Dealing With Different Types of People


People are a mixture of qualities and personalities. At various times, we all embody these different aspects and qualities. But often some quality or trait is more predominant than others. Some friends will be insecure and shy, others will be brash and egocentric. We need to respond to these different characteristics in different ways. There are also some general tips for dealing with difficult people here.

Dealing with difficult people is certainly one of the most important life skills and as painful as it maybe, dealing with difficult people can be very instructive. Even if it is just learning – don’t be like them!

Ego Centric.

An ego centric person tends to talk alot – often about themselves and their achievements, They look for compliments and so will often compliment others to encourage praise for themselves. They dislike any criticism and are often insecure, though they hide this insecurity by trying to display their successes. Ego centric people can be a bit of a bore, but, it will not help to point out their shortcomings as they will not appreciate your intervention. It is best to offer sincere praise if justified, but, not to encourage them excessively. If they really are talking too much about themselves, politely but firmly steer the conversation onto something else.
Very insecure and egocentric people will try to put down other people to make themselves feel better. This is pretty frustrating but, before taking it personally, it is worth being aware of why they are doing it so don’t take it to heart.

There is a saying ‘pride comes before a fall.’ If you feel someone’s ego is ballooning out of control, don’t despair or worry too much. Sooner or later they are sowing their own downfall.


Opinionated people have strongly held views and tend to be quite confrontational. Whatever the issue it is – the price of bread, the best place to put the flower pot, the cause of the credit crunch – you can guarantee they will have a strong opinion and they will vigourously argue for their point of view and won’t be particularly interested in anyone else’s opinion. On many issues you can side step them. After all, there are few things in life worth really worth arguing about – so just avoid bringing up the topics that they will give their interminable lectures on. It is also worth remembering you are probably not going to be able to change their mind directly.

The problem comes when they have a strongly held opinion on something which is important and that you can’t just ignore. This is maybe an issue which affects you or people around you. It is difficult because they are usually quite set in their ways. The best tactic is not to challenge them head on. Don’t start by saying I think you are wrong as they will resent this direct challenge. Try looking for some area of agreement and consensus; get them in a good frame of mind and then suggest an improvement or different way of doing things. But, there is no one particular way of dealing with this issue. Sometimes, we just have to be firm. Just because someone is opinionated and will throw a tantrum if they don’t get their way doesn’t mean we have to give into them. Never feel guilty for standing upto some behaviour that is wrong. But, where possible make it as least confrontational as possible.

Shy / Insecurity.

Someone who is shy and insecure will be reluctant to come forwards, they will lack confidence and often try hard to please people, even if inwardly they regret doing this. It is important to bear in mind that shy people will need encouragement and support. Small steps to boost their confidence will make a big difference. Don’t be patronising but give people the opportunity to speak and be true to themselves. Shy people are often quite self critical so there is little need to make a big deal out of criticising small misdemeanour’s. The main thing is that they will respond positively to even small amounts of encouragement.

Lazy People

Lazy people don’t create so much problems, but, laziness can become selfish when you have to do their work for them. Try giving them a sense of duty and make them aware of how they impact on other people. They might not change for themselves but, they may become less lazy when they realise others have to carry the can.


photo by Pavitrata

15 thoughts on “Dealing With Different Types of People”

  1. Pingback: Posts about Interpersonal conflict and dealing with people as of February 24, 2009 — Persuasive Skills and Savvy with Dr. K
  2. I do not think it is good to label people.

    You only notice such negative features in others if you have such features in you.

    If you do not have any of the negative features, you will not be able to notice them in others because such features in others will not resonate with you.

    For example, if you are an angry person and you meet a person who also tends to be angry, you will bring out this negative feature in him because you have a lot of anger in you.

  3. Hi Tejvan. I can appreciate that you are trying to be resourceful and helpful here. It is difficult to deal with “difficult people.” But I too feel “off” when I feel labelled as being any kind of person.

    I read your earlier post and think you have listed some great ideas to make connection and communication clearer. One other thing I feel is important to add to the list is to not personalize another person’s response or reaction. As soon as you take it personally, you are caught and it’s more difficult to respond in a supportive way.

  4. Wow, what a timely post! I was just thinking about an opinionated friend of mine, and then I found this article! 🙂 Thanks. But I would like to further understand why opinionated people are the way they are. I mean my friend, turns every little difference of opinion into a full blown debate. She always feels the need to be right and prove her point. Do you think this habit stems from insecurity? Is it just a means to fuel the person’s ego?

  5. It is very true that sometimes it becomes very difficult to deal properly with all sorts of different people we come across in our day to day lives. This article may come handy as it gives us some insight about the characteristics of some variety of people…

  6. Like our fingers,no two persons are same…We tend to behave in a reactive way with others….Personally, I feel & have experience if u have goodness in ur heart even difficult people are easy to manage .Goodness appeals to every heart no matter..God bless

  7. this article is helpful because it helps me understand the characteristics of oher people and i read about the kind of characteistics that i and some of the people around me have. this is mostly true and helpful when trying to understand somone.

  8. It is a nice grouping. We can judge ourself in which category we fall. And take corrective step or continue to be in the same category. The choice is our. I feel we need to change for our own betterment not for the sake of others. Therefore the grouping is standard and we compare with the standard. Joseph Melchior

  9. Dear ALL,

    HI to everyone
    Please advise on below
    Whenever we expect something for someone may be our parents,friend or any one & full filled by same.we respect him/her ,love him/her but in some cases if our expectation not fullfilled.we hate the same people will tell bad infront of him/her even behind him.
    What this is Called human beings??
    So for all,We should not keep the expectation from any one because this is one of the resion by which we feel number of times in stress.Live happy & left the people to leave happily.


  10. Hi Tejven!

    I am really glad I found this post; it gave me a better view about different people and how to deal with them. I also found some of my own characteristics in the post, and I don’t mind being labeled because it is who I am. I’m having a very (VERY) difficult time dealing with a few opinionated and egocentric people in my small class at college, I think this will help me in the future. Thank you!

  11. Spot on with the ego and opinionated person, spot on !!!
    I have to live with one, please pray for me !

  12. I think this is a great article and very accurate to personality types. I don’t understand. Simona Rich comments as these personality types exist so we can’t ignore, but we do need advice on how to deal with them. Working with a very opinionated person is very difficult, even if you empathise and understand where it might be coming from, their behavoiur is wearing and hard to cope with day in day out. I work with someone who constantly praising herself and puts me down at every opportunity, she is sarcastic and malicious. Simona I do not act like this myself because I am secure and emotionally mature. so with respect your theory dose not add up.

  13. This article was good, I wish there were helpful ways on dealing with these people. I know someone that is very opinionated and it is directed at me and what is going on in my life and by the end of our discussions I feel hurt by the stuff said to me. I need to learn how to not be so effected by what she says to me.

  14. I discovered this article because I was researching how to respond to someone with a differing point of view to mine, and I found this article very informative so I believe in giving credit where credit is due.. We have all dealt with difficult people. I have some family members that continually inflate their own egos at the expense of my own, and it does become boring, frustrating and tedious to listen to on a weekly basis. I do not agree that we only notice these qualities in others because we possess them ourselves… If this is the case, then because I witnessed and I admit I subjectively judged the foul-mouthed ‘father’ at the supermarket today, who was screaming obscenities at his young crying child, a ‘scumbag’, does that make me one as well???. I am not one to inflate my own ego, but I certainly would never treat another human being that way, let alone a poor defenseless young child; it was sad to watch. In sum, we are all entitled to our own opinions… and unless you can back up your opinion with fact, then it remains a subjective belief. When it comes to dealing with difficult people, it is helpful to learn what is fixable, what you’re prepared to tolerate, and what to walk away from.

Comments are closed.