Certain mortals have the power to sink hearts and sour moods with lightning speed. The hysterical colleague. The explosive boss. A mélange of cantankerous individuals, they are united by a single achievement: They make life miserable. You call them jerks, dolts and nitwits. Psychologists call them “difficult people.” In the attached article from the New York Times, Stephanie Rosenbloom, explores the work of psychologists who say people exhibit difficult behavior because they have a need that is not being met. Understanding that need, for example a colleague who is snappish, for instance, because his personal life is in turmoil may help take the sting out of his or her actions. In the end, we cannot control other people, only our response to them.

Difficult People – NYT Article