel like hitting someone and you happen to be there, it will happen. And you can't prevent that no matter what you do or how you phrase things. If the person does have empathy then you can definitely communicate and work out the problem. So be careful what violence you expose yourself to and "emotional violence" as well. Take it as seriously as if someone kept slapping or kicking you at work.

  • The Barret
    The Barret Month ago +1

    Try that with a narcissist, never gonna happen.

  • Gavin George co uk
    Gavin George co uk Month ago

    Yeah take a deep breath mid argument. That's got no social connotations. 🤣

  • Themba Ngobeni
    Themba Ngobeni Month ago +2

    Most of difficult people are weak and good at manipulating everyone.

  • Huggy Bear
    Huggy Bear Month ago

    The worse thing is, even if you decided to leave the toxic environment. Often you can't tell your boss the real reason behind it. You do not want your future employer to find out (during reference check) that you left the previous job simply because you can't get along with a co-worker. This creates a vicious cycle, new employees continue to leave and bully continues to thrive.

  • me kerr
    me kerr Month ago

    this guy punch he shut up then

  • Glen Hill
    Glen Hill 2 months ago

    Using inclusive language does not work if the difficult person doesn't give a sh!t about anything but themselves.
    If they have no redeeming qualities, and if they especially do not care to socialize at work (not after work) with anyone but themselves, nice language is moot.
    "Someone else's bad behavior should not be the cause for your heart attack". Changing other people's behavior is not as simple as he makes it to be. Been there. Done that. Those who are either oblivious to surroundings or impervious/resistant to change will not change, and avoiding them to avoid that heart attack is not always an option.

  • Nicholas Ulysses
    Nicholas Ulysses 2 months ago +1

    My father is a difficult person

  • manderson416
    manderson416 2 months ago

    I think he's oversimplifying, because he assumes that the other person will accept it when you try to bring them into the same group as you by using words like "we". Some people are defensive because of their self-esteem problems, while others have trouble fitting in with you because they don't understand your behaviors, and you have to approach these issues first before you can bring them into your group. It's an oversimplification to come up with two groups, but the first group of people with self-esteem problems is common and there are easy ways to learn to get along with people with that issue, whereas it's much harder to identify the issues with the other type or solve the communication problem. The best way to deal with people with self-esteem problems is to compliment their actions, and make it clear that you respect them. You can even ask them to do small favors for you to show that you trust them. The other group is harder. One thing you can try is to be as vanilla as possible. Don't be too open about creative ideas or unique hobbies when you're around them and they may decide to trust you.

  • Leppender
    Leppender 2 months ago

    By 4:30 I knew this wouldn't tell me how to make a deeper connection with my spouse, who is self-destructively turning themselves into a type 2 hyperglycemic diabetic. Changing one's own internal perspective has its uses, but there are times when intervention is necessary. Change your title, because it's misleading to health advocates: How to "Put Up" With Difficult People.

  • Tess Jones
    Tess Jones 2 months ago

    Panademic Narcs and Entitled people. I talk to them sideways- never head on. I am a levelor and do not
    reprimand them just tell them what to do to make it liveable. Never confront these folks that is what they
    want. I talk about them in a third person and expose their antics to a co-workder in ear shot. They hate that.

  • Lara Smith
    Lara Smith 2 months ago

    🦋if someone is difficult then to me, it’s not worth my energy. That’s why it’s so important to be what you want to attract

  • Emmanuel Life Authentic

    Thanks Jay I needed to hear this

  • ericka norris
    ericka norris 2 months ago

    These things work with difficult people, but not people with real mental health issues or substance abuse behaviors.

  • Linda Widd
    Linda Widd 2 months ago +1

    I am finding that I am looking at my self in a different way and maybe I can learn to do things a little differently .very interesting

  • Harold Hart
    Harold Hart 2 months ago


  • Gen Eats
    Gen Eats 2 months ago

    But there are really difficult person.. seriously Yes we are all difficult but some take it way too much being difficult 😄

  • Juanis Mtz
    Juanis Mtz 2 months ago

    Wonderful exposition, thank you!

  • akbar falah
    akbar falah 2 months ago +1

    what if it still doesnt work?, or im the difficult one?

  • Tin Tin
    Tin Tin 2 months ago +1

    Difficult people = narcissistic people

  • _ MIKIMOTO _
    _ MIKIMOTO _ 2 months ago +84

    Anyone else dealing with a difficult coworker

    • gamer 101
      gamer 101 Month ago

      @_ MIKIMOTO _ how did you do that?

    • Lucy Says
      Lucy Says Month ago +3

      @Shivakumar Patil you have an excellent point!

    • xXderantsXx
      xXderantsXx Month ago +2

      Dealing with a fellow student in a project

    • Shivakumar Patil
      Shivakumar Patil 2 months ago +4

      @Denis Deurbrouck Are you sure, you don't meet such persons in your next company?

  • ヨーソローちゃん_17

    Oh, now I can deal with myself

  • Joshua Albo
    Joshua Albo 2 months ago

    Needed this. 10:00

  • Al Foroodian
    Al Foroodian 2 months ago +1

    One of the best Ted Talks... EVER!

  • Sean Chung
    Sean Chung 2 months ago

    Very interesting. It reinforces a workplace presentation on the same subject. It's unfortunate in reading the comments that people took very little away from your message. While it won't address everyone and everything, I guess one's own health isn't a priority

  • xox comtery
    xox comtery 2 months ago +5

    The mot difficult people are the stubborn ones.

  • More Baklava pls شكرا

    The worst part this person is my dad, his whole existence is annoying and he has almost no one that likes cause he has to always win arguements and always thinks his needs are bigger than yours ...I feel like stabbing him in the chest but I'll just wait till I'm rich enough to leave his home

    • Wandering Not Lost
      Wandering Not Lost 2 months ago

      More Baklava pls شكرا I think we might have the same father

  • ElixaNova
    ElixaNova 2 months ago +6

    I left my last job because of someone who was ALL those archetypes put together. Nightmare scenario

  • Lalindra De Silva
    Lalindra De Silva 2 months ago +4

    Some one else's bad behavior, shouldn't be your heartache..!!!

  • Simple Man
    Simple Man 2 months ago

    What about this generation now you think this will work lol

  • Donna Iovine
    Donna Iovine 2 months ago

    It isnt't easy dealing with a problem boss. Hearing this video made me wonder if being in this stressful job is unhealthy for me.