- Gender and Relationships
How to handle annoying relatives, friends and deal with feelings of irritation
How to deal with annoying people
Many of us will be ushering in Christmas with the customary gifts and gatherings. It is the time of year when we meet people-relatives from all walks of life, friends and ultimately, friends of friends. Some of these will be people who send the hairs on our skin standing a little on end.
Ms. Empty Pockets bearing no gifts will come around, as will Mr. Braggart who has no hold barred about gloating about his or his child’s achievements. Then, there is Miss Personal Information, the egotist who cannot resist sharing everything about their personal lives.
These folks are the ones we will run into at some point during our festivities. We may find such relatives overbearing, but the fact of the matter is that we will have to deal with them.
Simple ways to deal with annoying people
Without going into the specifics, here are some simple suggestions for dealing with the annoying relative or friend whom, for a variety of reasons, you still have to invite to the party.
Tune annoying people out.
There are many people you will have to interact with during a Christmas gathering or on any occasion at all. Make it a point to be polite, but spend more time talking to others at the gathering or event.
If there is no one to socialize with, turn on your MP3 player or watch a Youtube video. Forcing yourself to socialize with someone who annoys you might only serve to make you angry and spoil the mood of the occasion.
Make other plans.
If you sense the situation becoming uncomfortable, you can always make other plans and leave the event. You can always have another gathering to go to or make one!
Try to be nice, but not overly welcoming.
We should be tolerant and forgiving of the annoying relatives and friends we run into at gatherings, but it is not necessary to be too pleased with them coming around. It sends the wrong signal and might encourage irritating behavior.
Remember that people are annoying you to get a reaction from you.
Sometimes, people deliberately annoy you to get a reaction from you. Giving in with an emotional reaction to irritating comments and behaviors only serves to make them want to prolong their unwanted conduct.
I have a cousins who just annoy me to bits with inappropriate comments about this, that or the other. I usually tell myself that they are deliberately trying to provoke me and to not give in to them.
Give non-committal responses awkward questions.
If there is someone who always persists in asking questions that make you uncomfortable, the best way to deal with them is with a simple “I don’t know, perhaps someone else has a better answer to that.”
I have an annoying aunt who used to badger me with questions about whether I had a boyfriend or fiancé before I got married. I often used that answer on her and she would give up asking after I persistently gave her non committal answers, still with a smile.
Use the environment around you.
If the place is filled with people, use that as an excuse to get out of answering awkward questions. If the room is quiet but an annoying person is talking too loudly, that can be something that facilitates the ending of irritating behavior as well.
Say “the place is too noisy, let’s talk later” or “it’s too quiet to talk about this here.” This usually gives the hint to end any awkward conversations and behaviors.
Different personalities who irritate you
These are some personalities we are familiar with. We will run into them, or more often into someone with a combination of them. So how do we deal with these interesting folk?
Mr Empty Pockets
You may be familiar with Mr. Empty Pockets - the sort who will show up at your Christmas gathering without observing the courtesy of bringing a gift because it is too expensive. Alternatively Mr. Empty Pockets may show up in the form of a relative or friend who refuses to contribute anything to the gathering or event.
Unless something drastic happens, such a person is not likely to pull his weight and must be accepted as such. If you can, avoid including Mr. Pockets at future gatherings or if he must be part of the proceedings because he is a relative you cannot avoid inviting, then suggest something that will be less expensive.
We all know the sort all too well. Miss Braggart’s the narcissistic relative or friend who will not stop gloating over his or his child’s achievements! He cannot resist telling others about how well his son is doing in school or about his latest promotion.
While we are happy for them, such narcissistic behavior is annoying and very inconsiderate. The best way to get round the behavior is to realize that Miss Braggart’s actions stem from insecurity, and where you can, steer clear.
Mr. Personal Information
Mr. Personal information is the relative or friend who whines persistently about his or her own personal problems. If the person is a close relative or superior, the situation can be very uncomfortable indeed.
Remember that Mr. Personal Information just unloads to vent or seek attention and rarely wants advice. It is best not to give any advice of your own as a fodder either, for it just prolongs the vent.
Miss Cell Phone Freak
She usually speaks very loudly over her cell phone and lets everyone know the intimate details of her conversation on purpose to get attention. They often interrupt people by picking up calls in the middle of conversations.
The best way to deal with Miss Cell Phone Freak is to leave the room the minute they start talking on it in the middle of the conversation. This will make them more alert to the situation.
Mr Unwanted Advisor
He is a know-it-all who is a close relative of Miss Braggart. Another narcissist, he assumes that his criticisms and advice is the best and is too willing to share his knowledge because he knows so much more than you or anyone else.
The best way to deal with Mr Unwanted Advisor is to withhold any information that he can advise on!
Mrs. Busy Body
This is the lady (or man) who will ask all kinds of personal questions, like when you are having children or what you were thinking when you bought that couch.
The best way to deal with Mrs. Busy Body is to excuse oneself and get someone who knows her well to talk to her. This will distract her so that she asks no more questions.
Mr. Couch Surfer
This intriguing personality will spend hours switching channels on the television set and will not leave for a long time.
To deal with people who overstay their welcome, set a time for guests to arrive and leave. Usually, most will leave by the appointed time.
How to cope with feelings of annoyance
Concentrate on something else.
When talking to someone who is annoying, concentrate on something else to divert your own attention from the conversation. It gives time to realize that it is a waste of time to be angry.
Check your body language.
Remain calm and collected as far as possible, and do not let angry body language send messages that will escalate matters or cause unnecessary conflict.
Being annoyed can stem from your own lack of patience.
Annoyance can stem from a lack of understanding and patience. There can be a sense of superiority and simply be annoyed by people just by seeing them.
In such cases, it is time for a little reflection. There may be biases about certain people or things which arouses strong dislike on your part. Remember that it is not right at any time to generalize. Approach things with an open mind and a thing or two can be learnt.
Most people do not know that they are annoying.
Realize that most people are not aware of how annoying they are. So that is when you have to give them a little constructive feedback and let them know instead of letting the annoyance fester into boiling anger.
Sometimes, it is good to assert yourself if you want to see a change being made. Let the person know tactfully that his behavior is bothering you and assure him that there are no hard feelings, that you are against the behavior, not the person.
Have a little empathy.
It is good to realize that as much as you are annoyed with a person, others can also be annoyed with you. Try adopting a more compassionate, guiding approach to lead them out of the annoying behavior.
Give constructive feedback rather than blowing your top or creating a negative atmosphere.
Annoying personalities are an irremovable part of life, but there are ways we can remove ourselves from annoying situations and annoyed feelings. Here’s to a little patience with yourself and others.
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