The 10 Difficult People Teens Have to Put Up With…and How to Deal

Teens have to put up with a lot of different kinds of personalities—parents, college admissions officers, teachers, bullies, hanger-oners, and pesky aunts.  How can teens not only learn to put up with these sometimes difficult, sometimes great, figures and get along with flying colors?

Reading people and learning how to win friends and influence others in a good way, is better learned as young person, rather than waiting until adulthood.  It is skipped in schools, there is no parent talk on “dealing with difficult people,’ so I decided to do a quick run down.


Some teachers are life changing and others can be awful.  If you get a ‘bad’ one, how can you turn your year around to guarantee you will not be miserable (or get an F)! Tips for you:

-Say thank you (they really appreciate this)

-Ask them for what you need.  If you need a little more time or some extra help…ask!


Mom and Dad are the two biggest players in a teenagers life.  You have to deal with family dinners, bonding and curfew arguments. Here are some tips:

-Tell them about you! They love to know more about you and when you tell them they nag you less!

-Say sorry before they get mad.  If you know you are going to get a bad report card in the mail, fess up early rather than waiting for that dreaded envelope.

Admissions Officers

College is coming.  Teenagers need to know how to deal with admissions officers on paper and in person.

-Practice interviewing with friends.  Have friends ask you the hardest questions they can think of so the actual interview will be easy!

-Be honest.  Admissions officers can sniff out liars, brown nosers and suck-ups in an instant!


Writing resumes is a life-long skill that should be mastered early! Teens can also learn to build their resume and show it off in a tactful and honest way.

-Think ahead. If you can figure out what your boss needs before he/she does. You will always have a job.

-Be early.  Be early for meetings, be early on deadlines, always be early.


Ugh, everyone has a bully.  How can teens deal with online and offline bullies?

-Realize everyone has a bully. If you are afraid of your bully, remember they have weak spots too.

Coaches and Counselors

Sports coaches, camp counselors and other authority figures can dominate a teenagers life in good and bad ways.  Teenagers are not often taught how to deal with difficult authority figures in their hobbies and free time which is just as important!

-Listen carefully.  I found that coaches get most angry when they have to repeat themselves.  Listen well and then help others.

-Try hard even when they are not looking.  I used to only sprint hard when my coach was looking, but a few times he caught me dawdling and he never believed me after that!


The less nice words for this could be, nerds, losers or followers.  Most adults can name that person in High School and Middle School who followed them around or was not the coolest friend.  Teens can learn tactful, nice and even advantageous ways to deal with these personality types.

-Ask them what they want and need.  Followers often never get asked this and it will help give them their own space.

-Ask for space.  Sometimes hanger-oners do not realize they are being cloying.


It is hard to talk to teens about dealing with an annoying younger brother or sister, but this can be done!

-Commiserate together.  Bond together over the sticky car seats, mom’s annoying laugh or something that puts you on the same side not opposite ones.

Extended Family Members

Crazy aunts, bullying cousins, cheek-pinching grandma’s and other distant, but always there relatives can be a huge annoyance to teens.  Learning how to avoid, please and leverage family members is important whether it is over the holidays or every Friday night for dinner.

-Have an escape route. When I have to deal with big groups I make sure I take frequent back patio strolls, bathroom breaks etc.  This gives you the occasional time and space so you do not blow up!

-Offer to help.  Offering to help is not only nice for your control-freak aunt who never gets enough help and it can be an escape. “What was that, did you ask if I still wear pink underwear? Umm, you know I think I hear my pie…”

Cool Kids

Every kid feels like there is someone who is cooler than them.  This can feel weak, bad and discouraging for anyone.  Cool kids can be reckoned with.

-Approach with a smile.  It is often said that supermodels never get hit on.  They are just too pretty.  Sometimes cool kids are unapproachable and going up to them with a smile can surprise them and you!

-Know why you are cool.  Cool comes in all different forms.  Love what you got and they will respect you for it.


This difficult personality type can come in the form of any of these above people or friends.  Many teens do not know there is a way to deprogram, and politely annoy these kind of people.

-Never argue.  That is what they want! Many know-it-alls are actually incredibly illogical. If you argue with them you will get into their trap and they usually love the attention.

-Approach when they are calm.  If it was a point that was really important to you, come back to them later when they are calm, you have done your research and you are out of a group setting.

Hope these tips helped! Pass them along to your teens or ask them who in their life fits each category.


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