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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Suck it up, buttercup

The importance of coexisting with those you dislike
Amanda Riha

I’m sure we all have that one individual in our lives who knows how to grind our gears.

Whether interactions occur in the workplace, in the classroom, in family environments or even in friend groups, it’s pretty common that there may be someone you dislike more than others for a plethora of reasons.

It’s easy to get caught up in feelings of hostility. The reality is, you need to get over it. It’s time to suck it up and learn how to coexist.

Sometimes the animosity stems from personal issues with the individual, but more commonly, you may just be annoyed by them — and that’s OK. The average person meets 10,000 people in their lifetime according to Medium, so there’s bound to be a few you’re not a fan of.

There are times that you may think to yourself, “Wow I really can’t stand them.” Instead of adding to the negativity in your surroundings, I have a proposal. Challenge yourself to coexist with the individual you dislike and observe how that changes your environment.

In my skills for contemporary business class this semester, the course hones in on a lot of necessities for entering the business workforce. While many of them relate to proper presentation delivery and respect, one of the most important themes is handling people you don’t get along with in the workplace.

In an article for Harvard Business Review, Robert Sutton, professor of management science and engineering at Stanford University, discussed how resentment in the workplace can affect even those you like. Sutton noted that we all have a tendency to look for confirmation of our own opinions, but we should resist it. “Because emotions are so contagious, you can bring everyone down,” Sutton said.

Conflict with others in any circumstance is never ideal, but it’s even worse in a work environment. Disliking a coworker can cause issues within the organization that affects productivity, team dynamics and even project failure. In my experience, I’ve seen coworkers terminated simply because they didn’t like each other.

In contrast, learning how to bite the bullet and get along with difficult people in your life has the opposite effect.

Start by letting go of the grudge you hold against the individual. Whether it’s personal or just something they do that bothers you, by letting go you not only set yourself up to deal with future interactions, but you also relieve yourself of the weight that grudge had on your conscience. I understand letting go can be difficult, but it’s ultimately worthwhile.

It’s also beneficial to focus on healthy ways to communicate. Avoid any topics that may set either of you off and practice civility. These tips have positive outcomes on workplace relationships, but also improve friendships and family dynamics as well.

While the phrase “fake it till you make it” applies to balancing these difficult interactions, it’s also essential to be wary of your own emotions and protect your peace. If getting along with someone you dislike becomes difficult, it’s OK to step aside and give yourself a moment to collect your thoughts.

Managing relationships in life is a challenge that will never subside. Dealing with difficult people is a task everyone will face at some point, and coexisting despite the urge to quit or start a fight is what will make you stronger as an individual.

Choosing to be the bigger person — choosing peace — not only makes those difficult environments like work and school safer spaces, but it may also impact your mental well-being. You may observe kinder decision making leads to nicer thoughts about yourself, and even reduced anxiety or anger when running into someone you dislike, per The List Magazine.

Not having to worry about the silent treatment or hostility in your environment can also improve your work ethic and perspective.

In the workplace, coexisting with others in a positive way can increase productivity, motivation and conflict resolution, according to Indeed. It promotes employee retention, increases trust and improves collaboration.

I know getting along with particularly difficult individuals is a big task. It takes a significant amount of patience, perseverance and a lot of mental strength. But why let someone you dislike hold you back from being successful? I promise you, they’re simply not worth it.

This goes for friends and family as well. Whether it’s hanging out in a group setting with that one person who makes you want to pull your hair out, or attending that holiday meal with your uncle who won’t shut up about politics, you learn to deal with it.

I can’t promise that dealing with someone you dislike will make them any more enjoyable. However, I can attest to seeing improvements in yourself. I noticed several differences in my demeanor when I learned to coexist with people I don’t want to be around.

By letting go of the reasons their presence bothered me, I was able to feel the relief because they didn’t take up any more space in my mind. I felt healthier and happier knowing I was reducing anxious interactions and bettering myself as a person in the process.

It’s impossible to like everyone you meet. By adapting and choosing to coexist despite your feelings, you become a better employee, student, friend and person as a whole.

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About the Contributors
A.J. Newth, Opinion Editor
Amanda Riha, Design Editor

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