How smart people deal with people they don't like - LifeHack (2023)

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In a perfect world, everyone we interact with would be kind, gentle, thoughtful, attentive, generous, and more. They would understand our jokes and we would understand theirs. We would all thrive in a convivial atmosphere where no one would ever get upset, upset, or maligned.

However, we don't live in a perfect world. Some people drive us crazy, and we (admittedly) drive some people crazy too. Those we don't like are reckless, hasty, vilify our character, question our motives, or don't understand our jokes - but they expect us to laugh at all of theirs.

You might be wondering if it's possible to be fair to someone who annoys you all the time or someone you'd rather not have lunch with. You might be wondering if you should learn to like everyone you meet.

According to Robert Sutton (Professor of Business Administration at Stanford University), it's neither possible nor ideal to create a team composed entirely of people you invite to a backyard barbecue.

That's why smart people get the best out of people they don't like. That's how they do it.

1. They accept that they won't like everyone.

Sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking we are good people. We think we're going to like everyone we interact with, even if we don't. It is inevitable that you will meet difficult people who will challenge your opinion. Smart people know this and also recognize that conflict or disagreement is the result of a difference in values.

The person you don't like is not inherently a bad person. The reason you don't get along is because you have different values ​​and those differences lead to judgments. Once you accept that not everyone will like you and that you won't like everyone because of different values, perception can take the emotion out of the situation. It might even lead to a better relationship by agreeing to disagree.

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2. They tolerate (don't ignore or dismiss) those they don't like.

Sure, you might cringe at his constant criticism, grit your teeth at his bad jokes, or shake your head at the way he hovers around you all the time, but feeling less than loving for someone might not be the case. the worst thing. "From a performance standpoint, liking the people you manage too much is a bigger problem than not liking them," says Sutton.

"You need people who have different points of view and aren't afraid to argue," adds Sutton. "They're the kind of people who stop the organization from doing stupid things." It may not be easy, but be patient with them. It is often those who challenge or provoke us, who inspire us to new insights and help lead the group to success. Remember, you're not perfect either, but people still put up with you.

3. They treat those they don't like with courtesy.

Whatever your feelings for someone, that person will be very in tune with your attitude and behavior and will likely return to you. If you are rude to them they will most likely lose all decency and be rude to you too. The burden of proof; So it's up to you to remain fair, impartial, and cool.

"It's important to maintain a diplomatic poker face. You need to be able to come across as professional and positive," says Ben Dattner, organizational psychologist and author ofThe Blame Game.That way, you won't stoop to their level or be tricked into behaving the way they do.

4. They examine their own expectations.

It is not uncommon for people to have unrealistic expectations of others. We may expect others to act exactly like us or say the things we would say in a given situation. However, this is unrealistic. "People have ingrained personality traits that will largely determine how they respond," says Alan A. Cavaiola, PhD (professor of psychology at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey). "Expecting others to do what you would do will leave you disappointed and frustrated."

If a person makes you feel exactly the same every time, adjust your expectations accordingly. This way you will be psychologically prepared and their behavior will not surprise you. Smart people do this all the time. You are not always surprised by the behavior of an unsympathetic person.

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5. You turn inward and focus on yourself.

No matter what you try, some people can still really piss us off. It's important that you learn to manage your frustration when dealing with someone who annoys you. Instead of thinking about how annoying this person is, focus on why you are reacting this way. What we don't like about others is often what we don't like about ourselves. Also, they didn't create the button, they just pressed it.

Locate triggers that may be complicating your feelings. You can then anticipate, mitigate or even change your response. Remember: it's easier to change your perception, attitude and behavior than asking someone to be a different kind of person.

6. You stop and take a deep breath.

Some personality traits can always put you off, says Kathleen Bartle (a California conflict counselor). Maybe it's the colleague who regularly misses appointments or the guy who tells the mean jokes. He takes a look at what drives him and who is pushing his buttons. That way, Bartle says, you can prepare for when it happens again.

In his opinion, "If you can stop and control your adrenaline pump and go to the intellectual part of your brain, you will be better able to talk and skip judgment." A deep breath and a big step back can also help to calm you down and protect you from overreacting, allowing you to move forward with a little more open mind and heart.

7. They voice their own needs.

If certain people constantly annoy you, feel free to let them know that their behavior or communication style is an issue for you. Avoid accusatory language and try the "If you . . . I feel . . ." Formula. For example, Cacaiola advises you to say to this person: "If you interrupt me in meetings, I have the impression that you do not appreciate my contributions."

You may find that the other person didn't realize you weren't done talking, or that your co-worker was so excited about your idea that she jumped into the conversation with enthusiasm.

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8. They leave space between them.

When all else fails, smart people put distance between themselves and those they don't like. Apologize and go on your way. When you're at work, move to another room or sit at the other end of the conference table. With some distance, perspective, and empathy, you can go back and interact with both the people you like and the people you don't like as if you weren't impressed.

Of course, everything would be easier if we could wish to push away people we don't like. Too bad we all know that life doesn't work that way.

Featured photo credits:sachman75 via

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