Planning a wedding means talking to lots of people. From family and friends to caterers and salespeople, you'll be interacting a lot. And while you can hope that all your communications will go smoothly, chances are you'll run into someone who is difficult to get along with or talk to. Maybe he'll have his own ideas or doesn't listen. Or maybe she comes off as aggressive or pushy. Regardless of who they are or why they are difficult, there are some things you can do to take control of the conversation:
1) Make a Change: If the difficult person in question is a potential vendor, even if he is the highest rated, most sought after wedding professional, you might want to reconsider your choice. Different people click with different personalities. If the two of you aren't meshing, it might not be a good working relationship. Keep in mind it is a relationship. You will be working with this individual up until your wedding day. If you don't like each other, you won't be enjoying yourself. Choose wedding vendors, who you find easy to communicate and work with. Period.
2) Listen: Your future mother-in-law loves sharing her thoughts on what your wedding should look like. It's driving you nuts and she's not the easiest person to confront. This might be one of those instances you decide to zip it up and simply listen. Whether it's a family member or wedding professional, there is nothing someone likes more than to be listened to. In an age of social media and multitasking, being heard is quite quickly becoming a lost art form. Give people a few minutes to say their spiel. Don't interrupt, interject, or question. Just actively listen to what they have to say. While it may not change their behavior, it may make them appreciate your thoughtfulness and time.
3) Find an Agreeable Point: Once you've done your listening, find something you can agree with. This doesn't mean you have to do it, you just have to find some truth in what's being said. For example, your trail make-up session is not what you expected. The make-up artist has her own ideas and gives you a dramatic look, as opposed to a more natural one you were hoping for. She tries to convince you to be bold and stand out from the normal. Instead of shutting her down completely, you could say, "it is different and I might try something like it another time, but for now let's see what lighter tones would look like." It's a much more friendly than saying "I don't like it" or "That's not what I asked for." Of course, always be honest. Just think ahead of time on how to phrase things when dealing with challenging people.
4) Don't be Judgmental or Condescending: Let's say you totally disagree with everything someone is telling you. You don't like their ideas or want their help, but you can't fire them. Re-read points 2 and 3 and make sure to mind your manners. No one likes to be put down or judged. Whatever you do, don't name call, laugh, or embarrass anyone because of their opinions. You may be tired of hearing for the 100th time how purple is so last year, but that doesn't warrant eye rolling. Okay, well maybe a little and in private. But in front of someone difficult to deal with, always be the bigger person. It gives them less leverage to start an argument.
5) Assert Yourself: Finally, just because you're listening, agreeing and being the bigger person, doesn't mean you don't get what you want. It's your wedding! This is a hard one, especially if you're the shy type. Assert your rights, hopes and dreams. If a less expensive shindig is what you and your fiancé want, make it known. Be gracious, but straightforward about it. Once you put all these points into action, dealing with a difficult person should be less challenging. But do keep in mind, that you can only control your behavior and side of things. If all else fails, know you've done your part and move on!