Dealing with Challenging People- Use these 4 Magic Phrases to Respond to Anything!

Dealing with challenging people is not an easy task. When someone says something unkind to us, we often respond back in a reactive manner. We wish we wouldn’t go down to their level, but sometimes we do.

You probably think it takes days of communication skills training to become skilled at dealing with challenging people. The good news is that it is much easier than you think. When dealing with challenging people, remain calm and ask questions instead of snapping back. Watch this video and learn 4 magic phrases to respond to anything!! If you can remember these 4 magic phrases when responding to difficult people with rude behaviors, you will surprised with your outcome.


I love this video clip. The next time someone throws an insult your way or does something that you don’t appreciate, say “That’s interesting, why would you say that?” or “That’s interesting. Tell me more” or “That’s interesting, why would you do that?” or “That’s interesting, why would you ask that?” If you can remember these 4 simple phrases, you will be on your way to becoming a master at dealing with challenging people!

Have you ever used any of these phrases or do you have some of your own? I would love to hear from you.


  • cathy

    Reply Reply June 2, 2013

    I would love to hear from anyone who uses one of these amazing phrases!

  • vikki carey

    Reply Reply June 2, 2013

    Thank you so much, Dan for posting this video. Im really struggling with my sisters side belittling comments toward me, especially as i do so much for her. I’ve never called her up on it as i don’t want to upset her, but she often has me in tears (not that i would ever let her know that). I was looking for something to say that would stop her from being nasty but not upset her. This seems perfect. Thank you so much .
    The highest form of wisdom is kindness.

  • Tim

    Reply Reply September 26, 2013

    I work in Special Education and some Emotional Behavioral Students can let out some frustration. Rather than get into a verbal shouting match phrases like these shown in the video do work! I can speak from experience on that. Others phrases that I have used are: “When you are ready to talk to me appropriately then we will talk. I will give you a few minutes.”
    Another phrase I have used is: ” I can see you are frustrated. Let’s take a small break and come back and work on this together.”

    The basic ingredient is honesty. When you say, “That’s interesting….” you are sincere because you want to get down to the real reason they are frustrated and help work past that. These phrase helps defuse a situation very nicely.

    • Coach Cathy

      Reply Reply September 26, 2013

      Thanks for your comments. I loved your replies as well. I appreciate your contribution! Cathy

  • Darren

    Reply Reply September 30, 2013

    Always ask a question. My favorite for everything is, “are you threatening me”?

  • Steve

    Reply Reply October 3, 2013

    This is really interesting. I’m going to give these a try. Thanks.

  • Sergio

    Reply Reply October 4, 2013

    I use these all the time and they work well to calm people down and get them to think about why they were being antagonistic. It’s funny to see people trying to come up with a good response.

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field