Everyone has to interact with someone they don’t get along with every once in a while, so be prepared the next time it happens to you. It’s inevitable that you’ll encounter people with whom you disagree. There are some people you instantly click with and others you can take or leave. And then, there are the select few you just can’t stand!
How can you get along with someone you find difficult, distasteful or downright obnoxious? Well, it helps to remember that you aren’t perfect either. Remember that whatever you might feel about a person, someone else might feel the same about you. We’re all human, after all. We all have our faults.
It’s usually possible just to avoid people you don’t get along with. However, at some point you may have to work with someone you dislike. That may seem tough, but you can work with (almost) anyone if you just keep a few things in mind. In fact, by using these tips, you might find that a challenging person can still offer useful insights. They may even be able to help you see things from a different perspective.Successful people understand that if you restrict who you can work with you are only limiting yourself.
Use these strategies to empower yourself to deal with even the most difficult people
Accept nobody likes everybody.
The truth is, we aren’t going to like everyone we meet. The first step when dealing with a cantankerous individual is accepting that you aren’t going to get along with some people, and that’s okay.
Not liking them doesn’t make you a bad person — nor does it make the other person isn’t fundamentally awful (at least, probably not). But, we all do have to find a way to get along and work with each other. Acknowledging that you clash with someone, without judging who is right or wrong, can remove the strong emotions that often accompany difficult relationships.
Mindfulness is the antidote to toxic people.
Dealing with someone who rubs you the wrong way can have a negative effect on your own emotions. A toxic person can drive you crazy . . . but only if you let them. Remember, only you have power over your emotional state. Don’t allow a negative or toxic person to influence your state of mind.
That doesn’t mean that you ignore the person or disregard how they make you feel. Recognize that your emotions, such as irritation and annoyance, are scaling up. If someone is making you angry, let yourself feel that emotion and then let those feelings dissipate. And remember, sometimes all you need to do is smile and nod.
don’t take it personally.
Often people do what they do because of themselves, not because of you. They may be reacting to something in their own circumstances, and it’s just a coincidence that you ended up in their cross hairs. Try widening your perspective on the situation. A broader view can often reduce misunderstanding.
\You can also be proactive when dealing with someone you know can provoke you. Think of multiple ways of reacting calmly and decisively. Have a clear picture in your mind of how you’ll respond. This can help you avoid a ping-pong effect, in which you overreact to them and they overreact to you in return. Remember that every situation involves both the person you are communicating with and the issue you are discussing. Concentrate on the issue, not the person.
Rise above or get dragged down.
It’s easy to react emotionally to a toxic person, especially if their behavior seems ridiculous and frustrating. But, if you stoop to their level and become embroiled in disputes, you may also be labeled a troublemaker.
Don’t let your emotions get the best of you or allow yourself to be consumed by their antics. Remember that you don’t need to respond to their chaos. You can choose to rise above it by focusing on facts and rational responses. Point out specific issues or problems if need be, but do so diplomatically.
Calmly express your feelings
Often, it’s the way we communicate that leads to bigger problems. If someone’s behavior and communication style annoys you, it may be time to have an honest talk about how you feel. The key is to do so calmly and in a non confrontational but assertive way.
Non-accusatory language involves making “I” statements. The goal is to clearly and non-aggressively express how you feel and their role in your current state without blaming them. One formula you can use goes like this: “When you _____, I feel _____. Please do this instead: _______.”
Be as specific as possible when telling someone which behaviors make you upset and what you would like them to do to correct the problem. And, once you’ve expressed yourself, be open to hearing their side.
Pick your battles
Not all things are worth your time and attention. Sometimes dealing with a noxious person is like reasoning with a toddler in a tantrum: They just don’t deserve your energy or engagement. Ask yourself if you really want to get caught in a protracted argument about an issue you can sidestep. Is the ultimate benefit worth the challenge? Do you have more to lose than win?
Consider if the issue is situational, in which case it may dissolve or dissipate with time. Also, sometimes a quarrelsome person serves to benefit us in other ways. It may be in your best interest to put up with their idiosyncrasies if they are helping you more than hurting you.