Can't we all just get along? That worthy goal would be possible if we lived in a perfect world, but in the real world, disagreeable people are an unpleasant and often unavoidable part of life. Sometimes they are coworkers, classmates or even relatives. Address the situation calmly. Stay positive and don't let unpleasant people drag you down into their negativity.
1. Consider the Situation
Before you consider how to deal with disagreeable people, consider what it is about that person that rubbed you the wrong way in the first place, advises Bryce Christiansen at "Ragan's PR Daily." Is the annoying behavior a continuing problem, or did you make a judgment after a single unpleasant interaction with that person? Remember that we all have bad days once in a while. Being patient with a person who is going through a rough time is difficult, but important.
2. Keep Things in Perspective
According to The University of Arizona's Human Resources department, most difficult people present no serious problems other than simply being annoying and unpleasant. Don't take irritating behavior personally because it probably isn't directed specifically at you. Take a deep breath and take a moment to put the situation into proper perspective, then don't give the behavior of disagreeable people more importance than it deserves. Check your response, because overreacting often escalates the situation and makes matters worse.
3. Can We Talk?
The University of Kansas Counseling and Psychology Center notes that, in some cases, talking things out calmly may resolve issues and take some of the pain out of dealing with a disagreeable person. Ask the person if you can meet privately, then clarify the problem calmly without blaming or being defensive. Keep an open mind, listen to the other person's point of view, and consider whether your behavior might be part of the problem.
4. Escape Is Always an Option
Sometimes, the best way to deal with hopelessly disagreeable people is to simply walk away, recommend advisers at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. If you feel yourself getting annoyed or hot under the collar, it's best to detach and remove yourself from the situation. Pick your fights wisely and don't be drawn into a debate or a battle of wits because, usually, nobody benefits. If you need to release steam, vent to a trusted friend, but don't gossip.
- The University of Arizona: Working With Difficult People -- First Steps
- The University of Alabama at Birmingham: The Steps for Working With Difficult People
- Ragan's PR Daily: 12 Productive Ways to Deal With Difficult People
- The University of Kansas: Dealing With Difficult People and Difficult Situations
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