How to Get Along with People You Can’t Stand in 5 Easy Steps

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You try to avoid them, but they seem to be everywhere. Those few people you can’t stand, look like a curse you cannot get rid of. No matter how much you would like to, you cannot confront them and start a fight. What do you do? Here are the steps you should follow.

5 Steps to Get Along with People You Cannot Stand

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1. Get to Know Them

If you find out a little more about them, you may understand why they are so difficult to put up with and find it in your heart to accept them. I have an impossible neighbor. Ever since we moved into the building, they complained about everything we did.

They never answered when we said “hi,” and they always looked at us as if they were planning to kill us. One day, we asked one of the neighbors we were closer to why they were so mean. That person blamed it on their nature, but, during the conversation, we found out more than we wanted to know.

Their youngest daughter had died, leaving a son they were struggling to support through college by sacrificing their own needs. Their eldest daughter was battling cancer. After the death of his daughter, he had developed diabetes, which eventually cost him his leg.

Upon hearing all these, our perspective changed and we developed a sense of appreciation, respect, and sympathy we had never thought we could feel for those neighbors.

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There is no telling what story the people you can’t stand hide. Find it out before judging them.

2. Take a Look at Yourself and Find Matching Flaws

The fact that you can’t stand those people suggests you’ve been focusing on their flaws for too long. Perhaps it is time to see your own limitations. Therefore, once you’ve established what bothers you about them the most, look for similar flaws in yourself.

Are you really without sin and entitled to cast the first stone? Think again! I bet quite a few people out there would disagree. Perhaps you talk too much or are too judgmental.

Perhaps you’re overconfident or, on the contrary, you lack self-confidence. As an example of imperfection yourself, it seems only fair that you avoid criticizing those around you for being imperfect.

Once you acknowledge your own flaws, accepting those of the people around you should be easier.

No one is perfect, so, instead of looking for perfection, why not learn to see beyond those small imperfections? It will take time and getting used to, but it will save you quite a few episodes of contempt and negative feelings.

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3. Stop Trying to Change the People You Don’t Like and Don’t Take Things Personally

As long as you try to change people, you will always be disappointed. You won’t succeed in changing them, and every failed attempt will make you despise them even more. Then again, it’s not your right or job to replace them. You can, however, accept them for who they are. If you do that, you will at least know what to expect and adjust your expectations.

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Whatever you do, don’t take their actions as a statement of war, something they do to get you upset or teach you a lesson. You are not the center of the universe, and the world does not revolve around you. If they act in a specific manner, it has nothing to do with you, but rather with their lack of education and character flaws.

Just like you were not aware of your flaws, they are not conscious of theirs. If anything, you should feel sorry for them, for the fact that they are so annoying and they have no idea of it. They could be wondering why no one can stand them, without receiving any answers.

4. Keep Your Distance, both in Real Life and on Social Media

Getting too close and too friendly with people you cannot stand is never a good idea. You may succeed for a while, but it will eventually backfire. Instead of playing with friends and get into a fight that cannot end well, it is better to keep your distance.

Saying “hi” at the elevator or when you run into one another or answering a question will not kill you. If the person you cannot stand aims for more, you can always find an excuse and politely avoid unnecessary complications. Always, blame it on yourself, on your lack of time and poor organization skills.

As for social media, rejecting a friendship request may not be a good idea, but neither is exchanging photo comments or getting into sensitive discussions and starting serious debates. Be polite and distant, adjust your privacy settings, and ignore the posts you don’t like.

Remember that 75% of users lie on social media. You surely have better things to do with your time and energy than waste them on lies and exaggerations.

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5. Avoid Confrontations or Handle Them with Diplomacy

As mentioned above, you cannot change people, so confronting them about their flaws won’t help. It is better to avoid confrontations altogether and blame your attitude on your own issues, rather than on theirs. The old “it’s not you, it’s me” line will always hold, even when they confront you about your attitude.

Instead of throwing the things you don’t like in their face, make them an issue of personal perception. There is that one small thing that bothers you about them, and although you realize it’s small and insignificant, you can’t help it. The problem is yours for not being able to appreciate them at their true value, but who knows, they may be willing to help.

If they take your opinion the hard way, don’t hesitate to apologize and assure them that it’s just your opinion, you didn’t mean to upset them, and you’ll avoid getting in their way again. You wouldn’t be lying, and the trouble of apologizing without really meaning it would be worth it – you would get rid of them for good.

Have you tried the five steps above? Did they work? Is there anything you would like to add? Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and suggestions in a comment below and, why not, share this post with your connections. It may come in handy!

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Mihaela is a sociologist, an English – Romanian translator, the proud mother of two joyful girls and the happy wife of her soul mate. She turned writing into a career in 2010 and has never looked back. She spends her leisure time by cooking healthy foods, reading princess stories, watching movies, playing games in the park, or walking along the Danube.