I may be an opinionated lady, but I have always tried to be a team player. Not an "ok-I-don't-care" teammate or a "no-no-no-YOU-decide" teammate, but an opinionated, (and I hope) diplomatic, and integral part of the networks in my life.
Being a teammate to other "difficult" people has proven to be much more of a challenge than my personal quest to not rock the boat. When my will wavers (usually after an extreme lack of sleep, a big ol' bowl of wheat, or finals week) I have to bribe myself to keep the devil of verbiage that wants to belch its way out of my system under control.
I think this ability to "play nice" may be getting worse in my old age! My tolerance level for rudeness, narcissism, and just lack of general awareness and concern for others had plummeted in the last few years. Maybe because I know it's NOT OK to let difficult peoples' behavior persist in the workplace, school, relationships, or family. I realize I may have been a part of the creation of these "difficult" peoples' idiosyncrasies and atrocious interpersonal tics by not addressing them at first blush! I don't think these individuals are horrible people, I just think they have horrific personalities...
I truly would appreciate some "tips and tricks," if you will, on how to deal with people that make me want to reconsider my aversion to poking others' eyes out with my thumbs.