6 Ways To Get Along With Somebody You Don’t Like

by | Dec 4, 2018

By the time you are an adult, you are an expert on how to judge yourself and others. You’ve had years of practice by now. You’ve got real clarity on which type of person you naturally get along with and those people who are just annoying. Some people are so irritating that you actually spend time thinking about what you might do to them when no one is looking, but somehow you manage to restrain yourself. Reality check! Right now, someone is probably thinking the same thing about you. 

That’s the thing about us humans. We are complex social creatures with our own values and embedded beliefs about how people should behave and interact. Interestingly, we can dislike someone without even knowing why, and then look for evidence to make ourselves right. In other situations, we have plenty of reasons stored in the memory bank to support why that person should not be trusted.

Instincts and intuition all play a part in the experience we have of others. There’s plenty of psychological research to explain why some relationships are easy and others make us want to stab ourselves in the eye. Most of us have a desire to be both liked and respected by others, and when conflict occurs it naturally has to be the other person’s fault. Naturally! If only everyone was like me, the world would be amazing. A challenge that many leaders face is that they want to recruit and fill their team with people who are just like them. And while parents are not meant to acknowledge having a ‘favourite’ child, they often secretly tell their besties about the child who is ‘easiest’ to parent. Guess what? The favourite child, the chosen one, is normally the one most like them. That’s awkward, so let’s move on.

After 20 years of coaching and consulting with people around the world, here’s what I know for sure: the most successful and happy people find healthy ways to work with those they wouldn’t choose to have in their life – professionally, socially and within their own family. They are very aware of how they invest their energy in terms of relationships.

So, if you want that loser in the office to be less obnoxious, or you want to stop feeling anxious whenever you see that family member, you need to take a look at you

Being able to have healthy and respectful conversations and interactions with all types of people is a valuable skill. Imagine how different life would be and what you would do with all the time you currently spend being frustrated. This could be the greatest life hack of all. Appreciating behavioural styles and thinking that’s different to your own could, in fact, give you new perspectives. Consider implementing these tried and tested strategies the next time a relationship feels hard (don’t hurt anyone, that won’t go well):

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1. Be the grown up 

People can’t make you feel a certain way. You get to choose what you think, which determines how you feel. Consciously choose the meaning you are giving the situation and the person. Rise above the child-like behaviours and identify a solution, which might be as simple as removing yourself from the situation.

2. Respect almost everyone

Find what you can appreciate about the person. Don’t focus on the negatives and what they are doing wrong. Deliberately start positive conversations about topics you can both contribute too.  Critically, differentiate between the person and the behaviours that you might not like.

3. Be strategic

Consider the outcome you want and do what’s required to achieve that. Perhaps you need to compromise or let something go.

4. You are not that important

The world does not revolve around you. Just in case you weren’t clear on this. Acknowledge that sometimes you might be wrong. Everybody you meet and know is in the middle of their story.

5. Pick your battles

There are certainly some fights that are worth fighting. If something that you highly value has been wronged then constructively find a way to share your view and speak your truth.

6. Choose to be kind rather than right

We grown-ups so often need to be right. It’s OK. It’s ego. We all have one.  We want to look good and show people we are adding value. I get it.  But there are occasions in life when showing compassion, empathy and flex in your own thinking is so much more important than proving you know better.

Let’s be clear, these tips are about getting along with people you don’t naturally click with or find difficult for some reason. If the person slept with your partner or stole from you, they clearly need to go, so disregard the above immediately. For relationships with all other people, you can absolutely find a way to make them work without being besties. We can indeed respect people we don’t like. Controversial, I know. 

RELATED: How To Thrive In A Job You Hate

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Women Fleeing Domestic Violence Can Now Receive A One-Off Support Payment

It’s been labelled the shadow pandemic and the fact remains that for many women across Australia, domestic violence is a lived reality that doesn’t discriminate by age, occupation, or socio-economic status. Researchers have found that during Covid-19 lockdowns, there was a surge in family and domestic violence, with agencies experiencing a surge in demand as nearly half their clients reported an increase in controlling behaviours. 

As many who have lived through such turmoil and trauma can attest, the roadmap to fleeing such situations at home can be fraught with challenges and extremely difficult to navigate, particularly when such bureaucracy makes it even harder. Now, it’s been announced that women fleeing a violent relationship will be given a one-off $5,000 payment as part of a federal government trial scheme. 

Known as the “escaping violence payment scheme,” the government has set aside $144.5 million over the next two years to give women $1,500 cash, with the remainder to pay for goods and services, bond, school fees and other necessaries to establish a new safe home. UnitingCare Network will be tasked with delivering the payments while helping link women and their children with relevant community services. 

As the Daily Telegraph reports, “An analysis of domestic violence data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that while it is more common for women from poorer areas, women from high socio-economic areas are not immune from experiencing partner violence.”

As Women’s Safety Minister Anne Ruston explained, the trial has been introduced with the aim to help women overcome the financial barriers that might deter them from leaving a violent relationship. “We know that financial hardship as well as economic abuse - which may involve interfering with work or controlling or withholding money - reduces women’s ability to acquire and use money and makes it difficult to leave violent relationships,” she said. 

“The payments will assist people who need financial support to leave. We know the size of the house a woman is fleeing doesn’t matter. Often she bundles the kids into the car, maybe the dog too and they leave with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.”

To be eligible for a payment, women must be facing financial stress and have some evidence of domestic violence such as a referral from a family and domestic violence service provider with a risk assessment and safety plan, or an AVO, court order or police report. As UnitingCare Australia National Director Claerwen Little said, “We believe that all people, especially women and their children, have the right to live freely and without fear, and this payment is an important step forward to ending violence against women and children.”

If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.

If you’d like to speak to someone about domestic violence, please call the 1800 

Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online. 

Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.