If you’ve ever been around someone who talks too much or is incredibly stubborn or worse, loves to argue then you know how difficult life can be if you have to deal with them on a regular basis. Whether they’re controlling, critical, or just plain ol’ cranky, the behaviors that make someone a difficult person tend to spark frequent confrontations—and it is highly unlikely to influence these people. Let’s face it, they’re set in their ways and nothing you do or say will get them to change their mind. If you find yourself wrestling with them to get a word in edgewise, it’s time to quit. If you struggle to change their mind about anything, stop it.
Even if you can outwit them or have enough material with a barrage of new points and counterpoints into the arguments, it’s time to let it go. Stop trying and simply move on because at the end of exchange, the difficult person remains the same. But you’ve spent an un-godly amount of energy spinning and spent only to find yourself in a weaker position. When I learned to let go of my desire to ‘win’ by imposing my will on the other person I was able to improve communication with difficult people.
When you find yourself with no choice but to interact with a difficult person, implement what I call the “Lolly” —short for lolly dolly– simply lolly through the encounter by having modest expectations, and remain focused on the end result. It’s really all you can do. Otherwise, you’ll get yourself all worked up for nothing. Let them “win” the argument. It’s a sign of your strength. Plus, we have better things to do with our lives.
Source: Stop Talking, Start Communicating: Counter-intuitive Secrets to Success in Business and in Life by Geoffrey Tumlin