Have you ever had those feelings? You know the ones where certain people just grate on your last nerve and no matter what you do it’s never enough? I think most of us can relate. I love being around people as a whole but there are those times where the tranquility of being alone is not only therapeutic, but can really give me sense of energy; as opposed to being drained by those who have nothing better to do than to create all kinds of drama and negativity.
I will give you prime examples. I work with the public. In my job we constantly tell people the rules of the facility. Without fail, we have folks who not only don’t adhere to the rules but they love to break them and then taunt us (me and the site manager) on the fact they had the audacity to wreak havoc on the property. We do our best if we catch them to make sure there are penalties in place but every once in a while, some of them get away from all kinds of antics and it really irritates me.
Then there are other scenarios. Case number two. I’ve been doing my church’s social media sites for almost five years now. Most of the time the negative comments didn’t bother me but here lately they are grating on my last nerve. I have handled their sites for free. I do it out of love because I do love the church but I really hate the people who call themselves a Christian and have nothing better to do than to belittle someone because they think it makes them sound good. Ugh! Those are the types of people I have very little to no patience for. I also have very little patience for those in the church who are in leadership roles and act more like a puppy dog than a true leader. As my dad used to say, there are those who sit on the toilet and stew and others who will “shit or get off the pot”. And if you knew my dad, you’d know that he was a pastor and had the patience of Job. That didn’t mean he didn’t call it like he saw it. I really miss him. He was one person I adored.
Then we have other scenarios, like when we’re at work and some of our co-workers that work in other departments or stores are doing any and everything to stab you in the back. Yeah. You know the ones. You think you can confide in them and they turn around and use that information to screw you over. Let’s not forget about when your identity gets stolen or your credit card information gets hacked. People can really be jerks.
With these types of scenarios, it’s understandable why I get so frustrated with folks. I know I’m not alone. My friends and I often will joke about how we hate people. I know not all people are bad and that every single one of us has quirks but it’s the way we treat one another. I can get really snippy without even realizing it and I truly am working on that quirk. In my defense, it’s usually one where someone nitpicks what I’ve been doing and doesn’t even think about the fact that I’m doing things on a volunteer basis and working with what I have. All they see is what they want to see and usually can’t resist a quip or two. I’ve been guilty of this myself and in that respect if you dish it out you should be able to take it but that doesn’t make the pill any less easier to swallow sometimes.
So after my anxiety level shot way up, I made a decision to take a break away and try to regroup. I stepped away from the toxic people who had pushed me to that level and pretty much am learning to say that it’s their issue if they don’t like something. I will correct what needs to be corrected but I won’t let anyone make me feel smaller than an ant. I’ve done that too much in my life. I went looking for some self help techniques that help people get over the anxiety or at least be able to deal with it better. There are some people that even God himself will never please. Just know that you don’t have to let it affect you. Pull up that cup of coffee. Here’s some of the best hacks I learned.
Listen. This is one that I really try to do and sometimes do great with and other times it’s a true test of my ability. I know that we aren’t supposed to talk when others are speaking and that we need to listen but sometimes there are those folks who will needle you so much that you just want to say hold on. Calm down. Let’s start over. Yeah. Those are the ones that I need some yoga for. Listening is a key element. They say it’s easy to listen but it’s actually a skill. It’s really one a lot of us could use a little help with. A lot really depends on the distractions that we are dealing with.
Stay Calm. This is so much easier said than done sometimes. Outside, it’s really important that people don’t see your anxiety level rise because the old phrase that “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar” is a lot truer than we all like to admit. Staying calm on the outside is a perception but if you don’t allow your insides to get all knotted up, then you have more control over your attitude. Just because someone is trying to get you all out of whack doesn’t mean that you have to fall into their trap. You just have to be a little smarter. You have to stay in control and stay focused.
Whatever you do, avoid using phrases like “I understand”. This can rile up the other party really quick. You can rephrase what they are saying and empathize but it can come across as condescending. I used to have a friend who she was always looking for a verbal fight. Every little thing you said she twisted. If I used a phrase like “I understand”, she would throw it back in my face in a defensive tone. Wow. I could literally say nothing right. Then she would go back and complain to any and everyone how I was always wrong. I am the first to admit my flaws but I’m not going to be accused of something that I didn’t do and I am really not willing to be used as a verbal or physical punching bag.
Please don’t smile when somone is angry. This makes you look condescending and arrogant or smug. God knows I’ve had this happen a lot, especially with sales people. If I find hair in the food, please don’t smile like you enjoyed watching someone find nasty hair in food, especially when the hair is obvious it doesn’t belong to the person eating. Or if it’s obvious someone stole your money, please don’t smile like you’re the one who stole it. It really leaves a bad taste in the other person’s mouth.
Be Genuine. A genuine apology or attempt to fix things can go a long way. I know it does for me. If someone is willing to take the time to help me, I feel much better about what’s going on around me. If someone is blowing me off and I’ve got an issue that needs to be addressed, my stress level increases and my temper gets tested. When we work together, things go a lot further. People can spot fakeness a mile away. If the world you deal with is completely fake, then maybe you need to get a taste of reality. It’s good to stay humble. You never know when the humility will get tested.
These are just a few ways to deal with people that you don’t like. And it’s not that you don’t really like them it’s just you don’t like the way that they treat others. I don’t think I’m asking too much for all of us to be a little nicer to each other and if a problem with something arises, then let’s try to figure out the solutions together. I’ve always heard that the best way to solve a problem is to work as a team to figure it out. Now, if only people who think the world revolves around them could learn what the phrase team really meant, then maybe, just maybe, people might not make us not like them. We might actually learn that we have more in common than we thought.