To start with, it takes a high level of consciousness and conscientiousness to ask yourself, "Am I a difficult person?" Or "Why am I so difficult to understand?" Often the personality question comes after a period of deep self-reflection and keen observation of people's perceptions about you.
Meanwhile, people's perception of you doesn't always reflect your true nature, but it may pave the way for a true re-awakening. As such, it's not strange when people ask, "Am I a difficult person to work with?" "Am I a difficult person to love?"
So, are you a difficult person? What traits define difficult people?
Who is a Difficult Person?
A difficult person is an individual who disregards other people's emotional states and is less empathetic. They say things that are inappropriate and have little regard for other people's feelings. Complex individuals are low in agreeableness as they have challenges cooperating with people and accommodating others.
It is important to note that people don't just wake up to be difficult or unapproachable. When it comes to each individual's personality, no one size fits all. People's personalities are shaped by their upbringing, background, experiences and environment.
Regardless, insecurity appears to be at the centre of a difficult person. Everyone has shortcomings, but a problematic person puts up defences to hide theirs. For example, a difficult person's close-mindedness is masked by their inability to trust. Thus, pleasing them is an impossible task.
What are the signs of a difficult person? And, how do you know if you are a difficult person to work with?
What are the Characteristics of Difficult People?
Research has revealed that the Five-Factor Model is the most accurate way to identify difficult individuals. Specifically, the level of agreeableness determines whether a person is burdensome or not.
The common traits of a difficult person are aggressiveness, suspicion, dominance, manipulativeness, risk-taking, callousness, and grandiosity.
- Callousness: Lack of empathy
- Grandiosity: Self-importance
- Aggressiveness: Easy to anger or violence
- Suspicious: Inability to trust others
- Manipulativeness: Machiavellian or unscrupulous behaviour
- Dominance: The urge to control others
- Risk-Taking: Carelessness
While these are the traits of an average complex individual, not all difficult people have all the attributes. Nonetheless, research has shown that an unfriendly person will undoubtedly have the qualities above. An accurate difficult person test might reveal which feature is dominant in your personality.
Other Characteristics of a Difficult Person
It is inevitable not to complain as you go about your everyday activities. For instance, unfavourable weather, traffic or lousy governance are typical things people complain about. However, if every conversation you have with people revolves around constant complaints, it can weigh you and others around you down.
You may be a difficult person if you have a low tolerance level when dealing with things or people. The world and people in it aren't perfect, so there is a high chance people will misbehave. You are easily irritated when most people are not smart enough to handle things right. That makes you frustrated, which will signal an immense strain on your mood daily.
People will avoid talking to you if you constantly want to win in a conversation. Everyone tends to argue once in a while, but there is wisdom in knowing when to agree to disagree. Besides, understanding another person's perspective might make you understand their points.
Being competitive can be helpful as you climb up the career ladder. However, seeing every conversation, debate, idea or abstract thing as competition can be overwhelming for others around you.
You don't like advice
A difficult person has a high level of self-importance. They may seek others' opinions when they have challenges but take it with a grain of salt. Why? They feel they know better. Consequently, people will hold their views from you even when they benefit you.
If any of the characteristics of a problematic person applies to you, you need not worry. All you need is a deep self-reevaluation. Instead of brooding over why you are difficult, focus on becoming the opposite of the traits mentioned. Importantly, try to be a friendly person. Be more open-minded, listen to other people, complain less, and empathise with others.
Meanwhile, you want to know if you are a difficult person doesn't make you reprehensible. Instead, it shows that you are curious and self-aware to recognise your weakness. It is also a step toward doing right by yourself and others.
Looking to understand your personality in more depth? Why not take our Big 5 Personality Test.