Do you have a person in your life that is driving you insane? Someone who constantly works on your nerves? Does the sound of their voice make you cringe? Yeah, me too. Unfortunately, dealing with annoying people is inevitable. While some of us accept them for who they are and move on with our lives, others remain irritated with how much and why we dislike them. That’s where I am. We can’t always just walk away so it’s important to learn how to deal with these people and situations. Here are some tips.
Most really annoying people have no idea that they are annoying. They will not understand your rudeness or anger in response to them.
- Get to know them. Try to spend some time getting to know them so you can understand exactly WHAT it is that gets on your nerves and maybe even WHY they do it.
- Avoid them and make necessary interactions brief. If you are going to them, have something you have to do next and let them know you can’t hang around. If they are coming to you, keep a spreadsheet or return call slip nearby and tell them you’ve got to get to it. Pick up the phone and pretend to be having a conversation. Or, if it’s an option for you, studies show that people are far less likely to stop and talk with someone wearing headphones.
- Block it out. When someone is really getting under our skin, we have a tendency to think about how annoying they are and wait for them to do the next annoying thing that will throw us over the edge. Just stop. Make a plan for how to deal with them and move on.
- Blame yourself. If you know that the next time they try to show you a stupid YouTube video it’s likely that something evil is going to rise from the fiery pits of hell and explode all over them, stop them in their tracks. Try saying, “I’m sorry but I’m really tired… crabby… stressed… can we do this later?”
- Don’t expect something different. You KNOW how they’re going to act, what they’re going to do / say. Be prepared for it.
- Stop following. If someone is driving you crazy on social media, stop letting them.
- Zone out. If you can’t remove yourself from the situation, try thinking about something else while they talk. Make a to-do list for when the meeting is over or, like me, imagine yourself spitting spitballs at them.
- Just tell them. Sometimes honesty is the best policy although obviously this is not ALWAYS an appropriate response. But, if you can, try: You’re really working my nerves. You’re overreacting. Why are you so angry all the time? Why do you have to talk so much during meetings? Why do you talk when other people are talking?
- Mirror mirror. If you can pull it off, this one can be really fun. Whatever the irritating behavior is, beat them to the punch. Go to their desk with stupid videos 10 times a day. Stand in their office and talk non-stop about how much your neighbor gets on your nerves. If it happens to be a sound, laugh, or facial expression that’s driving you crazy, copy it or come up with one of your own. Every time they do it, you do it.
- Let them win. Basically the opposite of #10, this works wonders on the one-upper. When they tell you they ran 10 miles this morning, lost 20 pounds over the weekend, shot a 400 pound, 20 point deer, say, “oh, cool” and walk away. They’ll stop.
Have a great “annoying” story? Have a tip to add to the list? Tell us in the comments! If you give one of these tips a shot, we’d love to hear about it!
As always, if we can help you communicate with your audience, online or in person, we’d love the opportunity to help strengthen your relationships. Yep, we’ll even deal with the annoying ones.
Marie Mallory, Communication and PR Specialist, Irons Media Group