Dealing with Difficult People

When I first came to university, I strove really hard to be a positive and friendly person. Everyone does,  because that’s how to make friends, which is especially important since you are going to be spending a lot of time with some of the people you meet, at least a year, perhaps even more.

My immediate social response to almost everyone was automatically positive, because I wanted to be friends with everyone I met. But after a while, I began to discover new things about people that weren’t so positive. I found certain people to complain too much, or to be unreliable, arrogant or untrustworthy.

So what do you do when the honeymoon is over and you’re stuck with people that irk you?

You realise you can’t change them. I know, it’s not a fix, but it’s the truth. People aren’t going to change just because you disapprove.

If you really can’t take it, just drift away. You may find that people are much more tolerable in small doses. If you continue to have negative feelings, they may get a bad vibe off of you, which means that they come to think of you as you do of them. In that case, move away completely, it may not be the easiest task, but it’s better than allowing conflict to bottle up.

Another approach is to lead by example. Not that people will necessarily begin to copy you, but if you act like the kind of people you would love to be surrounded by, eventually you will attract those kind of people.

I heard once that you are the sum of your five closest friends. It’s up to you to decide what you add up to.