In a perfect world, each person we interact with would be nice, kind, considerate, mindful, generous, and more. They would get our jokes and we would get theirs. We would all thrive in a convivial atmosphere where no one was ever cross, upset, or maligned.
However, we don’t live in a perfect world. Some people drive us crazy, and we (admittedly) drive a few mad as well. Those we dislike are inconsiderate, rushed, malign our character, question our motives, or just don’t get our jokes at all — but expect us to laugh at all theirs.
You might wonder whether it is possible to be fair to someone who ruffles you all the time, or someone you’d rather avoid eating lunch with. You might wonder if you should learn to like every person you meet.
That’s why smart people make the most out of people they don’t like. Here’s how to outsmart over smart people, an easy guide 😉 –
1. We accept that we are not going to like everyone-
Sometimes we get caught in the trap of thinking that we are nice people. We think that we are going to like everyone we interact with — even when that’s not going to happen. It’s inevitable you will encounter difficult people who oppose what you think. Smart people know this. They also recognize that conflicts or disagreements are a result of differences in values.
That person you don’t like is not intrinsically a bad human. The reason you don’t get along is because you have different values, and that difference creates judgment. Once you accept that not everyone will like you, and you won’t like everyone because of a difference in values, the realization can take the emotion out of the situation. That may even result in getting along better by agreeing to disagree.
2. We bear with (not ignore or dismiss) those whom we don’t like-
Sure, you may cringe at his constant criticism, grit your teeth at her lousy jokes, or shake your head at the way he hovers around her all the time, but feeling less than affectionate to someone might not be the worst thing. It may not be easy but bear with them. It is often those who challenge or provoke us that prompt us to new insights and help propel the group to success. Remember, you are not perfect either, yet people still tolerate you.
3. We treat those we don’t like with civility-
Whatever your feelings are for someone, that person will be highly attuned to your attitude and behavior, and will likely reflect it back to you. If you are rude to them, they will likely throw away all decorum and be rude to you too. Therefore, it is on you to remain fair, impartial and composed. This way you won’t stoop to their level or be sucked into acting the way they do.
4. We check our own expectations again and again-
It’s not uncommon for people to have unrealistic expectations about others. We may expect others to act exactly as we would, or say the things that we might say in a certain situation. Expecting others to do as you would do is setting yourself up for disappointment and frustration.
If a person causes you to feel exactly the same way every time, adjust your expectations appropriately. This way you’ll be psychologically prepared and their behavior will not catch you by surprise. Smart people do this all the time. They’re not always surprised by a dis-likable person’s behavior.
5. We turn inwards and focus on ourselves-
No matter what you try, some people can still really get under our skin (really disappointing when some of these people are your family members). It’s important that you learn how to handle your frustration when dealing with someone who annoys you. Instead of thinking about how irritating that person is, focus on why you are reacting the way you are. Sometimes what we don’t like in others is frequently what we don’t like about ourselves. Besides, they didn’t create the button, they’re only pushing it.
Remember: it’s easier to change your perceptions, attitude, and behavior than to ask someone to be a different kind of person.
6. Our voice, their own needs-
If certain people constantly tick you off, calmly let them know that their manner of behavior or communication style is a problem for you. Avoid accusatory language and instead try the “When you . . . I feel . . .” formula. For example, tell that person, “When you cut me off in meetings, I feel like you don’t value my contributions.” Then, take a moment and wait for their response.
You may find that the other person didn’t realize you weren’t finished speaking, or your colleague was so excited about your idea that she enthusiastically jumped into the conversation.
7. We should allow space between us-
If all else fails, smart people allow space between themselves and those they don’t like. Excuse yourself and go on your way. If at work, move to another room or sit at the other end of the conference table. With a bit of distance, perspective, and empathy, you may be able to come back and interact both with those people you like and those you don’t like as if unfazed.
Of course, everything would be easier if we could wish people we don’t like away. Too bad we all know that’s not how life works.
In the end, remember “If you ever start taking things too seriously, just remember that we are talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe.” ― Joe Rogan