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To ask how you deal with difficult people in life?

(36 Posts)
awkwardas78 Sun 24-Jan-16 22:39:42

I just seem to find myself stewing quite a lot over the rudeness, selfishness, arrogance and thoughtlessness of certain people in my life. I'm not perfect by any means but I do at least try to be polite to people, think of their needs and not brag about every little thing that goes right for me. It frustrates me when other people get away with the most dreadful behaviour because others tolerate it or just don't seem to see it.

How are you supposed to deal with the people in your life who regularly annoy you or wind you up? There must be some way of letting it roll off you but I can't seem to do it!! Does anyone have a mental technique of switching off from it or something you say to yourself to stop it from bothering you?

breezydoesit Sun 24-Jan-16 22:42:59

VERY good question. I moan to my mum about them blush.

WonderingAspie Sun 24-Jan-16 22:43:33

I could have written your post. I am considerate, thoughtful and I'd always help someone if they needed it. I get crap all back from people tbh.

I have very little patience for people who don't treat me how I treat them, or who don't think of me how I think of them. I tend to let it stew and go around and around in my head, making me angry, then i'll likely cut them off if they are friends. Probably not the healthy approach and I'm watching the responses with interest.

I have no problem cutting dead weight from my life.

breezydoesit Sun 24-Jan-16 22:44:10

Btw in day to day life I ignore them and think to myself that I'm glad I've not got that attitude. smile

PoundingTheStreets Sun 24-Jan-16 23:15:07

In my personal life, I have made a point of cutting such people out of my life. Professionally I have a career that relies on dealing with unreasonable members of the public, so this is a technique I have honed. I have three approaches:
1. Never lower yourself to their level. Always remain polite and friendly where possible. It's surprising how often it defuses things, and where it doesn't it can have the added advantage of really annoying them. wink
2. Try to see life from their perspective. Most people have a back story. A reason why they behave the way they do. It's not an excuse for bad behaviour, but understanding people's behaviour goes a long way to reduce the anger you feel at being on the receiving end of it IMO.
3. Boundaries. Despite points 1 and 2, no one has the right to overstep a certain mark and if they do so it has to be made clear immediately that it won't be tolerated. You can do this politely and without drama, but you have to be able to stand your ground and back it up with consequences (even if that's as simple as refusing to engage with them any more).

Woollywendy Sun 24-Jan-16 23:49:40

One reason I've just joined mumsnet it that I've had an experience like this this weekend that has almost taken me over the edge. It's still going round and round in my head, and you are right, it is not healthy.

To make matters worse, I'll be made the social pariah because I've dared say something. The couple concerned contribute more funding than me, and apparently can't be upset, even though their behaviour is out of order.

I will carry on as always, helping out wherever I can, remaining polite, friendly and understanding. But in my head I keep trying to find that one elusive way make things fair. Doomed to failure.

(And no, I don't think I'm perfect or always right - I try to seek others opinions to balance my own view, and do at least try to apologise when I get it wrong!)

So I too could do with some better coping strategies!

Fatmomma99 Mon 25-Jan-16 00:36:50

I don't do this, but the people I most admire call it out. They say things like "that's rude".

I wish I could do this appropriately!!!!

I find I ALWAYS get it wrong. I get aggrieved, but then my issue spills out, and people focus on the "wrong"things (although they are things I have said, so it's my fault). I never get it right!!!!

I wish I did!

MaryRobinson Mon 25-Jan-16 00:58:10

I think PoundingTheStreets has it. Polite but firm.

Why can't you deal with the rudeness, selfishness and arrogance?
What would you like to say? Putting up boundaries can always be done politely so perhaps we can help you develop a form of words that you can practice.

One other thought struck me- is it possible that you are a begrudger and a curmudgeon? blush
Where you see bragging do others see sharing good news?
If more than one person regularly annoys you and winds you up then I think there is a possibility that the problem is with you. Can you give us some specific examples please.

Regardless of that, you can choose to ignore or you can choose to interpret things in the most positive way or you can choose to not let it upset you by thinking about the things that get to you and planning how you will react to them in future.

CainInThePunting Mon 25-Jan-16 01:19:20

I'm one of those who feel that you can't legislate for other people's behaviour.

All I can control is how I react to their behaviour and I do my best not to.

E.G. My brother fell out with my mother many years ago, since my mother's death my brother appears to be shifting his issues with my mother onto me. I can't be arsed trying to rationalise his behaviour or talk him out of it as he seems to be convinced I'm trying to manipulate him. It's entirely his problem and I refuse to deal with it or react to it. It does hurt though.

Katenka Mon 25-Jan-16 07:12:17

I am with cain. I can't control people, I can control me.

If they are rude I politely point it out. Bragging doesn't bother me. I like to hear things that have gone well for other people or if they are excited about something they have.

But if it's clearly meant to put you down then I distance myself and deal with those people as little as possible.

I don't allow myself to be pushed around by bossy people and if I am asked to do something that is difficult for me to do, I will say.

I am happy to help people where I can. But I realised I bent over backwards to help people out, often putting myself or my family last to help. It didn't get me anywhere and I ended up resenting it, so the good deed ended up not being.

awkwardas78 Mon 25-Jan-16 07:43:30

MaryRobinson yes I do sometimes wonder if I'm the problem but it's trying to pinpoint whether the problem is how I feel or whether I'm right to feel it but I just need a way not dwell on things.

I wouldn't say I was begrudging. I love hearing people's good news. I was thinking specifically about my bil. He is very loud and obnoxious and at our (frequent) family gatherings he goes on and on about himself and they're all hanging on his every word. No-one else gets a look in. I feel like I'm the only one who just hears a lot of hot air!

StrapOnDodo Mon 25-Jan-16 07:52:27

I am by far the least irritating person I know.

Everyone always laughs when I say that. I have no idea why grin

ZaZathecat Mon 25-Jan-16 08:02:33

I avoid people like that who wind me up. That is the main reason I don't have groups of friends - there's usually one I find unpleasant - so I tend to have lots of individual friends.

AlmaMartyr Mon 25-Jan-16 08:04:42

Along with others, I try to remember that I can't control other people but I can control my reactions.

I have found in the past though that whenever I've thought 'why else can't anyone see this person for what they are?' (only a couple of times and quite severe behaviour), I've found out later that everybody did. Sometimes, I think we are more considerate to unpleasant people (because we're scared of them?) hence 'hanging on every word'. That's just total speculation from my experiences though! It does sometimes help to remember that other people may be more annoyed than they are letting on though.

MaryRobinson Mon 25-Jan-16 08:28:10

OK , with BIL I would do a mixture of withering disinterest and knowing that every morning he has to face a horrible person in the mirror.

PitPatKitKat Mon 25-Jan-16 08:45:16

Agree with Pounding on how to handle it practically.

I also think when you can, anything from gradual distancing to outright total avoidance of repeat offenders is fine (depends on how bad they are).

It has also helped me to think like this:

Life itself isn't fair (polite, honest), but it is good to be a fair (polite, honest etc) person. Because this means that other fair people will be comfortable round you and over time your life will have greater number of those people in it than otherwise. And that's a good place to be. It's not a total guarantee you'll never encounter one of the fuckwits, but it is a better overall life strategy.

mintoil Mon 25-Jan-16 09:51:03

Great advice from pounding and I agree with zaza too.

I am currently experiencing some real difficulty with one of a large group of long standing friends. She is being really PA with me and it's so hard not to bite! I am resisting the temptation to rip into her, but her behaviour is designed to hurt me and so I feel by ignoring it I am allowing her to get away with it somewhat. Not sure if this all makes sense really. I know she is doing it because she is jealous of me, but that doesn't excuse her nastiness.

Sometimes it is easier to let things go than to deal with the fallout of confronting someone when they are part of a group and there will be consequences. In another group of friends, one has just fallen out with another and it looks permanent. I am stuck in the middle seeing both sides and it is most unpleasant.

I am going to adopt Zazas approach in future I think - it would make my life much simpler.

RhodaBull Mon 25-Jan-16 10:08:27

It's true what AlmaMartyr says - I think we are a little afraid of difficult people. They are often likely to upset the apple cart and ruin a day/evening out if you stand up to them. I had a terribly difficult relative and everyone bent over backwards to do exactly as they said or did the nodding dog thing, however unreasonable their views or behaviour. If you disagreed or called them on something - fireworks!

The problem is I now see it with my own dd. She will storm off at the slightest provocation, which then leads to us pussyfooting around her. I suppose most of us are reasonable people after a quiet life and that's why we act as "wimps" to keep the peace. It does allow others to get away with persistently bad behaviour, though.

gandalf456 Mon 25-Jan-16 10:31:02

I so could have started this thread. The trouble is that now it's really starting to get to me and sometimes I will go a bit OTT and handle things aggressively which is not good. If I put up with it, I feel shit and if I react to it the way I do, I also feel shit. I don't want to be seen as an ogre either.

There must to be a way to express that you are not pleased without causing a scene. I think it would be really helpful to have some really clever tips for dealing with it.

I too work with the public so I am a bit limited as to how to approach things. I suppose, in this instance, I can just moan to my colleagues and have a bit of a laugh about it because we're all in the same boat and I know it's not personal to me.

The worst bit is the random rudeness and digs you might get from friends because you are completely unprepared and you do wonder if it's you and if you were a different person, you would not get it. There are certain types where no one would dare, aren't there.

mintoil Mon 25-Jan-16 10:41:28

I have pretty good boundaries and I have cut people out when I feel they are too toxic to bear. It's when they are part of a group I find it difficult, as then you have to experience the fallout of the whole group.

Then there's the fear that people will take sides and you might lose people you really valued. This is why so many people tolerate abusive family members - they are afraid they will lose their whole family support.

It sounds like this is your position with your BIL OP? If he was just a friend of DH or something, would you find it easier to deal with him/cut him adrift?

MistressDeeCee Mon 25-Jan-16 10:42:01

I just don't have difficult, horrid people around me in my real life. I've no problem dropping them off my radar and that goes for family members and long time friends who seem to grow more cantankerous as the years go by and decide you're the one they're going to take their angst out on and make you feel like shit.

However I spent years putting up with horrid people because we were related or had known each other donkey's years. It makes you angry, anxious and leaves you brooding over nasty behaviour. One day I read something about not having negative people around in life, the effects on your mindset, and that was that.

Of course you can't avoid all negativity but it does make life so much better not having people around who make you feel bad and I wish Id done a clearout years ago.

pseudonymity Mon 25-Jan-16 10:49:03

Does anyone have friends on Facebook who post: I've done this, look at what I've done, get me - constantly. And THEN people rush in to say Wow, you're great, you're so amazing, you deserve it, get you.

There was even one post recently that said: I've been holding back on posting this, but now, because of barely related reason, I'm out and bragging again!

Accounts like this get muted by me now.

pseudonymity Mon 25-Jan-16 10:53:47

This thread has so many resonances for me. I have cut people out but, yes, it can be painful when it means leaving a whole group. Poundingthestreets advice above is spot on.

caitlinohara Mon 25-Jan-16 11:18:01

I don't use social media. This definitely helps me to not get annoyed with people constantly, since from looking at dh's FB sometimes, most people who are perfectly ordinary, nice people in RL come across like dickheads on FB. Day to day, I live in a small town, and frankly the social circle is so small round here that you HAVE to not sweat the small stuff.

gandalf456 Mon 25-Jan-16 15:27:31

I think Facebook is something one can control to a certain extent so I'm not too bothered about that.

Without wanting to derail too much, what would work for me personally would be to find some workable strategies. It's assertiveness, really, isn't it?

For example, a rude manager you don't want to confront for talking to you like sh1t because he's senior to you.

A friend who makes some sly comment about your parenting, appearance, job etc.

A client who speaks to you like sh1t but you don't want to say anything in case you end up in a disciplinary.

A family member who you have to see and you can't stand because they are always obnoxious.

I think part of it is seeing a value in yourself in that you don't deserve it. I actually don't think ignoring it is advisable most of the time because you just come away feeling like a mug. It's finding a happy medium where you don't rock the boat too much but let them know when they've gone too far.

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