People are the worst.
They also are the best and make life worth living, but if everyone was as fabulous as you, then there would be no need to know how to get along with everyone. And while it would be easier to never interact with another parent who constantly insists their parenting method is best, that’s not realistic. Life in general means you will be forced to be with people you just don’t get along with. Whether that is a fellow PTA parent, a coworker, or even your own child during the teenage years, keeping these six skills in mind will help you not lose your mind:
1. Don’t complain
It’s not easy, but don’t gossip or excessively complain about this person. It just adds fuel to your fire and won’t help you find ways to tolerate them. I’m not saying you can’t let yourself express how disgusting you find their habit of clipping their nails at their desk, but don’t use interactions to find more material for your late night rants with friends.
2. Be in positive places
If at all possible, make sure you are in positive places when you have to talk to someone who rubs you the wrong way. If you generally don’t get along, things are not going to be made better in a stressful, loud, or competitive situation. If there is a parent that bothers you at your child’s school, volunteer at an event where you know you will be happy to help no matter whom else decides to sign up.
3. Set time limits
If you can, set time limits for how long you are hanging around Mr. Grumpy Gills. You may not have control of how long you are in the same room with a coworker, but knowing you have lunch at 12:30 gives you a set time to endure mind numbing conversations. Obviously, spending the least amount of time possible with those who make your blood boil is the easiest but sometimes least practical solution.
4. Find common ground
Feeling like you have absolutely nothing in common won’t help you get along with someone you don’t like. It will most likely be a struggle to find something you both like, but I promise it’s there. Bring up the internet meme everyone is talking about, chat about the taco cart everyone love- just find something you both agree on and hold onto that shred of common ground when they are getting on your nerves.
Spending all of your time with people that make you want to scream won’t end well. To balance out your patience level, find time to recharge by yourself or with someone who buoys you up. Take a personal call at work during lunch, take a parenting break by calling a sitter, or enjoy a trip to the store sans whining.
6. Highlight their humanness
It is much easier to villainize someone who you don’t see as an actual person. I mean, how could they be a person if they refuse to admit that The Beatles rock? There’s something incredibly touching and relatable about seeing someone in a vulnerable state. Don’t go out and make your nemesis cry, but talking to them about a touching social issue or realizing that this person also gets frustrated or heartbroken can make them seem less evil.
That being said, getting along with someone doesn’t mean being best friends. Learn to be a bit more patient and understanding when you do have to be around people who bother you. Choose to spend time with those who you love for the rest of the time.