The following article, 'How To Deal With Difficult Relationships', was written by Lauren Forte.
Is there someone in your life you do not get along with no matter how hard you try? Would you rather make friends with the one person who creates distress than to spite them? Would you rather feel at ease rather than your blood pressure rising? Too much time is wasted on disliking someone for reasons that most likely have been washed up. At one point in time, the reason was good, but as time passes, the mind tends to forget. Why were you so angry in the first place? All you know is that you do not get along with this person. Is that an ample reason to have an aversion for someone?
Here are some tricks and coping strategies to help revolve the issue.
1) Treat the individual with kindness. Give the one person you struggle to get along with a full-size smile the next time you see him or her. How could someone detest a person who is smiling?
Think of the person you dislike to be as genuine as your grandmother. It might be particularly hard to do, just pretend this person is a friend, not a foe. Usually people give their friends gracious smiles. Ten bucks this person will smile back. They might be perplexed, but you will have them thinking twice about your motives. The goal is to improve the relationship with the person and by doing so, the mission will be successful. Also, be polite. Say hello and ask how the person is doing. Open doors; say please and thank you. Basically, show this person the same respect you would like to receive.
2) Give the person a hug. Sure, why not? Think about it, you walking up to the individual who dislikes you with open arms. Picture it as a jaw-dropping moment, where they are wondering if they have slammed into the invisible wall runners hit. It is the last thing they would expect. Hugs make things better. There is a firm belief that giving an antagonist a hug will lighten the situation up.
3) Tell this person they are attractive. Paying the compliment will soften the air as well. The person might think you are crazy, but it only adds to the main objective of improving relations. They will be unable to say anything nasty in return. Hearing “you are attractive” is an immense compliment. Those three words will dissolve any negative connotation into thin air. Everybody wants to be seen as attractive. We all compare and contrast. We also are our own worst critics. Being told you are attractive is the ultimate confidence booster, especially hearing it from someone who most likely thinks the opposite. Hearing the words from a true antagonist will cause a spin that will hopefully turn the relationship around.
5) Ask the person to hang out. Asking them to go to a coffee shop or out to dinner will show that you would like to start over. Remember, there is more to a person than what meets the eye. Maybe there is a good reason why you two do not get along or maybe they are going through something rough. By making yourself available, you will show the person that you care. Why should you care? You should care because life is way too short to strongly dislike someone. In the end, you will realize that the situation was either petty or useless. Sometimes in life no matter how hard we try, we just do not get along with certain people. We may find them irritating and they get under our skin. Try to see past all of that try to find the good in this person. Irritants are bad, but not all people are.
I hope the above tips and coping strategies help improve those difficult relationships we sometimes have with others.