I don’t know about you but there are times I see people who I don’t particularly want to be around. This is due to social occasions where you have little control over who has been invited. So I thought seeing’s there are a lot of festivities upon us, now might be a good time to assess and address what we can do to politely ‘avoid’ these people!
Sometimes I find it all too emotionally stressful having to ‘hold back’ my thoughts, my opinions and be careful not to say the wrong thing because they have an issue, a bear bug or a bone to pick. Then there’s the example of when people take sides, jealousy is an issue or I find their arrogance and or ignorance just too much to deal with #icantbebothered
Here are 5 ways I politely deal with people I Can’t Stand, Don’t Like or You Can’t Get Along With
My secret weapon? It’s called my 5 5 5 rule! Where I’m either 5 seats away, 5 meters away or only around that person for 5 minutes. Here’s what I do!
1. When they enter a room always try and stay on the opposite side
This is an easy tactic to master if they don’t know you’re trying to avoid them. If, however, there has been past tension I’m less obvious by maintaining a 5 meter gap enabling me to maintain my distance between myself and them.
2. Avoid sitting near them at the table
If they are coming to my home, I would sit them 5 seats away from me. Otherwise, if I’m attending a dinner/lunch and the host has a seating plan I wait until I arrive. I then assess where we’ve both been seated and I politely ask the host if I can move further away if need be. If it’s a free for all seating occasion, then I wait until they have seated themselves before I take my place at the table so I can try to get my 5 seats away rule.
3. How to be polite without engaging
I’ve found complimenting someone straight away always defuses a situation when said in the right tone and I’m being genuine. Ask them where they bought the item they are wearing or who did their hair? Then I reiterate the compliment worded slightly different so I don’t sound like a parrot! Keeping the discussion short to no more than 5 minutes then I politely excuse myself to grab a drink or visit the ladies room which avoids any tension. Key words I use are ‘Please excuse me I need to (insert wording here) OR I’m sorry to cut this conversation short but I really need the bathroom’.
4. If they are in a group discussion I don’t enter into it
I’ve never been able to upset anyone by keeping a 5 meter distance and avoiding a group conversation. That being said if I’ve been asked to enter the conversation I say little, don’t make any eye contact with that person (unless they are speaking) then after 5 minutes I politely excuse myself to grab a drink or visit the ladies room which avoids any tension.
5. If they join your group discussion I politely leave
Again if I’m in a group and they enter after 5 minutes I’ll politely excuse myself out of the conversation, there’s always another drink to grab, food to be eaten or a bathroom break to be taken. If they are not causing me any stress I’ll stay for 10 minutes but if I feel the slightest bit annoyed, I’ll walk away.
So what does the ‘Big 3’ Stress Solutions Puzzle look like when it comes to Politely Dealing with people you can’t stand, don’t like or you can’t get along with
Over years’ tensions between people build up and there are two ways I deal with it depending on the time or place. Most of the time I will avoid them to reduce my emotional stress. I don’t like conflict so if I only have to see them a few times a year then (what I’ve learned the hard way) is avoidance can be the best way to handle it. Other times I’ll confront it head on but that’s a blog post for another day!
Also, I can’t be bothered ‘dealing with people’s opinions of me’ and ‘what they think they know about me and my life’. That’s their opinion, not mine so again avoidance is best. This helps reduce my emotional stress because I just ‘deal’ with the situation by avoidance so I still have a good time enjoying other people’s company.
Work colleagues, family members, friends of friends, partner’s friends it’s all the same people are people it’s just that simple. We are all unique in our own way and not everyone is meant to get along so don’t worry about seeing them it’s only for a short time #stressless or as they say in the relaxed and super friendly state of New Jersey #forgetaboutit
So when I practice my 5 seats away, 5 meters away or only around that person for 5 minutes, then I generally find it makes the social occasion more enjoyable for all.
Until next time be thoughtful, be mindful, be present. This is Character 32 doing her best to help you!