I have a good friend, a very good friend at that and I have always noticed one thing- how calm he can be even when I annoy the hell out of him. It hasn’t been once or twice (perks of friendship) and one day after upsetting him as usual, I threw a simple question at him.
“How do you do it? How do you stay calm and cheerful even in my blazing moments?”
He smiled and answered,
“I had to work on myself to know how to react to others.”
Then it dawned on me, I may have been annoying and rash to some other person out there, not necessarily at work. But what also struck me was his reaction. I not only had to work on myself but also how I react to others irrespective of their attitude towards me.
So much work I tell you, but for the best, trust me! Imagine how a person annoying you will feel once you have been able to handle the situation maturely.
Why this story, you ask? It’s common for us to meet and relate with very happy friendly people at work because honestly most times people are just relieved to see different faces every once in awhile I bet. Everyone knows that they are outside their homes and they are majorly nice, caring and willing to assist you in ways that they can. Frankly speaking, I most likely always upset only my close friends really. I doubt if I have ever upset a stranger or an acquaintance. I don’t know, maybe there is just something about having close friends, or maybe it’s just me, who knows!
But occasionally we may encounter an annoying person at work or someone who is just difficult to put up with and it’s understandable. Not everyone can drop some attitudes at home- plain funny or not! Quite honestly, he/she may not even be aware of the fact that that behavior or reaction is annoying, it’s probably a clinging attitude. Lol!
Bottom line- I had to learn, though, that if my friend could put up with my cranky attitude at such moments, then it means we can also have a better way to react to that annoying person at work if any.
My friend could choose to step away from the room, or possibly yell at me, and that could lead to an argument but I am yet to witness that. However, even if he were to do any of this, that will not work if you tried it at work because that “annoying” person at work will remain there. For example, you can’t storm out of the meeting room if someone at the meeting is annoying you. So, it’s imperative that you learn how to handle such situations.
I have learned a few things from my friend, read and practiced some others and I will share with you.
- Stay calm
I know how frustrating this may seem but it happens to be a better way to react in such situation. I recommend you probably count numbers in your mind, just to keep you calm and collected. Maybe smile if necessary, just try not to look silly if you choose to do so. You need to try to stay calm so that you don’t overreact and end up doing something you would eventually regret. Staying calm will buy you time to think of a better way to react to the “annoying” person depending on the circumstance.
- Evaluate the situation
You need to take the time to analyze and see if it’s about you or something you did, or if this person is just overreacting, or better put, a jerk! You just want to be sure that you didn’t do anything to upset him/ her. Is this a normal recurrent attitude of this individual? If it is, then you should most likely feel sad for this person, he/she doesn’t even know that he/she has a problem. Oh well, maybe you should find ways to help this person out of his/ her misery if you can at another date. There is no time for you to allow this person transfer negative energy to you.
Hopefully, they should get better and change soon enough.
- Is it getting to you?
If you realize that you feel hurt from whatever this person says or does to you, maybe you should really take the time to consider if you have a weak side that this person has become conscious of and try to find solutions to it. Doing this will help make you feel more confident and prevent any form of anger. Your health is way too important for you to build up so much anger in you. You should rather take out time to work on yourself to turn your weakness into a strength.
- Don’t get angry
At this point, this “annoying person” is talking or acting in some way that offends you. Take time to imagine you were him/her. What actions will you take that will incite him/ her or give him/her pleasure in annoying you? If you know the answer, make sure you don’t do it. If you don’t, it’s okay. You are really not a mind reader anyway. The whole essence of this is to avoid getting worked up and angry. So just relax. Getting angry will make you appear as the bad person. So act rationally.
- You are not a mind reader
I earlier mentioned that this annoying person may not even realize that he/she is being annoying. So don’t give yourself a reason why he/she is annoying you and don’t assume that he/she is doing so intentionally. If it gets out of hand you may need to speak up. This should most likely be your last resort. However, do so in a subtle manner, speak clearly and loud enough for him/her to hear, be respectful while doing so because he/she may not even be aware of how you feel.
Try to never entertain anyone who wants to argue irrationally. It is important to know that you have to deal with varying personalities in the workplace. This makes you appear more mature and means that you can work in a team. This is what every organization expects from its employees/ leaders.
As for my friend, I have learned a lot from him and just realizing this tiny detail has helped change my life in ways you cannot imagine. We often have to learn from our friends and then we act better at work. You may also need to read this article on 6 ways to help you work with a difficult person.
Did I leave anything out? Do you have a better way of reacting to an annoying person at work? Does anyone annoy you at work? Please share and let’s connect! Feel free to share this article, make comments and suggestions.
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