How to Deal With People Whose Habits You Cannot Stand
Nix the Noxious
There are people in this world who hate my guts. I can’t, for the life of me, imagine who they would be or why they would hate me. I’m positive, however, this statement is absolutely, positively an uncontroverted fact.
On a different, but similar note, there are people who have qualities I don’t like, either. It doesn’t matter who they are or why I’m not a fan. There’s nothing I can do to change the way I feel.
Lucky for me, in the cases where I don’t like certain people, I don’t have a situation where I actually have to be around any of them. (As opposed to people who can’t stand someone with whom they have children.) Once I’ve decided I don’t like someone (and if I don’t want to try to like them), I eliminate them from my life so I can find some peace.
I know. Some might think this is cold-hearted.
It is. And it isn’t.
The reality is…I have no room for toxicity in my life. You don’t either. If you can eliminate poison in the form of drinks, food or people, you should do it, no doubt.
Yes. It’s easier said than done.
And yes…it can be emotionally painful.
However, if it means that much to you to have more peace in your world, you will do it.
Nix the noxious.
What if you don’t have the luxury of not being around people you cannot stand or whose habits you cannot stand? What if you have children with one of those individuals? Or…what if one of those people is your child, sibling or your spouse’s sibling?
In that case, it gets a little tougher. You still can make it work, though. It will take some effort, but there is a way of dealing with these individuals.
An Example of How to Deal With People Whose Habits You Cannot Stand
I am the most annoying type of gum chewer. Always have been. Always will be.
I chew, smack, snap, crack and blow bubbles. I like it. It’s fun.
It drives my husband nuts. So does the way I eat potato chips. From what I have gathered, I crunch them rather loudly. According to him, I have what one might consider horrific table manners.
During our dating years, James and I had more than one argument over my admittedly annoying gum smacking, potato crunching ways. I told him that as far as I was concerned, my habits that he couldn’t stand were coming into the relationship with me (just like his 14 year old cat that I was allergic to was coming into the relationship with him). There were certain things I was willing to change for the sake of love, but I simply had to draw the line at my gum and potato chips.
After our final hellatious argument over gum and chips, I told him I wasn’t changing. Lucky for me, James decided to stay. (Thank GOD he decided to stay, because he has made me feel like the luckiest girl in the world.)
To James’ credit…after that last fight, he never ever said anything again about my cracking or crunching.
Rather than face the reality of losing the relationship or be in constant agony over my habits he couldn’t stand, James decided to adjust his perspective. He came to accept me for who I am. (Just like I accept the fact that he doesn’t know how to use a laundry basket.)
This mutual acceptance has made our lives much more peaceful…
Back to You
I am willing to bet my first-born (she is really cute!) that you have way more serious issues (than gum and chips) with those people in your life whose habits you can’t stand. Maybe one of those people is a liar. Or a cheater. Or an abuser.
Unfortunately for you, maybe you share children in common with one (or more) of these people.
Regardless of who those people are, if you can’t eliminate them from your life because of certain “circumstances” (like blood), then there is only one thing you can do:
Learn to accept them.
It is difficult enough to change yourself. You will never manage to change another person. Furthermore, continued agonizing over the fact that someone is a no-good, dirty, rotten so-and-so will only give you grey hair, raise your blood pressure and shorten the number of years you have left on this planet.
You do not have to tolerate mistreatment. You can still voice an opinion over what it is you do not like. You don’t have to get walked all over like a rug.
Things will work best, however, if you begin the process of change within yourself. Commit to changing the way that you will react when a person rubs you the wrong way. Don’t take things personally. Respond after thoughtful contemplation, rather than going straight to freaking out.
Use the other individual’s behavior and habits as an opportunity to become a more compassionate, less judgmental person yourself. By showing more love, empathy and understanding, you expand your heart’s capacity for more of these things. Your criticism, anger and lack of patience will only make you more critical, angry and impatient.
Which way of living sounds happier?
You get to choose. What will it be?
Sending you my wishes for a week in which you nix the noxious and choose peace.
All my best,
P.S. For anybody who is interested in taking me up on my bet re: my first-born…I just want to let you know that she has taken after her mom in the food smacking department. I think it’s super cute. James? Not so much.
What choice does he have, though?
P.P.S. Do you have people in your life whose habits you can’t stand? How do you deal with them?