How To Deal With People You Don’t Like 

How To Deal With People You Don’t Like 

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Unless you’re a genetic outlier, you’re bound to meet someone you don’t like at some point in your life. You’re certain to meet someone you don’t get along with, whether it’s your mother-in-law or one of your coworkers. 

It helps to remember that nobody is flawless, according to Deep Patel, author of A Paperboy’s Fable: The 11 Principles of Success. You are among them. 

Patel shares four techniques successful people use to deal with people they don’t get along with in a blog post for Entrepreneur.com. After all, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to avoid working with individuals you don’t like – in fact, Patel claims that limiting who you can work with will only limit you. 

Rather than burying your head in the sand, try shifting your perspective like successful individuals do. Here are some suggestions.

1. Accept that you can’t get on with everyone

We all hope to like everyone we meet, but that isn’t always the case. The first step in coping with people you don’t get along with, according to Patel, is to understand that no one gets along with everyone. It doesn’t make you a bad person, and it doesn’t make them one (not necessarily, anyway.) 

According to a blog post on Psychology Today by psychologist Dr. Susan Krauss, you and the person are probably not a good match. In another blog post on Psychology Today, consultant and author Beverly D. Flaxington describes how our behavioural types can cause conflict. Some are assertive, while others are reserved. Some people consider themselves “realists,” while others are optimists.

2. Try and put a positive spin on what they are saying

You may look at how people are acting differently, according to Krauss. Your in-laws may not have meant to imply that you aren’t intelligent, and your coworker may not be attempting to undermine you. 

Even if the individual who is bothering you is doing so on purpose, getting furious about it will most likely make you appear awful. So attempt to see things from their perspective.

3. Express your feelings calmly and consider using a referee

In most cases, how we communicate is more essential than what we say. If someone is bothering you on a regular basis and it’s causing you problems, Patel believes it’s time to speak out. 

However, conflict does not have to be hostile. Patel suggests using “I” phrases like “I’m annoyed when you do this, therefore could you kindly do this instead?” Being as descriptive as possible will increase the likelihood that the recipient will understand what you’re saying. It will also allow them to express their side of the story more effectively.

According to Krauss, using another individual as a mediator in these debates might be a good idea because they can offer impartiality to the situation. You may not become friends, but you may discover a method to connect and collaborate effectively. She claims that learning to deal with people who are tough to work with is a rewarding experience that may be used to demonstrate your ability to overcome obstacles.

4. Pick your battles

It’s sometimes just easier to let things go. There are some things that are not worth your time and attention. You must decide whether you truly want to engage with the person or whether your time would be better spent going on with your work or whatever else you’re doing. 

The easiest approach to figure this out, according to Patel, is to consider whether the problem is situational. Will it pass in time, or will it worsen? If it’s the latter, it could be worth putting some effort into figuring it out sooner rather than later. You’ll probably get over it quickly if it’s merely a matter of circumstance.


Opinions expressed by San Francisco Post contributors are their own.

Liam Sanderford

Liam is currently taking his master’s degree in Information Science. He’s an avid supporter of LGBTQIA+ rights and access to information and free education for the marginalized sectors.

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