Being a prison mentor and being incarcerated with hundreds of men who are struggling with anger and/or mental health issues can be over whelming. I’d estimate that out of 1000 inmates, close to 60% of them are what I would call ‘difficult men’, meaning that they are not easy to communicate with. As a Mentor, the following are methods I’ve learned to help me communicate with them:
Acknowledge it’s not them that’s the problem, but rather your beliefs about them and their behavior, which primarily causes distress.
To cope with difficult people, first manage your emotional reaction to them.
Focus on changing your feelings of anger to less intense feelings or annoyance, displeasure or disappointment.
Express your annoyance and displeasure but not intense anger. You don’t have to become angry first before expressing your annoyance.