Prompted by me recently losing my shit with a notorious bully, this year I am resolute in my effort to learn to deal with difficult people differently than I have in the past. Evidently, however I had been dealing with this person over time was no longer working and I had simply had enough. It wasn’t the one thing that set me off, it was the last thing!
Throughout my career, I have been reasonably successful at dealing with people who have problematic personalities, but at whose expense (rhetorical question) my own…and realized that giving myself permission to admit that I actually dislike someone, rather than turning myself inside out and rationalizing their bad behavior away, was oddly liberating. Evidently, I am not alone!
In his article, It’s OK to Dislike People, Dr. Aziz Gazipura shares, “Personally, I spent years of my life in a cage of niceness, driving myself crazy with intense feelings of guilt for this very reason. Every time I would have a negative feeling or judgmental thought about someone, I’d beat myself up and criticize myself for being a horrible person. I’d remind myself of all the things I should be: more compassionate, more loving, more forgiving.”
Can you relate? I know I certainly can and was heartened to read, “FACT: Disliking someone does not make you a bad person. Instead of trying to stuff it down and keep it hidden, my suggestion is to cut yourself some slack and give yourself permission to like who you like—and dislike who you don’t.
Amen, Dr. Aziz! I am so there!
Author Lindsay Dodgson tells us in 8 Ways to Deal with People That You Don't Like, "Unless you're a genetic anomaly, it's likely you will meet people you don't like throughout your lifetime. Instead of burying your head in the sand, try and shift your perspective in the ways successful people do,” and offers these tips:
Accept that you can't get on with everyone.
Try and put a positive spin on what they are saying.
Be aware of your own emotions.
Don't take it personally and get some space.
Express your feelings calmly and consider using a referee.
Pick your battles.
Don't be defensive.
Ultimately, remember you are in control of your own happiness.
Dodgson’s article explores these tips in greater detail…well worth a read even if you don’t currently find yourself in this situation. You’ll be prepared when you do…and you will!
Personally, I am a big fan of #6, Pick your Battles. The longer I live the more I value how I spend my time, and regularly ask myself when faced with a confronting situation, “Is this the sword I want to fall on? Is this how I want to spend my time?” Because I can’t get these moments back!