There are all types of people in the world – blowhards, the timid, busybodies. In fact, having these traits isn’t necessarily a bad thing: a nosy Nettie might be a bomb investigative journalist, using her curiosity to get to the meat of a story, and the blustering blowhard from Brownsville probably has the cojones to be a phenomenal public figure. But some people just have extreme personalities, and lie so far out on the spectrum that they become hard to deal with. Inevitably there will come a point where you must check them.  For those who are avoidant of confrontation this is no easy task, but nipping it in the bud early is key – bamas love to push buttons when they are given country for foolishness. Below are the top three personality types and solutions for dealing with them – with class.*

The Know It All – This person is probably insecure and using their wide breadth of unnecessary knowledge to make someone feel small. They live for the opportunity to bust somebody open for what they don’t know. Uncool.

Solution – Know more. Know-it-alls hate it when you know more than them, because they no longer feel in control. What you do is corner them into a situation where you KNOW they don’t know all the answers, and then suddenly become Alex Trebek. Instant flummoxification.

The Passive/Aggressive – This person is usually sickly sweet, and knows exactly how to get under your skin, all without even raising their voice.  Combine this personality type with know-it-all tendencies and you’ll have trouble on your hands. The passive-aggressive type tries to play coy and nice but don’t be fooled – they’re on that bullsh*t. It’s a set up.

Solution – Subtle shade. You can’t ever give this person the satisfaction of knowing they have unnerved you, so you have to use their passive-aggressiveness against them. For example: Sallie says superciliously, “oh, I see you’ve gotten your hair done, how cute,” (knowing full well you look like homemade sin). Your response should be, calmly, “hair is easy to fix, but faces like yours are forever broken.” Then smile. The fact that you have clocked and deflected their shade effortlessly will throw them off-balance.

The Aggressive/Aggressive – This type of person is on 10, all the time, and doesn’t understand the concept of chill. Think Little Jon with an attitude. Typically they want attention or approval and will stop at nothing to get it.

Solution – Ignore, Ignore, Ignore. Subduing a loudmouth is a lot like putting out a fire – if you take away the oxygen (or attention, in this case), the flame ceases to exist. Executing this tactic may include using “oh, ok,” as a response to everything they say, walking away, or staring right through them and asking, “I’m sorry, did you say something?” They will be baffled that their antics have no impact. That is exactly what you want.

So what say you, Clutchettes and Gents? What types of people are missing from this list? How do you *tactfully* handle someone who works your nerves without blowing your own spot? Got any tips for first-time Gladiators?

*Ok, so maybe these methods aren’t super-classy or scientific, but they can be effective. Sometimes you have to flambé that ass to get the respect you deserve.

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  • M

    I agree with everyone here.

    The best way to act, as my father has taught me, is to never ever ever EVER have an emotional outburst i.e. yelling, cussing and screaming. It shows a lack of control.

    Always think before you speak (that’s if you intend to “put someone in check”). People are always perplexed when they come across a person who isn’t bothered by empty threats. It makes them look ridiculous.

    Try it. It works!

  • Shelly

    “checking” people has always been a struggle of mine. At work, there are a few people who I work with who carry the characteristics from this article. I can be a pretty quiet person who tries to treat people with the respect that I would like to be treated with. I don’t gossip, order people around, or shade, but these people do all of the above. I don’t feel right insulting them, even in a subtle way, because I don’t feel like playing games with people, always having to be on the defensive…I just want to do my work in peace and go home. So, I use the “ignore” tactic, but it gets increasingly frustrating to let the sly comments of others hit me without retaliation. I guess i’m just using this post to vent about how much being forced to work with people I don’t like sucks.

    • omg i am the exact same way!!! i treat everyone with respect, i don’t gossip,i don’t give subtle bitchy hints,and i’m quiet and get along with everyone.

      yet people are the complete opposite and if anything say that i’m too nice! then they say that i’m too nice like it’s the worst thing to ever be. they say that i’m too nice, simply because i’m not cussing people out or bringing my frustrations from outside of work and taking them out on others! smh

    • Princess Di

      I used to struggle with this too as being nice is my nature. However, I realized that beating myself up over a missed opportunity to put someone in check (Only if TRULY deserved) was worse than actually putting that person in check.

      Of course, pick and chose your battles. But also trust and know that you are not an irrational person. If and when you decide to check someone it is because they absolutely deserve it. You’ll feel better and it will get easier.