In a perfect world, everyone we have to communicate with would be good, kind, smart, and generous. They would like our jokes and we would like theirs. We would be living in a perfect environment where nobody is ever upset, nobody is fighting and gossiping about others.
But, as you have already noticed, the world we live in is not perfect. Some people drive us crazy, and we are capable of infuriating others ourselves. We don’t like those, who are unkind to others, are short-tempered, spread rumours, stick their noses into things that are not their concern, or simply do not get out jokes, but expect us to laugh at theirs. You have probably asked yourself the question whether is possible to be more objective regarding those, who constantly annoy us, or those we would not have lunch with for anything in the world, and how to be better people with everyone we meet.
Even in the perfect world, it would be unrealistic to have a team full only of people you would like to invite to a barbeque. Therefore, smart people usually have to communicate with people, they don’t particularly love. They are obligated to do it. Here is how they manage to handle it.
- They admit they can’t be liked by everybody
Sometimes you fall into a trap by thinking how good you are. You may think everybody you meet likes you, even when this is not necessarily the truth. However, you will inevitably come across difficult people, who stand against what you think. Smart people know that. They also admit that conflicts and disagreements are simply a result of differences in the moral values of people.
If somebody doesn’t like you, they aren’t necessarily a bad person. The reason for your not being accepted is the fact you two have different moral values and this creates tension. Only after you admit that not everybody will like you and you will not like absolutely everybody, you will succeed in not involving your emotions when evaluating a situation. This will help you reach an agreement with others.
- They manage to be tolerant with people they don’t necessarily love (not simply ignore or fire them)
Of course, you can try to accept somebody’s constant criticism, keep your tongue behind your teeth as an answer to stupid jokes, or not pay attention to somebody’s annoying presence, but there is nothing worse than keeping your frustration to yourself. Looking at what usually happens, trying too hard to get people’s approval causes more trouble than accepting the absence of that approval.
You need to surround yourself with people who have different points of view than you and are not afraid to argue. Usually, these are the kind of people who stop you from messing up. It is not easy, but you have to learn to tolerate them. Usually, they are the ones who provoke you, force you to gain a better understanding of things and help you lead the whole group to success. Remember – you also are not perfect, but people tolerate you.
- They are polite with people, they don’t necessarily love
Regardless of your feelings towards someone, people will judge you based on your behaviour and treat you the same way you treat them. If you are rude, the other person is most likely to lose their temper and become offensive in return.
The art of keeping your facial expressions under control is really important. You need to be able to show you think of the other person as a professional and treat them with respect. This will help you not fall on their level and be dragged into whatever they are doing.
- They try to lower their expectations
People usually have unrealistic expectations regarding others. We could expect, that in certain situations others would do exactly what we would do or say exactly what we would say, a.k.a what we would like to hear. But this is unrealistic. People’s characters usually determine how they react. Assuming others would act the same way you would, means you should be prepared for disappointment and frustration.
If a person always brings up the same reaction in you – change your expectations. This way you will be mentally prepared and their behaviour will no longer affect you. Smart people do this all the time. They are never affected by the behaviour of people they don’t like.
- They analyse themselves, not their opponent
Regardless of you feel, people cannot get under your skin by themselves. It is important to keep your personal feelings under control when you deal with somebody who is annoying you. Instead of thinking how annoying they are, focus on how you react to it. Most often, what we don’t like about other people is the same this we don’t like about ourselves. Besides, they are not the ones who create our buttons, they simply just push them.
Try to identify what sets you off. Thus, you will be capable to predict your reactions, weaken them or even change them. Remember, it is always easier to change your perception, attitude and behaviour, instead of forcing other people to change.
- They make a pause and take a deep breath
There are things that constantly frustrate you. Maybe it is a colleague who never sticks to deadlines or a guy that makes stupid jokes. Understand what sets you off and pushes your buttons. This way you can be prepared. If you can make a pause and take control over the adrenaline rush and then turn to the intelligent side of your brain, you will manage to negotiate better and state your arguments clearer. Taking a deep breath and a small step back will help you relax, distance yourself from the agitation and continue work with a clearer mind and an open heart.
- They state what they want out loud
If somebody is constantly annoying you, simply make them realize that you have a problem with how they act and communicate. Stay away from putting the blame on them, instead try to say ‘’When you …, it makes me feel…’’ For example ‘’When you interrupt me during a meeting, it makes me feel as if you don’t appreciate my work’’. After that make a pause and wait for their response.
It is possible to hear that the other person hadn’t understood you were not done speaking or that your colleague was so excited from their idea, they did not wait for you to finish.
- They keep distance.
If nothing else helps, smart people keep distance between themselves and those they don’t like. Apologize and continue your way. If this is a situation at work, move to another room or sit on the other end of the table during meetings. By being further away and having a broader perspective you will be capable to go back to discussions and interactions with those you don’t like and not be concerned about them.
Of course, everything would be much simpler if we could just forgive people who don’t like us. Sadly, all of us know this is something difficult.