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Develop Empathy For Irritating People: 5 Tips to Improve This Essential Skill

How do you often cope with those who get on your nerves? Avoid them? Yes, it works. However, it is infeasible to stay away from them all the time, especially for those you are working with on a project or those you are sharing a workplace or even a house. Then it’s helpful for you to learn to deal with them by cultivating some empathy. This article will provide you with some tips to practice and improve this soft skill.

5 Tips to develop empathy for irritatig people

Take a deep breath and stay calm. Do not react right away.

Throwing a tantrum whenever you get irritated does nothing good for you and the relationship with the irritating person. In most situations, try to calm yourself down by taking a deep breath and holding back your immediate reactions. You might need to leave the person for a moment before getting back to the conversation since we tend to say bad words when we are angry. Keep the person out of your sight until you really feel your emotion is under control.

Prepare some stock lines to say to the person when you get overcontrolled by your emotion.

When you don’t have some minutes to stay away from the person and calm yourself, or when you fail to control your emotion even after those minutes, preparing some stock lines to say to that person would be of help to avoid aggressive words. “Let’s have a cup of coffee first.” “Hmm, I know that you have your good points, but…”. Or you may want to end the conversation by saying “I’m sorry. I don’t have time to talk right now. Let’s get back to it later on.”

Understand their perspective.

From the experts’ point of view, there are two types of empathy: cognitive empathy and emotional empathy. You are showing cognitive empathy to someone when you can understand that person’s perspective. You are cultivating emotional empathy when you are able to feel what others feel. No matter what type of empathy you are developing, the key is putting yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself what you would do if you were in their position. Then you may find the person’s reaction is understandable and you might do the same if you were them.

Be kind and stay positive.

The irritating people can ruin your day and pull your mood down. Then learning to keep yourself positive when you are around those ones is important. In order to do that, you should be kind enough to find some good reasons for their irritating behaviors such as “Ah, he is getting mad at me because he is sick today.” “She is blaming me because she got the blame from the manager too.” Sometimes, those reasons can be even made up by yourself. But anyway, they will help you to withdraw your aggressive comments and leave your polite reactions such as “That sounds good” or “Thank you for sharing with me.” What’s more, those polite sentences can even make the irritating person feel embarrassed for getting on your nerves.

Address the issue.

Finally, the most effective and radical way to deal with the annoying person is to work out what the actual issue between both of you is. Try to find the root of the problem yourself and then discuss it with that person. Keep practicing the above during your conversation to avoid an argument. You should also be prepared when the conversation gets a little heated. Then you may find it helpful to get support from someone else such as other colleagues, friends or family members. An outsider may have clearer thinking and can help you out.

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