Any Tips for Dealing With People You Can’t Stand?

A friend writes:

In my job, I have to deal with a few people I really can’t stand. Most of my co-workers are fine, and they are good at their jobs. The people I can’t stand aren’t good at their jobs but they are good at ingratiating themselves with the top bosses. When I say I “can’t stand” them, I should explain that this feeling started out professionally. I got frustrated at how lazy and sloppy and stupid they are in their work. But then my feelings snowballed and now I can’t stand them personally either. But it’s not that big of a company and I have to deal with all of them all the time, especially in meetings. I would love to hit them in the faces with frying pans but I don’t think that is a good idea. Any useful and hopefully peaceful suggestions?

This note caught my attention because we have just begun working on a podcast about spite. I am eager to hear your suggestions.

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  1. Mike says:

    This is sort of like having lousy in-laws in that you just have to deal with it.
    I would find a coworker who shares your disdain and complain/commiserate with them. Keep your complaining confined to just this person and maybe limit it to specific times. If you can’t contain your disdain it will poison your entire work experience and if you bring it home you risk driving your friends and family crazy with your negativity.
    Finally, try to remember the pain of dealing with imbeciles is temporary.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 11
    • Bryan says:

      I beg to differ; under no circumstances should you ever share your feelings with another coworker. I can assure you, with a very high degree of certainty, whatever you confess to a coworker will be used against you. Period. I do not suggest that you merely “grin and bear it”. Do tell someone; perhaps a close friend who does not, nor ever plans to, work with you. Or in the same industry, for that matter.

      You do need to look on the bright side. No one is worthless; every body does have worth

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 6
  2. Myles Mayne says:

    The more we find to dislike in people the easier it becomes to dislike them and to justify our dislike of them. Not surprisingly these people will themselves be aware of your feelings towards them. The way the two of you act or respond to each other is likely to make the situation worse and in this you both unconsciously collude in adding fuel to the fires of dislike.

    The solution may be long in coming. It however stands no chance of materialising unless at least one person accepts that this is an unhealthy state of affairs and seeks to understand what is going on. Curiosity serves well to start looking at the situation and then understanding the obvious fact that it is easier to change yourself than it will ever be to change someone else.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 4
  3. Shar says:

    We must be kind publicly to those who deserve the frying pan because anyone who is an expert to sucking up to the boss is probably also an expert at highlighting the faults of others. Treat their laziness and sloppiness as a vehicle to have your ideas included where they dropped the ball. “We might want to address” and “We may want to add” would be appropriate ways to diplomatically fill in the holes in their work without seeming snarky. I can’t stand laziness myself so I am completely sympathetic. I wish you the best of luck. Vigorous exercise several times a week might be helpful in letting go of your stress, too.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 47 Thumb down 2
  4. Jeff Dalton says:

    I can completely empathize with your friends feelings. I believe we all have people in our lives that we have irrational feelings towards. Right now I have this with a person that on the surface would be considered a super great person. But, because this person has a very strict idology that differs from mine I can’t stand to be in the same room as this person.

    So what I have started doing is thinking one good thought about the person everytime I see them. If in a meeting with them I think of one good thought about every 15 minutes. I try to vary the good thought so I really put some effort into coming up with something.

    I do not recommend this for everyone, but so far for me it has helped a lot.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 7
  5. Marie says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    • jai says:

      I don’t know why this got such poor ratings because honestly it’s the bare TRUTH….it’s so easy to point out flaws or what we don’t like in others then it is too point out in ourselves….As people we often tend to subconsciously put others and there faults in the lime light to shadow our own….But once u realize your own and showcase them with actions of change or change in progress u gain and maintain control of the situation and the outcome…it’s just like when u tell someone u don’t like a person and u don’t even know them…well its more then likely because they are a mirror image of u…now on the contrary and I don’t say this to contradict my previous opinion but some people are just no good with no good attitudes, no good ways, and mean no good for u…my granny say those are the ones u gotta feed with a long handled spoon…and sometimes u gotta stir pot to get to the food stuff beneath surface…Just be cautious and handle with and don’t go digging and looking for something u already know the answer too or u not ready to find out…

      Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3
  6. SM says:

    Develop a sense if humor and laugh at them internally.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2
    • nobody.really says:

      But whatever you decide to do, do NOT give in to the temptation to hit them in the face with frying pans. You can scratch the non-stick surface, which will then start to flake off over time.

      Please learn from my experience. Look for more durable household items.

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  7. Rami says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  8. Dan S. says:

    From the Jesuits:

    A New Serenity Prayer
    by Jim Manney

    The basis of all true religion is believing that “There is a God and I’m not him.” That’s the spirit of this updating of the Serenity Prayer by Jim Martin, SJ.

    God, grant me the serenity
    to accept the people I cannot change,
    which is pretty much everyone,
    since I’m clearly not you, God.
    At least not the last time I checked.

    And while you’re at it, God,
    please give me the courage
    to change what I need to change about myself,
    which is frankly a lot, since, once again,
    I’m not you, which means I’m not perfect.
    It’s better for me to focus on changing myself
    than to worry about changing other people,
    who, as you’ll no doubt remember me saying,
    I can’t change anyway.

    Finally, give me the wisdom to just shut up
    whenever I think that I’m clearly smarter
    than everyone else in the room,
    that no one knows what they’re talking about except me,
    or that I alone have all the answers.

    Basically, God,
    grant me the wisdom
    to remember that I’m
    not you.


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