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hug_of_war's avatar

How do you deal with someone at work you don't want to deal with?

Asked by hug_of_war (9163 points ) December 2nd, 2012

I work a 2nd job as a caregiver to the disabled. Tonight I have to deal with someone who is extremelly high-strung, annoying, and thinks she knows everything. I cannot avoid this person tonight, due to unimportant circumstances.

How do you calmly and coolly deal with someone who gets under your skin a lot? I can feel myself getting too emotional just thinking about it. Also, this is not an appropriate time or place for a confrontation.

I also go directly from this 3rd shift/overnight job to my primary, full-time job in education so the less I ruminate on this, the more I can concentrate on the job I really enjoy tomorrow.

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6 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

There’s not really much to say: you essentially stated you can’t control your emotions, and that just happens to be what you have to do.

CWOTUS's avatar

You could try to be a bit philosophical about it. I’ve often noticed that the people who annoy me the most are know-it-all blowhards (in much the same way that you are annoyed, I expect, and for pretty much the same reasons). What I’ve noticed, to my chagrin, is that this is often a person who is a lot like I am, or can be sometimes, a know-it-all blowhard.

When I find myself becoming annoyed by these types of persons, I try to reflect on how I have sometimes come across to others in almost exactly the same way, and resolve to not be that guy when I can avoid it. (Having the realization about my own behavior, and why I am so affected by this person helps me to avoid being so affected, so annoyed. I still try to avoid him, but without the angst.) Your own realizations may be different, but when you find the right “why” this bothers you so much, it will go away.

You can’t control the behavior of others (well, not in a practical, cost-effective and legal way, anyway), you can only control your own behavior. So… try to do that.

hearkat's avatar

@CWOTUS – Well said. I’ve learned that when I have an emotional reaction to something that others seem able to stay objective about, there’s an issue within myself to address. So in the long term, @hug_of_war, it would be good to spend a little time reflecting upon this more. But that won’t help you in the meantime. The best advice I can give is to try to be as detached and professional in your dealings with her. If she is bossy, it may be easier to just appease her as long as you’re not compromising your client’s needs, or going against the regulations you are required to comply with. At the very least, yes her to death by saying things like she’s made an interesting point, and you might want to give it some consideration… etc. I hope it won’t be as bad as you’re imagining… good luck!

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Three jobs?!?! This obnoxious person would be annoying under the best circumstances, but your physical and mental exhaustion might be hindering your ability to cope.

—Remind yourself that there are jerks everywhere. No matter where you go in life, or what you end up doing, you’ll encounter jerks. Jerks are as inevitable as death and taxes.

—Ask yourself whether you can tolerate the jerk (some discreet eye-rolling can be very therapeutic), or whether he/she makes your circumstances untenable. Some jerks are simply aggravating; others are malicious and destructive, and you really need to get as far away as possible.

—If you can tolerate the jerk, try to dodge, avoid, and evade.

—If an interaction can’t be prevented, wear a pleasant, placid facial expression, nod along as the person talks, and then proceed in the way that you already know is right and appropriate.

Example of a tolerable jerk: Someone who checks out your pretty, new outfit and says, “You look TERRIBLE! What were you THINKING when you bought those trousers?”

Example of an intolerable jerk: A boss, or someone else in a power and authority position, who screams at and ridicules you, blames you for anything that goes wrong, and takes credit for all your good work.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

While they are annoying you picture tasing them in a really sensitive area. Repeatedly. Jerks are everywhere. If you can’t avoid them put something in your head other than them Jerks can’t really annoy you. You allow them to annoy you. Think about that a bit.

ucme's avatar

I refuse to play cards with them.

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