Live Online Class

Dealing with
"difficult" people

with Elisabeth Fisher

Mondays at 12:00 PM Eastern Time

see your time zone here


45 minutes


Beginner - Advanced


scroll down for replays

Do you have a "difficult" person in your life? Who doesn't ...

Actually, it's not the person who is "difficult" - it's their behavior. Bear with me. People do things that you may find challenging. For example:

They talk too much and don't listen. Or they don't talk enough, and you're left guessing what's going on.
They have more power than you, and they use that power in ways you don't like. Or they have less power than you, and they're afraid of you, they fawn, or they claim to be a victim.
They expect you to rescue them and solve their problems for them. Or they keep coming to you with their issues, but they refuse your help.
They don't take No for an answer and drain your energy. Or they don't tell you what they want or need, but they resent you for not being able to read their mind.
They are oblivious to how their behavior affects you. Or they know they cause you suffering, but they expect you to put up with the status quo. 
They seem to enjoy arguing, but nothing ever gets resolved. Or they avoid disagreements like the plague, and nothing ever gets talked out.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

This class is for you if:

You give too much or give in too much.
You struggle with setting boundaries.
You feel guilty when you say No.
You keep spending time with family members, friends, or clients who drain your energy.
You want to know what you can do to improve your life, without waiting for someone else to change.
You want to handle disagreements better.
You want to influence others' behavior with more grace and ease.
You are looking for a more healthful and sustainable way to be in relationship and to be of service.

Through simple and effective somatic exercises, combined with principles of negotiation and conflict resolution, you will:

Get to know yourself and your life patterns.
Discover what works for you - and what doesn't.
Practice how to manage your stress reactions to "difficult" behaviors.
Become more comfortable saying what you need to say, in a way that the other person can hear it.
Acquire skills to deal with challenging situations more effectively.

Your teacher

Elisabeth Fisher

Hello! Do you like conflict? I don't ...  As a former corporate attorney and mediator, I have been dealing with disagreements and "difficult" people professionally for more than 30 years. Now I help my clients reduce conflict at work and at home by teaching them how to stay calm and focused under stress, defuse tense situations, speak up with confidence, and disagree better.

I lead Embodied Peacemaking workshops based on the mindbody education system developed by Paul Linden. I am a certified embodiment coach and Yoga teacher (Yin, Vinyasa, Embodied Toolkit), martial artist (Black Belt in Kenpo Karate), Embodied Meditation teacher, practicing Buddhist, and ballroom dancer.

Let's create a more peacefully empowered world together.

Frequently asked ...

Do I have to be on camera? No. While I would love to see your face, you are welcome to leave your camera off. 

Are there replays? Yes! Scroll down for the library of class recordings.

Can I participate without being recorded? Yes, of course. Privacy and confidentiality are important to me. Class sessions are recorded on "speaker view", which means that you will only appear on the recording if you speak. If you want to say something off video, simply wave and I'll pause the recording.

Do I have to actively participate? No. You don't have to do anything I suggest. While the practical exercises will only help if you actually do them, you are welcome to just watch and listen. 

Library of Class Sessions

Replays of previous classes are available for free. You can access them by creating a free account (this is to guard against unauthorized copying of the content and to keep the spam bots at bay). Creating an account will NOT trigger a series of sales emails (you're here for the class, and that's what you'll get). You will be subscribed to my monthly-ish newsletter, but you can unsubscribe at any time.

Introduction: Managing your stress reaction

1 - Is calling someone "difficult" helpful?

The power of labels. Centering.

2 - Are anger and fear useful?

Stress reactions: fight-flight-freeze-collapse. Centering.

3 - Stress and First Aid Centering

Identify your unique reaction to stress, and how to calm down quickly.

4 - Power Sitting

Establishing a stable, balanced foundation for taking action.

Setting boundaries

5 - How do you say No?

What are your patterns around saying No?

6 - Micro No

Explore saying No in more subtle ways.

7 - Be the stronger influence in the room

Use your state (being centered) as a source of influence.

8 - "Mine" and "Not Mine"

Are you taking on too much responsibility?

9 - When you are the "difficult" person

How to respond when someone feels "triggered" by you.


10 - You're so slow

Moving at a different pace. Reframing.

11 - Moving "with" (blending and joining)

A movement exploration with special guest Paul Linden.

12 - Dealing with impatient people (Part 1)

Verbal strategies to slow down a faster person.

13 - Dealing with impatient people (Part 2)

Nonverbal strategies to slow down a faster person.

You are not a helpless victim - negotiate for what you want

14 - Once upon a time

The story of the villain and the helpless victim.

15 - You are an actor

How do you contribute to the situation?

16 - You are not helpless

How to create affirmations that may actually work.

17 - Questions that spark curiosity

How to ask questions to generate options.

18 - Negotiation 101

How to get what you want.

19 - Developing your BATNA

What if you don't get what you want?

20 - What do you really want?

Positions vs underlying interests.

21 - What does the "difficult" person really want?

Are they really a villain? What is the purpose of their "difficult" behavior?

Internal boundaries: maintaining your own well-being in the presence of a "difficult" person

22 - Letting go of unnecessary tension

Body scan meditation & Centering.

23 - Noticing without absorbing

Setting up internal boundaries that are open and expansive.

24 - The tone makes the music

We react not only to WHAT someone is saying, but also to HOW it is said.

25 - The other side of internal boundaries

What do you want to send out, and what would you rather keep in?

Dealing with dread

26 - Are you apprehensive about the future?

Establishing a foundation for acceptance.

Dealing with requests and demands

27 - How are you with requests for help?

Exploring different "flavors" of requests or demands for help.

28 - How are you with HOW someone requests help?

Notice your habitual reactions to different "flavors" of being asked for help.

29 - How are you with WHAT someone requests of you?

Notice how you respond to requests for your time.

30 - How are you with WHAT someone requests of you? (continued)

How are you with requests for your effort or labor?

31 - What motivates your response to a request?

Cost-benefit analyses and threat assessments.

32 - What are you trying to protect?

Choosing appropriate strategies to address the specific "threat" at hand.

Understanding human operating systems

33 - Understanding human operating systems: Earth & Water

How do you - and the "difficult" person - prefer to be in the world?

34 - Understanding human operating systems: Fire

How do you - and the "difficult" person - prefer to be in the world?

35 - Understanding human operating systems: Air

How do you - and the "difficult" person - prefer to be in the world?

36 - Brainstorming with the body

Generating new ideas by embodying the "elements" of Earth, Water, Fire & Air.

Influencing others and inspiring change

37 - Is this worth trying?

Testing ideas for influencing another person.

38 - Using your voice

Speaking in a way that the other person can hear.

39 - Making a situation more comfortable

How could you address "being uncomfortable"? Be specific. If possible, identify options that work for everyone.

40 - Calibrating the volume of your voice

How softly or loudly do you speak? What volume of speech do you prefer in others?

41 - Making assumptions about other people

Being aware: Do I know this, or am I assuming? Is my assumption accurate? How can I test this? Does it matter?

42 - Finding your balance

How do you (take a) stand?

43 - Moving from your power base

The effect of your "stance" on what you do next.

44 - Standing tall

Confidence based on awareness of your vertical axis.

45 - How do you sit?

How does your seated posture affect your response to an annoying person?

46 - Generating power through movement

Simple movements as a reminder of your power.

47 - Generating power through breathing

Directional breathing as a source of power.

Making difficult decisions

48: Establishing power before making a decision

Creating a stable, balanced basis for clear thinking.

49: Cost-benefit analysis

What are the pros & cons of speaking up? What are the potential "good" or "bad" consequences?

50: Seeing more options

In addition to the best-case and worst-case scenario, what other possibilities are there?

51: Moving forward

Embodied decision-making: What do I do next, and how?

52: Being "decisive"

What do you consider "decisive" or "indecisive"?

53: Befriending uncertainty

What do you need to be comfortable with making decisions?

54: Decision-making in relationships

What rules or "boundaries" make you comfortable - or uncomfortable?

55: Decision-making processes

How could you make decisions as / with / for a group?

56: Sticking with your decisions

How do you respond when someone questions your choices?

Let's (not) renegotiate

57: Sorry, no deal

When someone wants to change (or forget about) an agreement.

58: Can we change something?

What specifically do you (not) want?

59: What makes you say Yes to a request?

Be aware of your patterns around accommodating others' wishes.

60: How do you say No?

How does your mindbody state impact how you communicate verbally?

Being resourced

61: Do you have the capacity to take something on?

Notice what (emotion) you do in your body when you are faced with a responsibility or request.

62: What resource(s) do you need?

Overwhelm = when the resources you need exceed the resources you have.

63: How do you manage your capacity?

Communicating that you cannot take something on.

64: Protecting your capacity

How could you say No to a "small" request?

65: Saying No vs. Doing No

With special guest Paul Linden

66: Doing No by Doing Yes

Six Directions Breathing and defining your space.

67: Justifying your No with ease

Using humor for a more light-hearted response.

68: Managing your capacity on a micro-level

Relaxed awareness of yourself and your environment.

How is your environment affecting you?

69: What you look at matters.

How does your visual environment influence you?

70: What is your "set design"?

Creating a visual environment that is helpful for you.

71: What you listen to matters.

How do everyday sounds influence you?

72: What is your "soundtrack"?

Creating an auditory environment that is helpful for you.

73: What you touch matters

How do everyday materials influence you?

74: How you touch matters

How do you make contact and interact with your environment?

Shaping your environment

75: How do you respond to your environment?

How you are matters.

76: Where in your body is your power source?

Attention and the "felt sense" of power.

77: Types of power

Boundaries and coercive power.

78: The power of intention

How does your desire to avoid harm affect what you do?

79: When power is lacking

How do you do "discouraged"?

Building a support network

80: What would you like from your team?

Being specific about what you want.

81: What are you and others contributing?

What do you bring? What do you hope someone else will bring?

82: Who should (not) be in your community?

You don't want to be there, or you don't want someone else to be there. Now what?

83: Creating safety for community members

De-escalating situations to maintain community.

84: Pausing the conversation ...

... to continue the relationship.

85: Taking a break from a conversation

Experimenting with the basics.

86: What words should I use?

It depends, and it's complicated.

87: Proceed with confident humility

With special guests Ayya Niyyanika and Paul Linden.

why you are not being charged for this class

Dealing with "difficult" people is ... difficult.

I want to help create a world where people treat their fellow humans with respect 
and act with wisdom, courage, compassion, and power. 
Lack of funds should not be an obstacle to a happier life.

If this class is helpful for you and you can afford it, please consider contributing to the cost of web and video hosting, coffee, and dessert (I'm Austrian, so dessert is essential for survival). 
Any amount is appreciated and will earn you a place on my personal superhero list.


Thank you.

what participants are saying

I come here to look after myself and get some tools for dealing with the world. The better I look after myself, the more I can be of use to others.

Practicing with you has made a real difference in my life. I now see that I have options.

This is the kind of teaching I'm looking for! I get simple practices that make me feel confident that I can move forward with whatever challenge I am presented with.

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