Top 10 tips for dealing with abrasive people

We all have observed or directly experienced leaders who have a corrosive effect on those around them; individuals who can be highly controlling, think they are always right, quick to judge, finger-pointing, aggressive and generally lack any kind of empathy.

Their abrasive behaviour can take a toll on you personally. Leaving you second-guessing yourself, having sleepless nights and cycles of rumination that you are at fault or in some way not good enough.

𝗧𝗶𝗽𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗱𝗲𝗮𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗮𝗯𝗿𝗮𝘀𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗽𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲:

1. Remember, their reactions are fear in action.

2. When people are in a fear state, they don’t respond to reason.

3. Watch your wording. Abrasive people usually don’t take criticism well.

4. Don’t pretzel yourself and bend to their style. You do YOU.

5. ‘Put your hazmat suit on’. The incoming attack/toxicity does not have to consume you if you choose not to let it.

6. Identify one thing in that person you can respect. For example, they are a devoted parent. This will help you find compassion for the person in a difficult situation.

7. Ignore the emotional debris of their reactivity and avoid personalising - it’s not about you.

8. Never let their bad behaviour shoot your confidence to pieces.

9. Communicate how they make you feel. Abrasive people generally don’t see the impact of their behaviour on others, and if they do, they don’t get the fact that they are causing significant emotional harm.

10. Call upon your trusted advisers who will help pull you up on the balcony to get perspective.


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