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IzzyAndHerBeans's avatar

How do you act cordial to someone you dislike?

Asked by IzzyAndHerBeans (353 points ) April 30th, 2012

I consider myself to be a well-rounded woman with polite manners. However, I do not have the highest level of tolerance when it comes to people I simply cannot stand. I have one teacher, in particular, who is not my cup of tea. I find it hard to hold my composure around her and I’m looking for ways to contain my anger and move past the situation. Do you have any thoughts?

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23 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Well…maybe your dislike of her is based on your own denied traits that are similar but projected outside yourself.
What we usually dislike most in others are the same things we deny in ourselves. basic psychology. UNLESS, you have done a lot of personal growth work and are actually truly seeing others behaviors from a place of true clarity rather than your own repressed emotional state.

Bottom line, just do it! Be polite and move on without the need to make her wrong or bad for her stuff. We are all capable of behaving in less than stellar ways and more than likely there are those that dislike you too. Maybe the feeling is mutual and your teacher sees you as obnoxious and difficult too. ;-)

Blackberry's avatar

I don’t really have advice: I simply do it. Maybe you should speak to a therapist or something and learn how to control your emotions.

Charles's avatar

“I’m looking for ways to contain my anger and move past the situation. Do you have any thoughts?”

You can avoid her. At least that would buy you time until things mellow out perhaps.
You could confront her privately and sincerely. This could either work things out or create a confrontation.
You could essentially do nothing – and put up with the distasteful feelings – which may ease off after a while.

Otherwise, there’s not much more you can do. We all have these situations.

john65pennington's avatar

I am going to tell you what I had to do, in order to advise arrested criminals of their Miranda Warning. I taught myself to look at my watch, each time I arrested an individual. By doing this, it was a mental reminder for me to advise this person of their Constitutional Rights. This worked great for me.

I am suggesting the same for you. Each time you’re around this teacher, that you do not like, look at your watch and think of something peaceful, like the ocean or a lake or something good in your past life. This will keep you calm and your blood pressure will thank you. jp

SpatzieLover's avatar

Whatever that is in this teacher that’s bringing about such strong emotions in you….Do you see that in you?

I agree with @Coloma.

marinelife's avatar

1. Avoid her as much as possible.

2. When forced to be around her, be scrupulously polite, but don’t engage with her. That is, nod if she speaks to you, but keep moving,

JLeslie's avatar

To repeat the wisdom of @Coloma Just do it.

Put on the show. Sometimes you will be surprised that acting nicely will eventually make you feel better about having to interact with the person. Kind of fake til you make it.

Not my cup of tea, does not sound to me like she is doing something very detrimental to your school career or in any other way, so why let it get to you so much? If it is just about rapport and general personality, treat her with at least the pleasantries and courtesies you would appreciate from someone who maybe was not fond of you.

Maybe think about why what she does bothers you so? Is she triggering some insecurity from childhood? Your reaction might be very string, because it taps into old difficult feelings.

mazingerz88's avatar

@IzzyAndHerBeans First of all, my sympathies. These things could be very unpleasant. My usual trick is thinking of the person as imperfect like myself. There is good reason why he or she is this or that way, just like myself. And I just deal with it moment to moment, inspired by the thought that my association with this disliked person has an endpoint.

gailcalled's avatar

I have one person in my life who behaved very badly after I had a personal tragedy. She had been a very good friend but vanished…poof…

This is a small community and I do some volunteering so I see her quite often. She is still, after 16 years, unable to make eye contact.

When I take tickets at our very small box office at our very small movie theater, she has no choice but to buy her ticket from me. She always has exact change, which she throws down with her head turned away and then rushes off without taking her stub. It must take a lot of pre-planning and energy, it seems.

I greet her politely.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

You don’t have to like her, to be her friend, to agree with her or any of that, but you are expected to act like an adult and have a working relationship with her. As @gailcalled said, if Satan himself came into my office to register his kid for school, I would politely give him the paperwork.

As far as HOW do you do it – you just do. As a psychologist would say, are you acting or reacting?

Sunny2's avatar

I agree with @Coloma. It’s taken me years to recognize what it is about someone that repels me and it’s almost always something I don’t like in myself. After I figure that out, I don’t react the same way with that person. However, avoidance it the best way to get around it for now. Just keep quiet and move away. If you have to say something, do it quietly and politely. That’s all.

blueiiznh's avatar

For some the sticky sweet – tongue in cheek approach works.

I would however suggest taking the high road.

A professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn’t feel like it.”
~ Alistair Cooke

CWOTUS's avatar

This is why manners are so important. You hardly ever need the greatest manners with those you like and who like you, right?

But you need to be able to be at minimum coldly polite to people who push your buttons. And it’s not so hard from there to learn to at least “appear to be” cordial. People in Hollywood and Washington DC make their livings this way.

Ron_C's avatar

I’d just smile and say “hi, you miserable prick. I trusted you and you screwed me over. I hope you die you bastard”.

As you can see, I see no reason to be nice to someone that deliberately screwed me.

CaliforniaKin's avatar

In your head and in your heart, forgive her. Forgive her as you read this, forgive her before you walk into the room with her. Forgive yourself for being upset with her. Remember that she, like all of us, need compassion, love and understanding. Breathe when ‘dislike’ enters your mind. Focus on your breath, if even for a fraction of a second. Our brains are a very powerful tool and you have much more control over it than you may know. You can change your thoughts in a millisecond.

Here’s an example of how quickly you can change your thoughts:
Do you have a pet? Imagine this pet. If not, think of a friend’s pet that you like. Picture this pet. Imagine you open the front door where this pet lives. Imagine the pet running out the door as soon as you open the door. The pet runs out into the street. There is a car approaching. You call to the pet. The pet stops in the road. The car approaches. The pet looks at you. The car approaches. You shout out to the pet. The pet looks at you. You see the pet hit by the car. The car drives on. You see the pet lifeless in the road. Imagine a bouquet of a dozen red roses, with their green leaves attached, surrounded by those teeny, tiny little white white babies breath flowers. You picture the deepness of the green leaves contrasted with the beauty of the red roses. You are looking at the most spectacular bouquet of roses you have ever seen.

See how fast your brain pictured all of the above and how fast your brain moved on from one image to another?

Change your thoughts, change your game.

Good luck.

CWOTUS's avatar

Stick around, @CaliforniaKin. You could will be interesting. Welcome to Fluther.

Ron_C's avatar

That was very nice @CaliforniaKin but I think that a good ass kicking would be more cleansing.

CaliforniaKin's avatar

@IzzyAndHerBeans, In virtually all person-to-person relationships, Izzy, disappointments can be lessened, setbacks can be regained, and little annoyances can be brushed off, when one stops and realizes that such relationships are always temporary.

Physically speaking.

Cheers :)

wilma's avatar

I don’t think that your problem with the other person is always necessarily about something that you don’t like in yourself. Sometimes it’s just the opposite.
As for getting through the situations where you must be around this person, put this little smile on, and be polite. Like pulling off a band-aid, just do it and get it over with.

JLeslie's avatar

I was thinking about this, and if you are going to psychoanalize it all, here is my thought…I am not so much into the possibility that you see yourself in the teacher, although that is possible. I think it is more likely one of two possibilities. You are passive aggressive, and your way to let people know you don’t like them, or don’t like how they are treating you is to give looks, be silent, seeth underneath, act out your dissapproval, and hope they get the hint. Or, the other possibility is it drives you crazy to let someone get away with being a fuckhead and so being polite in the face of it makes you feel like they are getting approval for bad behavior.

Those are just guesses, could be totally wrong.

Elm1969's avatar

You have only the control of your own feelings and actions. You can keep telling youself that you don’t like this person every time that you interact with them or you can just accept that you have completly different views.

Why battle to be better or to push your view? The other person may have a similar view towards your behavior.

Consider this:
You and I have conflicting views. I am always telling you that your way is wrong. You always disagree and think that what you are doing is right. (You are telling me that I am wrong) it looks very similar.

You can change your behavior, not theirs, as long as you get the outcome that you require why does it matter that it has to be you that takes control and change your approach? You know they won’t change.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Envision the “big picture”, whatever that is for you as to why you need to interact with this person in the first place. You could seethe or you could make it game for yourself to get what you want from her.

snapdragon24's avatar

I think it really depends. If your the reaction to the action…then you have to measure the level of anger you wish to express and as well as being able to depict if the person is even worth it. I find that you almost never win a battle if you respond too passionately to your so-called rival. I think you have a classy attitude :) and trust me…that pisses anyone off who dislikes you. When dealing with the teacher…you can always speak to another teacher who is more compassionate with you and give you advice. I had many issues with a teacher once but I had support from others…that usually helps :)

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