How To Deal With Impossible Person: The Ultimate 27-Step Guide

Today you’re going to learn how to deal with impossible person.

Almost everyone knows someone who makes everything complicated and difficult. You won’t make progress by pointing out that such people are difficult and need attention because they are unlikely to notice the problem. Whether the problem stems from a personality disorder or some other underlying issue, you can learn to deal with difficult people while maintaining your sanity.

How To Deal With Impossible Person:

1. Refrain from being defensive.

Keep a cool head and remember that you can never win an argument with an impossible person, as they are called that for a reason. In the eyes of the impossible person, you are the problem, and nothing you say will convince them of your version of events. They think your point of view is irrelevant because you are at fault anyway.

Before you say anything, think about what you want to say and what you want to get out of the discussion. Don’t take hasty retaliatory action just because the other person has made you uncomfortable. You have no obligation to defend yourself against that person.

Instead of using “you,” use “I.” Do not make statements like, “You are wrong.” For example, “I feel that this statement may not be entirely true.” This way, you can express your opinion without putting the other person on the defensive.

2. Disengage, dissociate, and defuse the situation.

Maintaining composure during a conversation is crucial to survival. Spitting angry remarks and reacting with intense emotions, such as sobbing, will only encourage unacceptable people to behave even more harshly. Don’t take the reactions of unacceptable people personally and don’t allow yourself to react emotionally in response to them.

Remove yourself emotionally from the issue and approach it with apathy. The goal is to avoid getting emotionally involved in the conversation, keep the other person at a distance, and not allow words to make you feel awful.

Put the situation or discussion on a beneficial track by focusing on something other than the original source of the dispute. Distract yourself from the dispute by talking about the weather, fishing, relatives of an impossible person, or anything else that is unlikely to escalate the problem.

Remember that anything you do or say when you are upset can be used against you. Let it go unless you don’t mind hearing about the spiteful remark years later. People who think you are impossible want you to say anything that shows you are a bad person.

Even if it seems illogical, you should not judge that person by whether they are right or wrong. Judging will almost certainly make you feel much worse.

3. Do not argue with them.

If possible, avoid arguing with impossible people. Find ways to agree with them or ignore them. Arguing will only increase your emotional involvement in the event and activate the “fight or flight” response. As a result, it will be harder for you to think clearly and respond correctly.

If you agree with them or find some truth in their claims, you will stop giving them what they want. For example, if you are called a “jerk,” acknowledge the moment you acted inappropriately. This corrects the misinterpretation.

4. Accept the fact that you are unlikely to be able to have a rational dialogue.

You are unlikely to be able to have a decent discussion with an impossible person—at least not with them. Every time you try to have a decent conversation, keep in mind that you have dealt with this person in the past. Instead, you have most likely been held responsible for everything.

If possible, keep quiet or try to make the interviewee laugh. Recognize that you will never be able to “fix” impossible people. These people are not capable of listening to arguments and are unwilling to do so.

Do not allow yourself to be drawn into the discussion. Dealing with such a person one-on-one is not a good idea. I always recommend involving a third party. If the person refuses, demand it.

5. Don’t pay attention to them.

Impossible people need attention, and when they realize you won’t give them what they want, they will go to someone who will. Don’t get in their way or talk to them or about them.

Outbursts from impossible people are like a child’s tantrum. Pay no attention to them until their outbursts become annoying, harmful, or threatening. Every effort should be made not to enrage impossible people or cause them to lose their cool.

It is better to simply avoid toxic people whenever possible.

6. Ask provocative questions.

It can be beneficial to ask the person you are working with a question about the situation, such as: “What is the problem?” or “Why do you feel this way?” This shows that you are interested in the dialogue and want to explore the cause of the conflict. Rephrasing the impossible person’s arguments to emphasize their irrationality may help the person come to a more reasonable conclusion.

Know that the impossible person may try to complicate the situation by throwing triggers at you, blaming you, changing the subject, or taking other actions in response to your question.

7. Take a deep breath.

If the person you are talking to is getting on your nerves, you should take a break. It may simply be an attempt to impress you, so show her that she is not influencing you. It’s a good idea to take a break or focus on something else that will help you relax.

If necessary, you can quietly count to 10.

If someone continues to make it difficult, just ignore them. If the person notices that they are not annoying you, they will eventually let go.

SEE ALSO: How To Be Diplomatic And Tactful: Use These 21 Quick Tips

8. Have confidence in yourself.

When interacting with someone, express yourself confidently and look them in the eye. You don’t want to appear weak in the presence of such a person. They may perceive it as a weakness if you look at the ground or over their shoulder. Strike a balance between being reasonable and being bold.

9. Make changes to your plan.

When you can’t get out of a problem, treat it like a game. Learn the tactics of the difficult person and prepare counter strategies in advance. Eventually, you’ll figure out what works and what doesn’t, and you’ll feel better knowing that you’re three steps ahead of them, outsmarting them at every turn. Just remember that your ultimate goal is to help them gain mental freedom, not to become a master at dealing with this person.

If an impossible person walks up to you and whispers something unpleasant among others in hopes that you won’t respond and cause a brawl, pay attention: “Do you really want to talk about this here?” This may surprise them and discourage them from speaking negatively in front of the group.

Always think about the likely consequences of your actions if your plan does not go as planned, so that you are prepared.

Don’t feel terrible if an impossible person finds their way to you after all. Just make a note of what happened and develop new techniques for the future.

When you know what a person will say or do next, difficult people are no longer impossible.

10. Pay attention to your body language.

When you find yourself among these people, pay attention to your body language, the way you walk, and your facial expressions. Many of our emotions are expressed nonverbally. You don’t want to inadvertently give away your own feelings. This will also help you maintain your own sense of calm, which can have a soothing effect on a person unable to do so.

Mindfulness can help you become more aware of your own body, allowing you to better control your body language.

Speak softly and walk as calmly as you can. Try using a “slow talking” strategy. You will sound clearer and calmer if you reduce the pace of your conversation by 1/3. You can practice slow speaking by reading aloud at a deliberately slow pace (1).

Avoid confrontational body language such as extended eye contact, hostile gestures, pointing or facing the other person. Keep a neutral facial expression, do not shake your head, and respect the other person’s personal space.

11. Consider whether it’s a compatibility issue.

Even if someone seems to get along well with everyone else, they may be a nightmare for you. Some people just can’t get along with each other. Individually, there is nothing wrong with them, but when they are together they bring out the worst in each other.

When an impossible person says things like “Everyone else likes me,” they are trying to put the responsibility on you. It doesn’t matter how he or she behaves toward others, because the problem is with the way you both interact. It is important to remember that blaming does not change the facts.

12. Avoid acquiring “impossible” traits.

You tend to pick up on the behavior of those around you. As a result, you may inadvertently acquire the same traits that you despise. By reacting to an impossible person, you may engage in the same deceptive and irrational behaviors. Catch yourself when you start acting this way, and make a determined effort not to emulate these offensive traits.

13. Consider what you can learn.

Impossible individuals teach invaluable life lessons. Once you have encountered impossible people, you will find it easier to get along with most people. Try to keep things in perspective and remember that what may seem crazy to you may be the only way for someone else to deal with problems. Treat these encounters as opportunities to hone skills such as flexibility, elegance, and tolerance.

When assessing a person’s maturity level, never be fooled by their age, IQ, or social status.

14. Be prepared for emotional mood swings.

If you succeed in convincing an impossible person that he has made a mistake, he may have an emotional breakdown. Instead of thinking that he or she is always right, he or she will conclude that since he or she cannot be right today, he or she will always be wrong tomorrow. This is a coping strategy designed to elicit sympathy from others.

Unpredictable behavior will be used by some unpredictable people to surprise and confuse others. It is possible that they did not expect it either. Resist the tendency to feel intimidated by this kind of unpredictability.

Don’t be fooled by those who act as if they are being persecuted. If they truly regret what they did, respond positively, but don’t encourage them to continue manipulating you in this way.

SEE ALSO: How To Be More Approachable In Any Situation: 16 Strategies

15. Focus on the good things about your situation.

Many people have qualities that you can use, so try to think of one. Perhaps there is something this person excels at, or maybe there was a moment when you were able to communicate with them. If you find it hard to think of something positive, say something to yourself like: “All life is precious” or “God/Universe loves her,” which will help you stay in control-even if you don’t love or appreciate this person.

16. Make contact with someone.

If you have a close friend, family member, counselor, or other person who understands this problem, tell them. They will most likely understand you, which will make you feel much better. It is best if the listener does not directly know the person and is not involved in similar situations (e.g., not a co-worker).

If you need to vent, do it in a diary or online forum.

Sharing your feelings, whether with another person or in a diary, can prevent you from dwelling on bad emotions.

17. Take care of your self-esteem.

Maintaining a good self-image in the face of someone who portrays you as a nasty person takes work. Focus on the people who support you and make you feel good, rather than on what the impossible person says. Recognize that the impossible person wants to feel better by hurting you.

Recognize that the other person, not you, is the problem. This can be difficult because impossible people are adept at avoiding responsibility and making you feel responsible. However, there is a good chance that you are not an impossible person if you accept responsibility for your flaws and weaknesses and work to improve.

When someone says something hurtful to you, remember that all they want is for others to think they are amazing. 

If the insults are unfounded, just ignore them. You are not as awful as this impossible person wants you and the rest of the world to think.

18. Keep your personal stories private.

Impossible people will often find a way to use your life story against you, even if it seems trivial and insignificant. They can make up complete stories about you and make you out to be a bad person based on one remark you make. Impossible people are masters of manipulation and know how to get you to open up and tell them everything.

Even if they seem normal to you or act like friends sometimes, don’t tell impossible people anything personal. The things you talk about or share privately can come back and haunt you in your personal or professional life without warning.

19. Do the opposite of what they do.

Be an example of tolerance, patience, humility, and compassion by being a “can do” person. Always try to be a calm and composed person. Consider both sides of an issue before jumping to conclusions.

Just as bad behavior can have a negative impact on ourselves, tolerance, patience, and kindness can have a positive impact on others.

Accept the fact that you are not flawless. You don’t have to do everything perfectly all the time, but you should give your best. Respect others, and if they don’t reciprocate your respect, recognize that it’s the other person’s problem, not yours. As with everything else in life, you will have good and bad days (2).

20. Don’t pay attention to them.

Even if you can’t avoid impossible people in your daily life, try not to worry about them in your free time. Constantly worrying about that person is tantamount to spending your precious time with them while they don’t seem to care about you. Do other things and meet new people, so you don’t waste time constantly worrying about what the other person said or did.

Instead of focusing on what you don’t want in life, think about what you do want. This will keep your attention focused on the good rather than the bad.

21. Consider that you may be dealing with an emotionally abusive person.

Through their words and behaviors, emotional abusers can destroy you. They use strategies such as humiliation, denial, criticism, domination, blaming, making demands, and emotional pushback to make you dependent. Never let the words of emotional abusers define you. Know that what they say and do is a projection of unresolved childhood or past issues onto you.

Even if the impossible person is acting like a jerk to get your attention, it is best to be nice and friendly.

If that person is lonely and doesn’t know how to get attention, they will notice and appreciate what you are doing.

If the person is a natural jerk who likes to make people angry, what you do will irritate them because they won’t be able to figure out how to make you angry. Such a person will eventually leave you alone.

A sociopath is a person who exhibits these traits in certain instances. A sociopath may seem charming at first, but quickly becomes domineering, abusive, and narcissistic. He does not care about you because he lacks empathy.

SEE ALSO: How To Not Absorb Other People’s Emotions: 20 Strategies

22. Set boundaries.

Set ground rules about what is and is not acceptable in your relationship. Decide that neither of you will bring up certain topics, events, people, or behave in certain ways. It may be beneficial to sit down with the non-communicative person and explain what is and is not acceptable and what will happen if boundaries are crossed. Allow her to choose whether or not she wants to follow the rules.

Write down some ideas and make a list of your desires and requirements. Take a seat next to the person and start talking. If someone interrupts you, ignore them and keep talking until you are finished. Be truthful. If you must, give an ultimatum, but emphasize the advantages of staying and changing negative behavior.

If you want to continue a personal relationship with someone who is difficult, stick with them as long as possible. Find an activity, join a support group, or focus on your faith.

If boundaries are violated, be sure to take appropriate action. Don’t let anything get away from you. If you’ve declared you’re going to do it, you’re done.

23. Say goodbye.

At some point, you will have to move away from a person for whom there is no room. You will probably have to leave at some point, even if it is a family member. A long-term relationship with someone who is impossible is unhealthy. As soon as possible, get this person out of your life.

Stay away after walking away from an impossible person. Do not go back to her, no matter how much you love her or how much she tries to convince you that she has changed.

If you can’t physically leave now or force the impossible person to leave, end the relationship mentally until you are able to do so.

Breaking up with a difficult person can be awful at first, but once you get over the old behavior, it can be liberating.

24. Try to find out what about the person makes you uncomfortable.

Certain traits of our personality can be described in a few words by others. Some people are tacky, domineering, victimizing, passive-aggressive, theatrical, or very competitive. You can discover specific techniques for dealing with an impossible person if you can identify what part of their personality conflicts with yours.

Sticklers feel weak and worship stronger individuals; they are insecure and may need attention and love.

Controlling personalities are usually critical perfectionists who feel compelled to be correct and often blame others for their actions.

Competitive individuals constantly try to win and turn every relationship, discussion, or activity into a competition to show that they are better at anything.

Passive-aggressive people show their hostility by silently pressuring others. For example, “Don’t worry about me, I’m fine” when you know that if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll have trouble dealing with it later.

25. Deal with cursing, dominant, and competitive personalities.

Learn to recognize why some people behave the way they do. Clingy individuals need supervision and accountability to gain confidence. Controlling people are often insecure and fearful of their own incompetence. Competitive people value their image, so they tend to be extremely nice and helpful once they win.

Show people courting others how to achieve something, then step back and let them figure it out on their own. Let them try to convince you that they shouldn’t do something because you will be better at it. When you need help, look for opportunities when you can ask for it.

Don’t be afraid or influenced by what the control freaks say. Appreciate your accomplishments but don’t debate them if someone disagrees with you.

You may end up winning over people with competitive tendencies in this way. If you have a dispute with them that won’t go away, acknowledge their point of view and ask for extra time to investigate.

26. Deal with egoists, complainers, or victims.

Selfish people want to feel that others are paying attention to them. People who complain often have a lot of repressed resentment from unresolved situations and often demand that people listen to them. People who play the victim role constantly do so in order to find explanations for why nothing has worked out for them.

If you are dealing with a cocky person, just listen to them.

Put up with the whining, respect their feelings and try to avoid them as much as possible.

Ignore the victims’ reasons for being late or having problems and respond to them the same way you would anyone else. You can give advice without getting emotionally involved.

27. Deal with histrionic and passive-aggressive personalities.

Histrionic personalities love attention and often go to great lengths to get it. They must live in the right neighborhood, dress appropriately, and send their children to the right schools. Passive-aggressive individuals are often unpleasant because they lack the ability to adequately express their goals and needs.

Histrionic personalities are commonly referred to as “drama queens,” regardless of gender. Avoid getting involved in the drama and emotional rollercoaster that these individuals bring with them. When listening, keep your distance.

When dealing with passive-aggressive people, be very clear about the actions and circumstances that are causing the problems. Then try to resolve the problem without reacting with antagonism. Set boundaries and teach the person how to express their wants and needs, as well as how to make firm requests.

Thank you for reading this article about how to deal with impossible person and I really hope that you take action my advice.

I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here