People need people. It’s a simple fact of life. One of the hardest truth to learn is that you WILL have to interact with people you don’t like. It’s not always an option to ignore someone, so it’s best to figure out how to work well with everyone.

A successful person understands that restricting who they work with will only limit them. Entrepreneur.com wrote out “11 strategies to empower yourself to deal with even the most difficult people.” Let’s dive in, shall we?

  1. “Accept nobody likes everybody.” It’s inevitable, friends. Nobody likes every single person they meet. And that is OKAY! Accept the fact that you don’t have to love everyone. You can work with them professionally and not invest in their personal lives. It doesn’t make you a bad person to feel this way. When you take the emotion out of it, you can work much better with these individuals.
  2. “Mindfulness is the antidote to toxic people.” Toxic people are only toxic if you feed into their drama. Don’t let them drag you into the mud here. Of course, if you start to feel strong emotions of anger, frustration, or annoyance, it’s okay to feel that way and then wave goodbye as those feelings move on. Engaging will only make it worse.
  3. “Tact trumps temper.” Learning to reign in your temper will do wonders. Remember that acting tactfully will take you a hell of a lot further than losing your temper. This doesn’t mean you agree with them. It just means you’re keeping calm in the face of a stressful situation. You can be firm with the situation if you need to be, but that doesn’t mean attacking someone’s character.
  4. “No matter how they meant it, don’t take it personally.” The motto I suggest here is, “It’s not mine.” I say this to myself every time someone says something rude or hurtful. It’s not mine; it’s theirs. It’s their anger and frustration manifesting itself and it’s not personal to me. Some great advice I was given reminds me to think of all perspectives. My mom taught me that there are three sides to every story. When I think of certain situations in this way, I don’t take it personally because I know that person had their own struggles going on.
  5. “Rise above or get dragged down.” Like I said before, acting calm in the face of a toxic situation is the best way to move forward. Sinking to a toxic person’s low will only drag you down. Focus only on facts and rational thought. If you need to point out specific issues, do so professionally and with tact.
  6. “Calmly express your feelings.” I think you’re sensing a theme by now, right? The best way to work with people you don’t like is to keep your wits about you. Keep calm when you have to communicate difficult conversations. This means not point fingers, but only using ‘I feel’ statements.
  7. “Pick your battles.” You don’t need to fight every battle. You don’t need to argue every toxic person who comes your way. Save your energy for what truly matters and you’ll see a lot more long term happiness.
  8. “Boundaries are healthy.” Boundaries are EVERYTHING. Keep a healthy distance from toxic energy if you can help it. You can’t always put up physical barriers, but you can decide when and where you interact with others. It’s okay to give yourself some breathing room.
  9. “Bond with like-minded people.” People need people, right? Find people who have similar values to you and keep them in your circle. It’s important to have support when you face unfortunate people/situations. Finding trusted friends and colleagues can be extraordinarily beneficial. Even if they’re not going into the metaphorical battle with you, they’ll be there to support you as needed. They can listen to you when you need some validation and that’s better than anything.
  10. “Learn how to disarm a jerk.” Knowing how to handle a jerk can make or break a situation. When someone is focusing on your flaws or flinging character attacks out, you need to handle it appropriately. Be firm here. Make sure to let them know you will not be treated that way. Be direct and calm in the face of their frustration and anger.
  11. “Your happiness is in your hands.” Remember that only you can control your happiness. Don’t give your power away to someone who doesn’t deserve your energy. It’s that simple when you boil it down.

In conclusion, don’t let the haters get you down.