Even if you're the friendliest, most chill person alive, there will be someone, at some stage in your life who is almost impossible to get along with. While you may never learn to like this person - be they teacher, classmate, boss, or colleague - you can hopefully learn to live with them. Here are five top tips to stop difficult people from getting you down. 1. Stay calm Humans haven’t changed much from our caveman days – when confronted with an “enemy”, it’s natural for our adrenaline to kick in, making us panicky, defensive, or angry. However, this could lead you to do or say something you’ll later regret, and could especially land you in trouble if that person is your parent or teacher. How to set goals - and follow through on them Try to prevent knee-jerk reactions by taking a deep breath and counting to 10. Take the time to listen to whatever the other person is saying, because sometimes, all people want is to feel heard. True, they may not be going about it the right way, but listening can still help defuse the situation. 2. Pick your battles Try to decide when someone is worth your time and patience, and when it’s best to simply walk away. If it’s possible to keep your distance from the person in question, then do so. Don’t feel guilty about putting your own well-being first, and cutting off contact with someone you know is going to upset you. Of course, there are some difficult people we simply can’t avoid. In that case, think about whether you’ll gain something from them in the long term; if it’s the professor who’s marking your assignment, the boss who decides whether or not to promote you, or the financially generous relative, then putting up with them may be a necessary evil. 3. Change your perspective When someone is being rude to you, it’s very difficult to see things from their point of view – but it’s still important to try. Think about what it is that the person actually wants from you, and why the situation may be difficult for them. 5 easy steps to enhanced self-esteem For example, if a lecturer yells at you, it could be because he or she just wants you to succeed, and teaching is a very demanding, challenging job. They may still have treated you unfairly, but at least you’ll be able to see that you are not really the problem and their attack isn’t personal. 4. Take control We’ve all had a conversation that felt more like an interrogation. When this happens, try to shift the focus away from you and back onto the other person. That way, you can guide the conversation and even change the subject. For example, if your classmate asks why you won’t help them complete an assignment for them, you may feel like you owe them an explanation. But you’re not on trial here; they are the ones with the problem. So deflect the question and instead ask them what they are struggling with. Remember, it isn’t a counter-attack, so you don’t need to be accusatory. But don’t be afraid to be assertive and stand up for yourself, either. 5. Recover It can be really draining dealing with difficult people, so make sure you take the time to look after yourself and not allow others’ negativity to affect your well-being. And if you successfully manage to navigate your way through a difficult encounter, don’t forget to congratulate yourself on your excellent people skills! This article was curated in conjunction with Young Post .