We all have to interact at some point with people who don't like us, so be prepared for the next time it happens.
10 min read
The opinions expressed by employees are personal.
Bumping into people who are not going to like you is inevitable. There are always people with whom you click immediately and people who give you the same. And then there's that select group of people you can't stand.
How to get along with someone you think is difficult, annoying or rude? Well, it helps to remember that you are not perfect either. Remember that what you think of that person, someone else may be thinking about you. After all, we are human. We all have defects.
Usually, you can avoid people you don't want to relate to, however, there will come a time when you have to work with someone you don't like. It may seem difficult, but you can actually work (almost) with anyone, if you are aware of certain things. In fact, if you put these tips into practice, you may discover that this difficult person can offer you useful information.
They can even help you see things from a different perspective.
Successful people understand that if you restrict the people you can work with, you end up limiting yourself. Use these 11 strategies to empower you to handle the most difficult people.
1. Accept that not everyone has to get along
The truth is that not everyone we meet will like us. The first step in dealing with a complicated individual is to accept that there will be people with whom you don't get along and that's fine.
The fact that someone does not like you does not make you a bad person, nor does it make the other person bad (probably). But we all have to find a way to tolerate ourselves and work as a team. Recognizing that you bump into someone, without judgments of who is right or who is wrong, can remove some strong emotions from the equation.
2. Mindfulness is the antidote against toxic people
Dealing with someone you dislike can have a negative effect on your emotions. A toxic person can make you very bad … but only if you allow it. Remember that only you have power over your emotional state. Do not let a negative or toxic person influence your condition.
That doesn't mean you have to ignore the way they make you feel. Recognize that your emotions, such as irritation and discomfort, accumulate. If someone is making you angry, allow yourself to feel anger and then let the negative feelings dissipate. And remember that sometimes all you have to do is smile and nod, there is no need to follow the flow.
3. Touch kills bad temper
Always choose the path of touch. Learn to cultivate a diplomatic smile, something basic to learn to treat everyone with civility and education. This does not mean that you have to agree with someone you don't like or that you have to keep up with everything they say, but that you have to maintain a constant level of decorum when interacting with them.
Be gentle with the person and hard with the problem. This means focusing on the problems that need to be corrected instead of personally attacking someone. If you learn to do this consistently, they will perceive you as professional and positive, which will give you an advantage in all situations.
4. No matter how they said it, don't take it personal
Usually, people do what they do for themselves, not for you. They may be reacting to some of their own reality, and it may only be a coincidence that you have finished in the middle. Try to broaden your perspective on the situation. A broader perspective can reduce a misunderstanding.
You can also be proactive when it comes to dealing with someone you know can provoke you. Think about how you can react calmly and decisively. Have a clear mental image of how you will respond. This can help you avoid the ping-pong effect, in which you overreact and the other does the same accordingly. Remember that every situation has a person with whom you are communicating and a problem they are discussing. Focus on the problem, not the person.
5. Be a better person or crawl to the bottom
Reacting emotionally to a toxic person is easy, especially if their behavior seems ridiculous and frustrating. But if you lower yourself to your level and get involved in the dispute, you may also end up being labeled as problematic.
Do not let your emotions get the worst of you or let their circumstances consume you. Remember that you do not need to respond to their chaos, but you can choose to be a better person by focusing on the facts and giving rational answers. Point out specific problems if necessary, but do so diplomatically.
6. Express your feelings calmly
Usually, the way we communicate is what causes us problems. If someone's behavior and way of communicating bothers you, you may want to have an honest talk about how you feel. The key is to do it calmly and without confrontations, but always being assertive.
Language without accusations goes through making sentences starting with “I”. The goal is to express clearly and without aggression the way you feel and what is your role in the situation, without blaming it. One formula you can use is: “When you ____, I feel that ____. Please, better do ___ ”.
Be as specific as possible when telling someone that a behavior bothers you, and what you would like to happen to correct the problem. And once you've expressed yourself, show yourself open to listen to your part of the story.
7. Choose your battles
Not everything deserves your time and attention. There are times when dealing with a difficult person is like trying to reason with a child in the middle of a tantrum: they don't deserve your energy or your time. Ask yourself if you really want to be involved in this argument, or if you can turn it around. Is the benefit worth the confrontation? Do you have more to lose or what to gain?
Take into account if the problem is due to a situation, in which case it can dissipate over time. In addition, there are times when a troubled person can benefit us in other ways. It may be more convenient for you to endure your idiosyncrasy if it serves you more than it hurts you.
8. The limits are healthy
Wouldn't it be nice to be able to put a wall that keeps that toxic partner away? A physical barrier may not be possible, but you can establish barriers and decide when and how to interact with others, limiting the time you decide to spend with them. Give yourself room to breathe so that the other does not overwhelm you
Disconnect emotionally, and physically separate yourself from situations that you know will lead to negative interactions. If you are already anticipating that you are going to get into a complicated situation, take a deep breath and calm down before it starts.
9. Relationship with people who think like you
Don't go to war alone … Find people who support you. Trying to face only a difficult situation or person can be counterproductive, because then it is difficult to see the whole picture.
Find people who think like you and you trust, people who have felt supported and less alone. They can bring objectivity to a situation and help you think of ways to handle a difficult person. And sometimes, all we need is to talk things and feel heard. Once we feel validated, we can move on. Knowing that your friends support you can give you the resilience and strength to face almost anything.
10. Learn to disarm a rude person
If there is someone who is constantly bothering you and pointing out your flaws, you can equalize the dynamics of being able to apply a little pressure on them to reduce their bad behavior. Do not get defensive when someone criticizes you or is aggressive with you because this only gives you more power. Better flip the script and expose them. The best way to neutralize their influence is by asking constructive questions.
If they are trying to talk badly about your work, ask for a specific criticism. Ask them if they can clearly communicate their expectations. If you are being rude, say it openly. Let them know that you expect to be treated with a certain level of citizenship and that you will do the same for them.
11. Your happiness is in your hands
Never let a toxic person limit your joy or control your source of self-satisfaction. Don't let annoying comments or anxiety take over you, or let someone else's opinion cloud your day. Stop looking for others to recognize or validate your achievements. Better, look for that inward recognition.
Give yourself a moment to reflect on yourself. Maybe what you don't like about someone else is something you have to work on yourself. Understanding the source of your frustration can help you diminish the power it has over you. And remember that you have the last word on your mind. Stop comparing yourself to others and always keep in mind what you're worth and where that value comes from.