Everybody has some people they just do not get on with.
It almost doesn’t even matter why we don’t like them, but how we express this does.
Are we able to heal rifts as they happen and part amicably, or do we carry resentments with us?
First I should note that these tips are for annoying people you keep running into:
Be it work colleagues, family or friends of friends. Definitely not abusive people!
Some of us have the same friend group over decades, others shed friends as they go on.
It’s easier to maintain longterm relationships if we see our family model these in our childhood.
As an adult, I find myself repeating the same patterns I observed as a child.
(Even if it’s hard to admit in the midst of it)
My parents changed best friends every few months.
And every few months, there would be a big fallout over feeling disrespected.
It seemed petty as an outsider, but now I feel the same rage and betrayal they talked of.
However I learned that my hurt feelings aren’t a response to someone else’s behaviour.
1. My hurt was a reaction to me not being able to enforce healthy boundaries.
I had expectations for others and resented them for not living up to them.
(some of them even very reasonable, but trying to control others never works out)
But if I keep cutting people out who push me, I will forever live in a bubble.
2. My buttons were easily triggered when I saw my own failings in others.
I always say that we are what we think of others.
Write out a list of what annoys you most about your frenemies, and analyse those qualities.
Are these things you are insecure about, see in yourself or have been told before?
More often than not I find myself more tolerant if I don’t worry about being seen as annoying in the same ways that I am blaming others for.
As if getting angry at others secures me not being like them!
My self-doubt tricks me and expresses itself as anger towards others.
And if that’s true, if the extent of our anger depends on our own character defects, do these people deserve our anger at all?
It takes humility and honesty to reflect on why we react so strongly to others:
I see red when people chew loudly or gossip – but that’s because I worry about being seen as unprofessional/disgusting or being too nosy.
3. They may need you more than you think
I was told this today when complaining to my mentor about a fellow colleague.
But I’m not a charity or a doormat! I exclaimed. You don’t have to be, they said.
If we keep things concise and don’t fool anyone that we’re friends, a little interaction might go a long way. If we shun them, chances are they are being shunned by others.
Keep in mind, this is for slightly annoying people, not highly toxic ones.
This approach can be re-evaluated, but you will be surprised at the feedback you get with time.
People who are dealing with personal issues, addiction, financial or health problems;
they might let it out on others and suffer quietly, but remember your kindness fondly.