To talk too difficult or disagreeable people, you want to increase your “likability factor”. One way to do this is by handling your emotions. A difficult person is more likely to criticize, to raise his voice or to lose his temper. Therefore, by controlling your emotions and not falling prey to the heat of the moment, you can handle a difficult person more easily. This is an important step in how to have a conversation with difficult people.
One important step to increasing your “likability factor” is to develop skill at remembering people’s names. This shows that you are interested in them, and if you’re seen as being interested in them, you are more likely to take their concerns seriously.
One common trait of difficult people is a tendency to criticize. A letter writer to an advice columnist was entertaining foreign guests in her home and upon asking “Are you enjoy your stay in the United States?” was subjected to a barrage of criticism about the country in which her guests were visitors.
The columnist’s examples of a polite and calm defense of our nation could serve as a good model of what to do when you or a friend or a project are unfairly criticized.
“Oh my, I’m sorry you had so much trouble getting through. What is the telephone system like in your country?”
Do you see the subtle psychology here? The answer shows empathy with the critic, but at the same time subtly points out that they may be in no position to criticize, since the situation in their home country is probably no better. Yet this reply is polite and nonconfrontational and subtle.