How Do You Deal With Someone With Whom You Don’t Get Along?

It has happened to all of us: you are stuck with someone with whom you don’t get along. Maybe seated across the table at a Thanksgiving dinner. Or someone dating your best friend. Or a member of a work team that your boss assigned. What can you do?

While it seems inevitable that there will be people with whom you don’t get along, it is also true that often you have no choice in the matter. For example, you can’t get someone fired from a job just because you have a personality clash.

Moreover, you shouldn’t. It is a good exercise in self control to work, or to be social, with someone different than you. Even if it is someone who gets under your skin.

Of course, that is easier said than done. While we have advanced brains and are justifiably proud of our reasoning and logic, we are still animals. If we encounter an irritant, our instinct is to brush it away. If something, or someone, is a problem, we might try to fix the problem, or distance ourselves from it.

But that is not always an option. In many cases, no one needs to be “fixed”. They are thoughtful, productive, useful people, who just aren’t a good fit for you.

So what can you do? When you inevitably encounter someone like this, what will happen? How can you make your interactions, if not enjoyable, at least tolerable? You can’t control how someone else behaves, but you can control how you react to it. What will your reaction be?

How do you deal with someone with whom you don’t get along?

Related questions: How can we become better listeners? What gives a person value? What is uncomfortable but rewarding? How can we encourage meaningful conversation?

1 thought on “How Do You Deal With Someone With Whom You Don’t Get Along?”

  1. When dealing with someone we don’t get along with, we have four choices. The first three are annoyance, avoidance, or acceptance.

    Too often, I take the road of annoyance. At times, it shows and reflects poorly on me. Avoidance is another option. I guess this is the second best choice if you have it. But often, we don’t have this luxury. In fact, in many cases, we serve ourselves well to cope with interactions, growing, and learning another perspective. So the best choice is to accept the person you don’t get along with as they are and move on from there. While you may be unable to change them, you can change your reaction. Be a better person.

    However, if you hope to change someone, the fourth and best route is to choose to be around them, ask questions, confidently project your way of thinking, and hope part of your way of thinking rubs off while trying to understand their views as well. I bring this up because we are a highly polarized society. Arguing with someone rarely results in the outcome we desire. But perhaps we can come together when we are together.

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