Dealing with people you don’t like

I guess it’s a fact of life that you can find people you immediately click with and others who you feel a little less than lukewarm towards. Generally the cool thing about being an adult is that you can limit these lukewarm people out of your life, but sometimes that’s not so easy, like if you have to see them every day at uni. This is advice for dealing with general classmates and friends of friends you might encounter, however if you don’t get along with your tutor or lecturer, then we have a great post by CCA Ashleigh here.

So, how to communicate more effectively with unsavoury people… well, the good news is you don’t actually have to like people! But you do have to show some general politeness and respect, otherwise people will start to really not like you in return.

  • The easiest way to deal with difficult people is to start by asking yourself why they grate your nerves like parmesan cheese. Sometimes if you think through your tension with someone, you might realise if it is a real issue or not. Did they once try to destroy your happiness? Or if it’s just a passing dislike – did they wear sweatpants on a Monday? If it’s the latter then you can definitely learn to forgive, forget, and move on.
  • Can you talk to them about the problem? Communication techniques can be the key! If you dislike them because you feel they hate you for no good reason, then muster up the courage and ask them what’s going on. But at least have a backup of great comebacks if things don’t go well; better to say them in the moment than think of them three hours later! OR, if your goal is not to patch up and suddenly skip into the sunset, then at least acknowledge that you don’t like each other but will continue to be civil towards each other.
  • See if there’s a third party – maybe your problem with someone isn’t so much them in particular, but the fact they are chipping away at the special bond between you and your bestie. This can be frustrating and give a sense of deep betrayal if a long friendship is at threat. You may want to stake a claim and preserve your territory, or work out if this friend is erring towards the fairer weather.
  • If the person is, as the song goes, somebody that you used to know, then feel no qualms about simply ignoring them. They’re not your problem anymore. Unless you keep them as your problem, however many campuses are huge so there’s a good chance you can avoid them entirely if you go to different coffee shops, sitting areas or sit in a different part of the lecture hall. In this case, prevention really is better than a cure – why not try some NLP techniques?
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