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How to Deal With Someone You Can't Stand
We all know one. That obnoxious person you simply can't stand. There is at least ONE in everyone's lives, and let's be honest - we probably are that person in someone elses life at some point or another.
Dealing with a difficult person is a very important skill to learn - it is crucial to learn how to work with different people, even those it seems impossible to get along with. There are different strategies to handle people - whether they are screaming, whining, or complaining. Here are my tips on handling annoying people without losing your head:
Adjust Your Own Attitude
It sounds silly, but one of the best ways to handle someone who is driving you crazy is to take a step back and change your own attitude.
Think about it: If someone is screaming at you, instead of getting upset and screaming back, change your attitude and don't take it personally. It sounds difficult, especially in this day and age, when people have short tempers and tend to lash out when they feel attacked. But when you scream back, you are giving them more power, and you're going to end up feeling a lot more stressed out and angry at the end of the day.
Try this approach. Next time somebody starts screaming and yelling, change the way you view it. Instead of feeling personally attacked, visualize that person as a toddler pitching a tantrum. You'll walk away the bigger person, and you won't damage your own mood by dealing with them.
Lend An Ear
The category of annoying people that I probably best fit into is the whiners and complainers. It's a habit that I am trying to change, because I know it makes myself and the people around me miserable. If you're stuck dealing with a whiner and complainer, it's best to just listen at first.
Notice, I said "at first." Most whiners are perfectionists, and whining about everything that is wrong makes their concerns feel validated. Once the whiner has moaned for awhile, restate some of their complaints so they know you were listening to them. Then ask them to think of solutions to their problems. If they complain that there isn't a way to solve the problem, encourage them to spit out any ideas - even the ones that are unrealistic! More than likely, they will come up with an answer and they won't have anything left to whine about.
Sarcasm Will Save You
Remember when I mentioned that I tend to be the whiner and complainer? Allow me to tell you an approach that won't work. Don't be that person who says "it's not that bad." It will make the whining person feel attacked and feel like they need to complain further to really get across how bad it truly is, and it doesn't solve anything.
The comment that will work is something sarcastic. "You're right. It's completely hopeless. Let's just give up, drop out of college, and become hobos." Keep it playful. You don't want to make the whiner feel antagonized, but you do want them to know that their complaining is annoying and that you aren't interested in hearing about their woes.
Another approach is to stop them before they repeat the same complaints. I'm a repetitive complainer - if I'm not feeling well, you'll hear about it, and you'll hear about it multiple times. The best way for someone to stop me in my tracks would be to say "You've mentioned it already." It reminds me that I'm going on and on about it and I need to stop.
Phone a Friend
Before I explain this, let me just that I am not advocating teamwork to take a person down. What I am suggesting is to find someone who shares the same feelings about that person so you have an ally. If you can't stand someone, chances are, someone else can't stand them either. Having that person to vent to and brainstorm ideas to handle the situation with can be a sanity-saver.
This is one of those things that should be used with caution. You don't want to rank on the annoying person constantly, and you don't want to turn other people against them. If you and your sister are an ally against your crazy mother-in-law, make sure you take care who you are talking about because you don't want your words to get back around to your mother-in-law, nor do you want your children or other people to hear your own complaints and form an unfair bias against them. And you don't want to become the person who is always complaining about someone else - so that other people have to find ways to deal with you!
Dealing with a difficult person can be a challenge, but learning how to do it will save you a lot of worry and anger, and it's an important skill to master!