How to Get Along with People You Don’t Like

Invariably there will be times when you find someone in your inner circle who you just can’t seem to get on the same page with, you’re not crazy about, and just about everything they say or do just rubs you the wrong way. You might find yourself trying to figure out how to get along with people you don’t like.

First understanding that just as it takes a lot of ingredients to create a culinary delight it takes a lot of different kind of people to make the world go ’round. It is likely, while someone might appear to not be easy to get along with, keep in mind that we, like all those varying ingredients, have different flavors. While you might think that someone’s flavor doesn’t agree with you, someone else may also be thinking your flavor doesn’t agree with you (and they can’t stand you).

But when the Great Chef of life combines us all together, ooh la la, we can create the most tasty dish, and you might be surprised that someone you couldn’t think of blending well together, might work fabulously together in the right circumstance. Who knows when you might run into someone and protest, “You got chocolate in my peanut butter!” as they retort, “You got peanut butter in my chocolate!”

In general, we can simply avoid the people we’d rather not hang out with, but sometimes you just can’t and you’ve got to find a way to make it work. Keep in mind that it may be a good idea to see things through new eyes. While we all like being surrounded by likeminded people, it’s nice to hear from someone with a totally different perspective.

Remember that there are generally no good people or bad people, just different people all doing the best they can with what they have. Even so, there will be people with whom you are so diametrically opposed that you consider them toxic. There are ways to deal with a toxic person, but you can certainly work through a project with them, if you have to for the greater good (like at work, or on some other project). Just keep your emotions in check and keep your focus on the prize, the result of you making the best of working with this person to benefit or serve some higher purpose. Don’t let him or her get to you or push your buttons. And if they spout out something that gets you riled up, just smile an nod. There’s no need to get into a knock-down-drag-out confrontation while you are trying to do something good. Just let it go.

If you feel like a line has been crossed, don’t take offense to it or take it personally. Agree to disagree and keep moving, smile, and keep moving in a positive direction. Rather than protest, you might take a gentler approach by saying something like, “I never thought of it, like that. Let me think about it for a while, mull it over, and get back to you on it later.” (You might be surprised to find that there might be value, or even a hidden treasure, in considering something from a different perspective, which may trigger a personal growth spurt.)

If you feel your emotions rising and are thinking about engaging in a full-on heated debate, stop. Take a brief moment to pause and re-center yourself. There’s no need for you to lower yourself to his or her level to do battle.

Take the high road and ‘ere on the side of tolerance, and acceptance, that we’re all doing the best we can with what we have. You never know, if you’d lived the same life as that person, you might feel the same way. You might even find some heart space for empathy or understanding how it must be to feel that way about something.

If they continue to rub you the wrong way, you could calmly state your opinion and request that they refrain from bringing up a topic which you are quite sensitive about. No need to challenge their point of view, or assert yours. Avoid triggering a conflicting interaction or thought battle.

Dealing with a person you don’t get along with doesn’t need to drag you down or be a roadblock. Not to worry. You can get through this for the benefit of the big picture.

You got this.

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