There’s one in every office, every family and every group you’ve ever been a part of. A person who makes your teeth itch and your blood boil. They seem to have the inside scoop on what pushes your buttons and how to get under your skin. So how do we deal with these people who frustrate us and make us impatient? Try these during your next work meeting, family reunion or carpool.
First, remember that simply tolerating crazy-making people will only make you more crazy. Here are some other options:
Remember, we all have different priorities
What you think is a priority isn’t necessarily everyone else’s. This little recognized fact has been the cause of many spousal disagreements and work resignations. Keep this fact in mind when it seems someone is resisting taking action that you believe is important. They might not be trying to drive you nuts; they might just have a different priority than yours.
Put yourself in their shoes
Sometimes, all that is necessary to take the sting of impatience out of a situation is a change of perspective. Understanding what is going on in the other person’s life can help you to shift your opinion. If they are dealing with major life events or have been under a great deal of stress lately, they probably aren’t themselves. Most likely, they aren’t thinking about the fact that they might be driving you nuts. Imagine yourself in their situation and see if you can offer them a little empathy.
Ask yourself why they bother you so much?
Could it be the person who drives you crazy mirrors a fault of your own that drives you to distraction? Are they always late and that holds everything up? Look at your own habits. How often are you late? How frequently do you keep people waiting or expect them to wait for you? You might actually be responding more to something you see as a character flaw in yourself, but can’t admit to.
Remember that everyone has their own natural rhythm
We don’t all march to the same drummer, and we don’t all have the same internal pace. Some people are just more laid back and have a slower rhythm, even when they are in a hurry. This can truly be frustrating, but keeping in mind that we all have a different pace can soothe your ruffled feathers. They aren’t trying to annoy you. They are just moving at the pace that feels right to them.
Focus on their positive qualities
It’s easy to focus on the little things that irritate us, but when we do, that’s all we are able to notice. When you start feeling yourself getting impatient with the person who makes you crazy, think about what you like or respect about them. This might help put those little irritations in perspective.
What if these suggestions don’t work?
If you try all these suggestions and you are still going crazy, you might consider having a meeting with the person who makes you crazy. Offering your own perspective and setting boundaries, if necessary, can go a long way towards calming your frustrations.
Remember, you can only control yourself and your reactions. You cannot control other people. Ultimately, it will be your decision whether to stay and work things out or to walk away.