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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. Be aware of your own emotions
It’s crucial to remember that your personal emotions count, but you’re the only one who can decide how you react to situations, according to Patel. People will only drive you insane if you give them the opportunity. So, don’t let your rage get out of hand.
Recognize your feelings and then let them go without dealing with the individual if they are bothering you. Sometimes simply smiling and nodding may suffice.
The answer, according to Patel, is to treat everyone with the same level of respect. That doesn’t imply you have to agree with or agree with everything a person says, but you should act civilized and polite. This allows you to remain solid on your issues while without coming across as personally assaulting someone, giving you the upper hand.
2. Don’t take it personally and get some space
A quarrel is almost often the result of a misunderstanding. If not, and you truly disagree with someone, then try to see things from their point of view.
Try not to overreact since they may do the same, escalating the situation rapidly and violently. Try to rise above it all by focusing on facts and ignoring how the other person is reacting, no matter how absurd or stupid it may seem. Patel advises focusing on the problem rather than the individual.
Take use of any available space. You have every right to set limits and select when and how you connect with others. Take a break and get some fresh air if you find yourself becoming worked up. In a LinkedIn post, President of TalentSmart Dr. Travis Bradberry puts it simply: would you sit there all afternoon inhaling second-hand smoke if they were smoking? No, you’d grab some fresh air and move away.
3. Don’t be defensive
Don’t bite if someone is continuously dismissing you or focusing on your weaknesses. Being defensive is the worst thing you can do. According to Patel, this will only increase their authority. Instead, focus your attention on them and begin probing questions, such as what their specific issue is with what you’re doing.
If they begin to bully you, confront them. If they want you to respect them, they must first earn it by being civil to you. In a blog piece for Psychology Today, Dr. Berit Brogaard, a neuroscientist, outlines how workplace gossip and bullying can be used as a form of power play or to force others into submission.
There are psychological methods you can use to get someone to agree with you if you want to be sly. When arguing with someone, research suggests speaking faster so they have less time to digest what you’re saying. Slow down if you think they might agree with you. This will give them time to process your message.
4. Ultimately, remember you are in control of your own happiness
It can be tough to see the larger picture when someone is really getting on your nerves. You should never, however, allow others to limit your happiness or success.
If their statements are truly bothering you, think about why. Are you embarrassed about something at work, or are you worried about something? If this is the case, concentrate on it rather than listening to other people’s criticisms.
Stop comparing yourself to others because you are the only one who can manage your emotions. Instead, remind yourself of all your accomplishments, and don’t give someone power over you simply because they have a bad day.