Getting along with people can be tough. Some people can’t make friends, some people find themselves getting angry about everything, and some people have a bunch of friends they don’t want. No matter what your hurdles are, you’ll find some advice that can help in this wikiHow. Just get started with Step 1 below or find a section listed above that seems to cover your problem.
Accept human nature. Humans make mistakes. People aren’t always nice. They say the wrong thing, they get distracted, they forget. You have to remember: all of the problems that you have in your life right now, all of your pain, they have that too. Everyone is dealing with their own set of problems. This is important to remember when you’re trying to get along with people who are very difficult or seem to be ignoring you; everyone is just doing the best that they can.
Try to find sympathy or empathy for them. Sympathy is when you understand or try to understand why someone feels the way they do. Empathy is when you’ve been there yourself and you know how they feel. Both are great feelings to have towards another person. When someone is being difficult or they’re ignoring you, try to understand their feelings. Understand that just because you don’t share them, the feelings and experiences that they have are still valid. Remember that they’re doing the best that they can and that they’re struggling with their own problems. Think about how your problems sometimes make you meaner than you’d like or make you do things that you regret. This will make you feel better and should make your interactions with them better too.
Put yourself in their place. Think about what people do and then think about what you’d do in their position. Remove as much of your personal bias as possible and remember that they might not be as emotionally developed or sensitive as you are. Would you make the same choices that they did? Be truthful with yourself. The answer will often be yes, so try to cut people a break.
Respect that there are lots of valid choices. People are all very different: that’s what makes life interesting. And just like people are all different and aren’t just black and white cookie cutter characters, the world is also very complex. Every situation is different, always. Just because someone doesn’t make the choice that you would make or just because they take a less efficient or smart path to get where they’re going doesn’t make them wrong. Life isn’t a test with an answer sheet: it’s just something that we have to do for ourselves and we can’t hold other people to our standards.
Think about how kids act and think. When you’re really having a tough time with people, think about kids. Kids often say the wrong things and do the wrong things because they’re still learning. The tough thing about life is that it’s very complex. There’s a lot to learn. Some people might not have learned all their lessons yet. Try to treat them with the same patience that you would treat a child, without being patronizing. We’re all in the process of growing up, our entire lives.
Handling Your Frustrations
Fix problems that can and should be solved. When you’re having problems with people, you should start by identifying what those problems are exactly. If the problems are serious problems that need to be addressed, such as someone being a jerk or doing something dangerous, then this is something that you should call out and work to fix. You should not accept or ignore bad behavior. However, if someone is just annoying or different and that makes you uncomfortable, then it’s a good idea to move on to other outlets.
Remember that this is temporary. Develop your patience to help you deal with people who piss you off. A good starting point is to remember that, as the great Joseph Campbell so liked to quote, “this too shall pass”. Everything is temporary in this world, including that annoying guy in your office. You have to learn to not let yourself get caught up in the negative feelings you have and instead push them aside so that you can focus on creating more positive feelings.
Try distracting yourself with work if you’re struggling with this step.
Sing a song in your head. If someone’s annoying you, try singing a song in your head in order to keep yourself calm and keep your behavior appropriate. You can sing any song you like! “Let it Go” from Disney’s Frozen is a good start, assuming the song hasn’t already driven you insane.
Imagine that you’re somewhere else. Another tactic is to pretend that you’re somewhere else while you’re dealing with frustrating people. Pretend that everyone driving you crazy is a cat that’s just meowing constantly. Sometimes cats get annoying but they’re usually cute later, right? You can also imagine that you’re somewhere else altogether, like floating down a river in summertime. Just imagine the sound of the cicadas and the bubbling of the water…
Reward yourself later. A good way to keep your cool in tough situations if you’re having to concentrate too much to distract yourself is to just promise yourself a reward for being a good sport. For example, tell yourself that if you remain polite you get an ice cream. If you help the person, even though they’re driving you crazy, then you get a double scoop of the good stuff!
Practice forgiveness. Forgive people when they do make mistakes. Sometimes you just have to stop and give people the benefit of the doubt. They might really be sorry or they might really not know that what they did was bad. You have to forgive them so that you can move on yourself to happier feelings. No one wants to get stuck thinking about how mad they are at someone.
Keep an open mind. Sometimes you have to give people the benefit of the doubt: you might think that they hate you but they might be honestly trying to be nice to you. For example, when people invite you to parties, really consider going instead of just brushing the invitation aside because you don’t think they’re serious.
Thank people, even when they’re making you mad. Even when someone’s making you mad, thank them for their effort to help or their suggestions. They usually mean well and being a jerk or ungrateful isn’t going to make you feel any better. Just be nice and wait until they go on their way. Really, sometimes thanking someone is the fastest way to get them to shut up.
Say what you mean. When you’re trying to connect with people, start by being honest. Say what you really mean instead of trying to dance around the subject or be passive aggressive.
Set limits. If you’re uncomfortable with people, set limits on your interactions in order to keep yourself protected. For example, if they’re always wanting to do things but you’re not that social, tell people you’re only available at certain times and on certain days (no exceptions). If someone that you have to spend time with is wanting to discuss topics that make you uncomfortable, let them know when you don’t want to talk about a subject.
When trying to excuse yourself from a topic, use words like “I feel”. People will usually be more respectful when you directly say how something makes you feel bad.
Recognize people. Sometimes people just need to be seen and feel like you really understand them. If someone keeps bothering you, let them say what they really want to say. Let them talk about what’s bothering them. This might give them the release they need in order to go back to business as usual.
Think about what your words really say. Sometimes we say things without really thinking about what those words really mean or how they might make someone else feel. Has someone ever said something to you that made you really upset? It can feel pretty bad and stick with you for a long time. It’s even worse when they don’t feel bad about it! Think about the things you say before you say them, and try to think of how those words affect others. For example, a joke may be funny to you but to someone else they might be extremely hurtful for very good reasons. Saying these jokes may be what gives you problems with so many people to begin with, because you accidentally make so many people hurt and uncomfortable.
Bonding with People
Be a force of positivity. People don’t like to be around people that are really negative, complainy, or talk about violent stuff. It makes them worry that you’re not quite right in the head! Instead of being a little Eeyore, be the person who sees good everywhere in the world. See the bright side of negative situations. Be the person who sees the lesson that can be taken away. Be the person that has hope, no matter the circumstance. When you have an overwhelmingly positive spirit, especially in the wake of terrible circumstances in your own life, people will be drawn to you because you will inspire them when they’re having a tough time applying this advice to their own life!
Contribute to all your relationships. Remember, you’re not just entitled to someone’s friendship or love. We all have to work together and give equally in all our relationships. Both friendships and romances are partnerships. If someone you care about seems to be pulling away or things between you are getting really hard, think about if you’re really carrying your weight. Do you do the things that you’re expecting of them? Do you provide them with as much benefit as they provide you? If not, it might be time to work on your approach.
Make sure you appreciate them and do nice things for them every now and again.
Don’t see this as a direct transaction. For example, just because you give your girlfriend a gift doesn’t mean she’s obligated to have sex with you. Instead, do things because you believe people really deserve them, not because you want to get something in return.
Be an active listener. Sometimes, what someone really needs in their life is someone that will really listen to them. If you feel you don’t have much to offer, at least be a good listener and a shoulder to cry on when their life is hard.
Help people. Helping people is a great way to connect and make friends. You can help the people around you with the basic stuff in their lives, like tutoring or work, or you can help people who are really in need and give yourself a larger sense of fulfillment and purpose.
Consider serious volunteer work. You can try Habitat for Humanity, which build homes for people in need, or try Big Brothers Big Sisters, which lets you mentor an at-risk youth. Put your wisdom and love to good use!
Do something together. Doing things together is another great way to bond with people and make friends. You can work together on a project for school or work (or even work together on something nice for the neighborhood). You can also try a new activity together. Joining clubs is a great way to meet people and make friends who share your interests. These activities will give you more to talk about and lots of chances to interact and get to know each other.
Complain together! It’s not the most positive thing or even the best choice, but complaining together can be a really quick way to bond with people. Don’t start complaining out of nowhere though! Watch and listen to them and pay attention to their reactions to situations. This will help you find something that they don’t like. You can then comment on and complain about what you already know bothers them, instead of risking offending them. Don’t take complaining too far though: instead, use it to start a conversation and move on to other topics!
Give things time. Changing your behavior is hard!
Sometimes problems getting along with other people might be because you have problems with how your brain works. If you feel like you’re having more trouble than other people, try talking to a doctor. They might be able to help you and find you specific help for your needs.
How to Get Along with Others Well
How to Get Along With People and Be Nice
How to Get Along With Difficult People
How to Get Along With Bossy Acquaintances