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How to Understand and Deal With Difficult People

By Hanssie on September 12th 2014

Life would be a lot easier if we didn’t have to deal with people, right? Face it, as photographers, we are in the people business. Our job is people-centric, making them smile, making them look fantastic in portraits, making them happy in the hopes that they will refer us to all of their friends. With some clients (or vendors), they make our jobs easier. Others…well, not so much.

In those instances, you have to grit your teeth (most of the time), do the job you were hired to do and all with a smile on your face. In the following CreativeLive video clip, ‘behavioral investigator’ and author, Vanessa Van Edwards talks about 4 types of difficult personality types and how to communicate with them (without smacking them across the head). The video is only a minute and a half long, but the information will helps you identify those difficult personalities that make you want to pull your (or their) hair out.


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Which of the 4 types have you encountered today?

1. The Downers

Tip: Shift the conversation to neutral or positive topics

2. The Better Thans

Tip: Remember that they are insecure and need a bit of patience and love

3. The Passives

Tip: Find their spark by asking about their personal projects

4. The Tanks

Tip: Set your boundaries clearly

Vanessa has a CreativeLive class coming up on Sept 24 to help you master your people skills. Register now here for the free live class.

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. desmond chislom


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  2. Mark Iuzzolino

    Great advice. I have none of these personalities… ;-)

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  3. Chuck Eggen

    Thanks Hanssie. My wife would say I exhibit all the personalities mentioned.

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  4. Chuck Eggen

    This scares me. I fit into a couple of categories.

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