In our day to day lives, we come face to face with plenty of different people and personalities. While in many cases, there isn’t enough time to actively get to know someone well enough to actively dislike them, there will be a few people who rub you up the wrong way.

This might be for many reasons as everyone has different levels of tolerance when it comes to different things. For example, some people expect peers and colleagues to have a similar level of intelligence and get easily frustrated when being asked questions or if a designated task needs to be further explained. Others have an expectation that everyone is interested in the same things they are and if they aren’t, this somehow puts them above the people around them.

Luckily, for the most part, many people have personalities that mesh well together, and people can make fast friends, developing alongside each other as they learn and grow. However, if there is someone in your life who makes you internally groan whenever you have to deal with them, this guide will hopefully show you how to look for the silver lining rather than focusing on the bad and making yourself feel worse.

What is it That You Dislike?

Can you identify what it is about that specific person that annoys you? If it’s something that’s out of their control, such as their physical appearance or their intelligence, this should be considered a personal issue that you need to change about yourself, especially if it’s affecting your ability to work or be around this person.

If you are being bothered by something that is within their control, such as personal hygiene, a personality trait or work ethic, it might be a conversation that is helpful to hold to get to the root of the issue. It’s not considered classy to gossip but bringing an issue like this to a manager when it affects your ability to work with the person in question is definitely something to consider.

Have a Mature Conversation

In an ideal world, you’d be able to approach the person who is causing you an issue and discuss the problem in a mature way. For instance, asking someone to shower more regularly isn’t unreasonable, especially during warmer months. Similarly, the chances are that you will have solid ground to ask a colleague to step up and apply themselves, especially if their poor work ethic is causing you to fall behind in your own work.

Misunderstandings Breed Distrust

The greatest source of distrust and conflict is often a misunderstanding or a reluctance to make yourself understand. Often, if you are being bothered by someone or something about an individual, the best course of action is trying to get to know them better. Understand them as a person and take the time to get to know their personality and individual traits.

Often, you’ll find that once you start to know a person, your tolerance greatly increases. For instance, you might find yourself smiling at an over-excited child that you know, compared to scowling at a stranger’s baby crying. You never know, there might be quite a lot that you can learn from the person and, in time, you could become good friends.

Be the Bigger Person

If there is no way you can tolerate this person and the thought of being around them sends you into a downward spiral, it’s time to practice distraction techniques and being the bigger person. For colleagues who are constantly picking at you for things, ask them to put it in writing and have it signed off by upper management or a supervisor. This way, a record can be kept of their discouraging behaviour and it should soon be noticed by the right people.

Should the person you don’t like play a large part in your out of work life, such as a family member or someone in a friend circle, it’s time to learn the ‘grey rock’ technique. Grey rocking simply means to be boring, to give nothing more than the essential information but never be impolite. Once you start being rude to a person over any reason at all, you will quickly lose the respect of those around you.

Work on Yourself

While we are not always the route of our own issues and sometimes there are justifiable reasons to be angry or annoyed, most of the time, it’s simply more effort to allow things to bother you. You would feel better and be a better person by learning to shrug things off and to take note of things so you don’t forget them but to quickly move on. When you hold on to anger and grudges, you do yourself an injustice and can even cause yourself further troubles in the way of physical or mental health problems. Teach yourself to let go, to forgive, but not necessarily to forget. Every interaction, even the negative ones, should be considered a good opportunity to learn.

Hopefully, this has offered you some insight to help you deal with people you dislike or struggle to be around. We’ve just got one last note to give and that’s to never forget – the best revenge is to live a successful, fulfilled life!


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