It can be difficult to deal with someone who won’t admit weakness or accept criticism.We can all be prideful at times, but we have all come across someone who seems to be the default position.With some careful preparation and patience, you can ease the burden of dealing with a person like this.
Step 1: Clear boundaries should be set.
Set the scope of the conversation before you interact with the proud person.Don’t be vague about what you want to talk about.I want to talk to you about the performance reviews and our raise policy.”I know you’re excited about your work at City Hall, but that’s not what we agreed to discuss.”I’m running a community garden project.
Step 2: You should have responses in mind.
If you think you can predict what the proud person will say, plan how you’ll respond.If you’re expecting to be frustrated, it won’t be easy.If confrontation makes you nervous, try writing a script of how you want the conversation to go and practice your part.Did you see the memo?I set the record straight with that one.I wanted to talk about some of the language you used in it, so I did see it.
Step 3: Word associations can be used to steer the conversation.
If you’re stuck on a single topic, try to get away from it in small steps.Don’t be hasty when you make a change to the conversation, just let it develop a bit and give it another push.You can change the subject to a discussion of the limitations of democracy if the proud person wants to talk about how the committee should have voted in their favor.
Step 4: To get to a new topic, use an agreement.
Sometimes the best way to deal with a proud person is to convince them that you agree with them.If you want to talk about something, use the ‘yes, but’ method.It would help if the databases were less clunky, but I agree that we can be more productive.The consequences would be devastating, but I will finish the account.
Step 5: Stand up.
It will make them less receptive to you in the future if you bend to the will of the proud person.Change the subject if they don’t respond to your position.We’re going back and forth on this.It will be more productive to revisit this after we’ve talked about the accounts.
Step 6: It’s a good idea to recognize and avoid negative events.
When confronted with facts that don’t jive with their world view, proud people will become stubborn.The proud person’s stubbornness can be triggered by any words, phrases or topics.Don’t bring them up in your future conversations if you make a note of this.
Step 7: Ask for their assistance.
Proud people like to maintain their independence.Asking for their opinion is a way to flatter a proud person.As a sign of respect, engage their voice.Everyone responds well to that.Asking for help from a proud person can help them work through their pride.
Step 8: Resist taking this behavior personally.
You are not to blame for this behavior.It’s not because you don’t have something valuable to contribute that you’re not being listened to.Proud people don’t take advice because they think it’s criticism.
Step 9: You can rely on your own sense of accomplishment.
It’s not likely that you’ll get validation from a proud person.Proud people don’t acknowledge the things they achieve because they’re focused on themselves.Give yourself a pat on the back for your hard work.
Step 10: Stay calm and breathe in.
It can feel like talking to a proud person is like running into a brick wall.You only get so far if you know what you’re up against.Sometimes you need to relax and breathe.This will require some practice and patience.Don’t sound like you’re sighing when you breathe deeply.You don’t want to give away that you’re frustrated.It will derail the interaction.
Step 11: Take a step away.
Giving yourself some space is the best thing you can do for yourself.You may feel like you’re spending too much time in a toxic relationship.This can make you feel bad about yourself.Take a break from the person who is causing this stress.It doesn’t have to be a permanent separation.If you want to revisit the relationship at some point, make it clear to the proud person that you will only do so on your own terms.You’ll reach out to them when you’re ready, if you tell them that you need space to think.