How To Tolerate Annoying People + Stay Calm Around Them
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We live in a social world, that’s obvious. And even if you don’t like people in general, the ability for humans to communicate is a miracle that led us to the world we have, and one can say that our world is pretty advanced.
But, since there are so many of us, it’s pretty easy to bump into someone who is so different that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t find a reason to like him or her. Moreover, the things this person says or does may even start to annoy you.
There’s nothing wrong to be annoyed by other people – it’s practically impossible to like everyone, just as it’s impossible to be liked by everyone. And, well, let’s be honest – some people are simply jerks who don’t have a single grain of empathy and only care about themselves.
“Live and let live, don’t judge, take life as it comes and deal with it.” – someone once said. So let’s take a look at how you can deal with annoying people once they come into your life.
1. Don’t be afraid to be the silent one.
You might think that being silent means being weak, but in the case of annoying people, it’s usually one of the best ways to cope. Staying silent does not mean saying absolutely zero words, but instead – choosing to be in a more of a listener position.
If the person is annoying you, you can simply allow him or her to be the leading side of conversation as this allows that person to load off the excess energy, but also protects your own. You probably won’t find any agreement points anyway, so it is best to let it be the way it is and accept the fact that this person might not be the one you like, including the words he or her say.
2. Communicate without reacting.
If you let yourself to get into a reactive mode, you will probably get into a conflict. Now, there’s no reason to avoid conflict if someone is threatening you or is completely wrong about something that relates to you. It’s OK to stand up for yourself.
But if you feel like the person is just trying to annoy you on purpose, or if you simply disagree with what this person says, take a deep breath and try to not get reactive.
If you feel negative emotions rising (anger, resentment, annoyance or irritation), choose to not let those emotions in. Imagine them floating around, but not being a part of you. In other words – notice them, but try to separate from them and just let them be around.
Know that nothing and no one has an ability, or a right to disturb your inner peace. You have it, and it’s yours. You can always choose to simply observe the situation or other people, without getting entangled with what they say or do.
3. Do not fuel the fire with your body language.
Grins, rolling eyes and squinting may come out naturally when someone annoying is around, but, if noticed, they might spark an unnecessary conflict.
Don’t try to look protective too – crossed legs and arms show a sign of protectiveness and thus can send a subliminal message that you feel weak. Instead, try to keep a calm and relaxed body position and a calm face. This sends a sign that you are not getting reactive, therefore an annoying person does not get agitated or provocative.
4. Actively improve your ability to deal with negative people.
If you often have to deal with negative, annoying, manipulating or irritating person, I highly recommend you to broaden up your spectrum and read a few books to learn more subtle and effective ways to deal with them. Here are a few that can help you a lot:
Under It All
As you can see, the best way to deal with annoying people is by staying calm, not getting reactive, and not giving this person your energy by keeping a minimal conversation and a relaxed body language.
Try it once and you will notice that you always have a choice to not be influenced by other people.
By watching an annoying person, you might even notice subtle signs that show why this person is so annoying.
Maybe he or she is craving more attention because no one gave it to him or her in childhood.
Maybe there’s a subtle sign of low confidence, or a need to be right in every situation.
Maybe there’s strange neediness, or a case of racing thoughts that he or her needs to express, because they create restlessness.
None of this concerns you, but it can help you to look at the person from another point of view.
Think broadly and notice that you don’t really need to prove someone your opinion – some people are just unable to accept a different view. And that’s totally fine! You know you, and that’s enough. You don’t need other people to agree with you, nor do you need to agree with other people to know what is right for you.
If you find it hard to relax after being around an annoying person, mindfulness can be of great help. Here are a few of my tools that can help you with that: