Communication Skills

How to Improve your Tolerance for Annoying People

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"How to Improve your Tolerance for Annoying People"
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Tolerance is a virtue. This is what I have come to believe after many years of working with some of the most unsavory people in society. I deal on a daily basis with some of the most annoying people in society in my chosen line of work and have built up a rather stout tolerance for them and their antics. 

How have I built up a solid tolerance for annoying people?  Years of experience and learning. Experience is instrumental in building and improving a tolerance for annoying people. When first starting out in my career field I was fresh to the cause, no experience, very little forward knowledge in what I was getting into, and zero education in the field I ended up working in. I just sort of “landed” in the job.  My tolerance at that time for annoying people was pretty low. I was fresh out of the military where you did what you were told and didn’t ask questions about why you were doing it. I had the mind set that if I was the boss and I asked you to do something it just got done. I was not really equipped to deal with not being listened to and having to deal with all of peoples annoying little traits and ideals. Due to this low tolerance I was stressed out and very on edge for the first several years of my career. I relied on the tools of the job rather then the use of my mind and my mouth to solve conflicts and problems. Several years passed and right around year four on the job I had a revelation. I found that by sitting back, taking the time to listen to people, letting them talk, and then working out a solution in my mind before I actually took action I could then resolve most situations through communication. With these few years of experience not only did I learn how to use communication skills to deal with those annoying people I also found that my tolerance for these people had increased enormously. I still got annoyed but not nearly as much as I once did. 

Another very good way to increase your tolerance for annoying people is to remember that you don’t have to deal with them forever especially if it is at the workplace. Yes if it is a coworker or coworkers that are the subject of annoyance you may have to deal with them several days a week every week for many years but the one tool in your toolbox that can be a lifesaver is to remember that you always get to go home at the end of the day. Box those things up at the end of your day and leave that “box” on your desk when you leave and don’t think about it again until you return for your next shift. Don't take it home with you and as long as you do that you will find that your tolerance for the annoying will grow.

Embrace the annoying is something else I have learned to do over the years. This is again another skill I use in the workplace but it can be used anywhere you encounter someone who annoys you. Embrace the annoying, listen to the annoying person, really look at what it is they do that annoys you and try to convert what it is that annoys you into something that you can tolerate. Sometimes this is the best way to improve your tolerance for these things. If you can’t get rid of it such as in the case of a coworker then the best thing to do is learn how to use it to your advantage and or just get used to it and not let it bother you. The only other alternative really is let it annoy you day in and day out until it completely makes you miserable and even ill.  Is it not easier and less stressful to just learn to be tolerant?

More about this author: Teddy Ward

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