Have you ever run into a terrible, horrible, no good very bad person? Chances are you probably have, and most of the time, there’s an easy way to avoid them, but what about those times that you can’t? What about circumstances that force you to be side by side a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad person? Perhaps you’ve entered into a rental deal with someone who you thought was a nice person, but after the agreement was signed they turned into the roommate from hell. Or what if your company has to source a part from someone you can’t tolerate in the slightest, a person who seemingly dedicates their existence to making you miserable? When words and actions in no way solve the problem, what do you do?
When I’m faced with a problem like this I like to take a step back and think about it from different views so I can get a holistic view of the situation. My mind took its first view when I tried to come up with a name to call people that... you just can’t stand. If a terrible, horrible, no good very bad person sounds familiar to you then you might have read one of my favorite childhood books, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Ray Cruz.
In this book, Alexander has a horrible day (for a child anyway). He gets gum in his hair, doesn’t get a toy in his cereal while his brothers do, has a bad day at school, find out he was only a person’s third best friend, doesn’t have a dessert for lunch, has a cavity, doesn’t get to buy the shoes he wants, etc. Through all this he keeps repeating that he wants to move to Australia (as a means to get away from it all). Oftentimes this is our first instinct, flight. That person is bad, we need to get away from him at all costs. While this may work temporarily it’s just like Alex’s mother reminds him at the end of the book, that, some days are just bad, “Even in Australia”. Wherever you go, some people will just be bad. And running away isn’t something that will work to fix the situation because at some point, you’re going to run into those people again.
Now that you’ve realized that wherever we go there will always be some jerks around, you need to know how to deal with them. Of course there is always the option to complain about the person to your friends, and while that may gain you some attention and start some interesting conversations, it will also put you through some unnecessary mental strain. The stress of always having to interact with that person will tear you apart. Which is why you have to learn to not let it bother you. How? Well you have to find something that is right for you. Do you strike conversations up with the person to be polite? Maybe you should try cutting down on the politeness. Does that person constantly need your help? Provide less aid. Don’t let that person interfere with your life. Whenever something pisses you off, acknowledge that you’re upset, and then let it fall into the dust. Above all stay calm, but if all else fails I’ve always found that casually ignoring a person for a short period of time always helps me with my thought process.
But it isn’t realistic to think that you can ignore this person forever, especially if you work with them. This is where some analysis helps. Surely not everything that person does irritates you, get out a piece of paper and write down exactly what that grinds your gears. Add to the list why it bothers you and if there is anything you can do to avoid it. Maybe there are specific situations that draw out the irritation. Maybe you’re the one instigating the arguments! It’s a mistake to ignore your own behavior.
Have things calmed down a little? If so congrats. You’re a little bit tougher now and the next terrible, horrible, no good, very bad person isn’t going to bother you as much. If not, keep trying different things because remember, some people are just bad, even in Australia.