3 Ways to Avoid Punching “That Guy” In The Throat This Week

Michael Scott on Toby.  Annoying CoworkersSome people just rub us the wrong way. It’s not necessarily that they’ve done anything that’s truly offended or upset you, but their general presence just get on your nerves.

Maybe they’re that person in the meeting that *always* makes it last longer than necessary because they just want to pontificate among colleagues. Don’t they see that no one is interested in getting philosophical right now? My God, it’s just a simple sales update meeting!

Maybe they’re the one who always has to bring up some hypothetical possibility that is so outside the realm of what likely or even possible that it just is never, ever going to happen. They’re right, if the internet was “turned off” tomorrow, we would lose cloud storage…*collective eye roll from the room*

Maybe they just suck the energy out of the room.

Whatever the reason, chances are you can’t just haul off and sock them the next time they say or do something that just ticks you off. What are you supposed to do when you just plain can’t stand someone you have to work with? Or worse, how the hell do you manage someone effectively and fairly when the mere thought of them makes you want to use the paper shredder in way that’s cautioned against by the manufacturer?

Research shows that when we start practicing behaviors (even if they’re inconsistent with how we feel), they start to impact our thinking and attitude. Here are three things you can try this week that might make them less detestable this week:

#1 – Start small: Give them a compliment. Try to make it genuine. I only have 1 cat and that can be a challenge to keep up with. It’s great that you’re able to maintain a happy home for all 6 of your felines!

#2 – Help them with something. It doesn’t have to be time consuming or require you to go out of your way. The person sits next to you? Next time you refill your stapler, offer to refill theirs while you have your stapler out.

#3 – Find 1 thing that makes them human. You might check out their social media profiles or, if you’re feeling a wave of patience, make small talk at the water cooler or next time you swing by their desk. Find it, focus on it, bring it up in conversation. Just because the voicemail message on their cell is entirely in Klingon, doesn’t mean there isn’t something, that you can relate to. So they’re into sci-fi or nonfiction… maybe they like Game of Thrones or Walking Dead… or maybe you can both talk about how awful the graphics were in Sharknado.

You don’t have to start hanging out on the weekends or invite them to join your fantasy football league, but taking small steps to be kind will humanize the person that drives you up the wall. Which means you won’t be annoyed by them so often. And that can’t be bad.

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