How to Deal With Annoying People

staff writer
How to Deal With Annoying People

Dealing with all different kinds of people is a tricky skill, but one gets better with practice. People who need to work or deal with others in high-tension environments tend to be more stressed, but if they are socially adept, they learn how to deal with annoying people, adapt, and grow. The problem with annoying people is that, unlike difficult people or bullies, their annoying habits tend not to be a huge enough problem to make a big deal of. More often than not, it’s just a matter of a mannerism, a habit, or a mere personal dislike.

You can’t go to your manager to complain about a co-worker whose strident voice annoys you, even if it grates on your ears daily. You can’t quarrel with your spouse when your in-laws keep calling at dinnertime despite repeated reminders from both of you. You can’t yell at your neighbor’s school-aged children who keep shouting in their backyard when you’re trying to take a nap. Annoying people, you can either let them make you or break you.

There’s a difference between the obnoxiously difficult person, the intimidating bully, and the merely annoying. Don’t treat the latter like the other two; it’s unfair and it’s over-reacting. Maybe it will help you to cope by doing the following:

  1. Overlook. As much as you can, try to overlook the person’s annoying habits. Most of the time they can’t help it, they aren’t aware of it, or they don’t care how it affects you. Try to distance yourself as much as you can; limit your interaction with the person to the minimum that’s necessary to accomplish your job without being rude. You don’t have to be impolite even if the other person is. Ignore him or her if you can, deal quickly if you have to, and keep your distance. Try to understand the person’s shortcomings in the light of our common humanity and be compassionate and forgiving.

  2. Overcome. If the person is an otherwise decent human being, try your best to overcome your dislike of his or her annoying habits. Sometimes the rarest treasure is wrapped in the most ordinary package. You will miss seeing the beauty in people if you judge them by the cover. All of us have habits that may rub some people the wrong way, but most have redeeming traits that compensate for the annoyances. See beyond the surface to the heart and soul of the person. What you find may just surprise you.

  3. Overdo. If all else fails and you are stuck with an annoying person that you just can’t get along with or get rid of, be busy. Whenever he or she comes around, be buried in work, have no time for small talk, always have something lined up. If you must discuss business, get it done quickly and then move aside. Few people are so annoying that they can’t take a hint, but if they are, well, keep overdoing it. They’ll get it, eventually. Hopefully.

If the annoyance tends to get you stressed or depressed, keep your composure and sense of humor. Don’t stew. Get over it quickly, because nothing is more defeating than to let yourself be overwhelmed by petty, annoying people. Someone said that these people may have been put on this Earth to make you a better person. Whether you agree with that statement or not, it’s apparent that constantly getting provoked by annoying people will get you nowhere. The only way to grow and win over the situation is to know how to deal with annoying people, adjusting your attitude, and learning from the situation. You will be better for it.

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