How to Get Along With Someone You Hate


Let's start out with this fact: Annoying people are inevitable. Work colleagues, neighbors, friends and family — you can't hide from them forever. While you might want to give your boss a huge piece of your mind (and he or she could probably really use it), you need to keep your job!

But here's another fact that you may not want to come to terms with — hate is a destructive feeling, and one that you have complete power over. Think about it for a second. Do you hate this person or do they just bug you a little? Hate, after all, is defined as "an intense loathing for someone or something" and very few people in this world have done anything to deserve that. By hating, you are already making a mountain out of a molehill.

But what do you do? You don't have to be caught in the trap of seething quietly with rage (which will eventually explode) or acting out and getting into real trouble. Here are several ways to deal with those people you just don't like. Remember, we can't change others, only ourselves. And by changing how we view these people, we can overcome our feelings and become stronger.

Don't Obsess Over Their Comments

If you water and tend to a garden, it will flourish…even if that garden is filled with the weeds of hate and resentment. But these seeds of doubt that people plant in your head never have to take root. Don't give an annoying person any of your time and mind space, and remember the words of Esther Lederer, one of America's greatest advice columnists; "Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head."

Don't Play Their Game

Is this person a one-upper? Are they constantly trying to make themselves out to be better than you? You know they type — they'll tell you they ran 10 miles before the sun rose, got a new job as a designer, got engaged to a model, and just bought a new yacht. Some of this may be true, most will be exaggerated or just a complete lie.

You can feel irked, or you can brush it off. Just say, "Oh, cool!" and walk away. Don't engage in it. You will never beat a one-upper at his or her own game, but if you refuse to play, they're forced to move to another person who will.

Stop Creating Stories of Your Own

"She's trying to get attention from the boss, and that's annoying."

"He thinks I'm stupid, and that's why he's talking down to me."

"They are moving slowly because they have no respect for my time!"

That person you "hate" may be a victim of your own interpretation. They're not doing anything to be malicious, or hurtful, or snide. They are just living their life, and you are inventing stories around their behavior. Step back, and do a paradigm shift. Are they being a mean person, or are you interpreting their actions as mean? Sometimes, it really is a big misunderstanding.

Understand Yourself

Sometimes that rude person is…YOU! Maybe not today, but there have been times that you were not aware of your rudeness, but others were.

Dr. Phil has a saying he uses often, and I'm paraphrasing here — "There's something about that good ol' boy that I really don't like about myself." This is true the world over. Sometimes, that flaw you dislike in someone is actually your own flaw. Are you being overly sensitive about it because it's something you do? Think about that the next time you want to jump on someone.

Walk Away

If you see this person regularly, but it's not a family member, they will soon learn that their behavior will only result in you walking away. They can then decide whether they will address you carefully next time, or they will find another person from which to get their needs met and still maintain their awful attitude.

Lower Your Standards

Then lower them a bit more.

It might sound like something you don't want to do, but it lends a lot to your own experience. Instead of perpetual disappointment, how about being surprised at the wonderful things that happen throughout your day.

Add the Words, "In My Opinion…" to the Things Stupid People Say

If he or she says, "That won't work!" you should consciously hear, "In my opinion, that won't work." Boom, with one phrase you have diffused the entire enraging comment. Now, it's just an opinion. And opinions are not right or wrong. In turn, how on Earth can you get angry with a statement of opinion versus an incorrect statement of fact? It's much easier to brush off.

Tell Them Where You Stand

It's not always easy to tell the truth, but it will save your sanity in the long run. Some people don't know their behavior is annoying until you tell them, so if they barge into your office and want to talk forever, let them know from the get-go how many minutes you can spare. That way you are listening, but don't feel enraged that they are eating up your time, wondering how long this will drag on. Once again, it's toxic for you to quietly rage at their behavior. Get it all out on the table.

Watch How Other People Deal With Them

That person you dislike may have a really good way of getting under your skin. But other people, they don't seem to affect at all. How are they dealing with them? Do they experience the same level of annoyance that you do? Are they even laughing with this person? Take them to one side and ask, tactfully, how they get along with this person. They may give you a new perspective on their personality, or give you a few tips for rising above the fray.

It's Nothing Personal

Most annoying people are like that with everyone. They are just stupid, rude, or mean to everyone. When they are saying rude comments to you, or even about you, it's easy to get upset, but step back and look at the bigger picture. Is this how they talk to everyone? Are you really being singled out? When you realize that it's just who they are, and you're in the same boat with everyone else, it's much easier to brush it off.

Look for the Humor in the Situation

When all else fails, because you need to respect your relatives and keep your job, find the humor in their annoying behavior and take mental notes for you to tell your friends later. As that person you hate is giving you all this grief, they're also giving you enough material to write a book, or at least give your family and friends a laugh. They may even catch you smiling as they're talking to you, and wonder why you're so pleased.

Remember, the people in your life that you "hate" are just people. They are flawed. They are annoying. But aren't we all sometimes? By simply changing the way you deal with them, and their comments, they don't ever have to get under your skin again.

How do you deal with people you just can't stand? Please share in comments!

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