1. Realize that annoying people are inevitable. You can’t always walk away. It’s not always a matter of simply associating with different people. More importantly, we’re not built to be inclined to like everything about everyone, and vice versa. But do understand that continuing to be passive and let yourself be repeatedly filled with rage will only harm your own life and well-being.
2. Stop spiraling. When someone is really getting under your skin, we have a tendency to think extensively about why that person is doing so. You think of all the ways they are inconveniencing you, how annoying they are and you’re just waiting for them to do the next annoying thing that will throw you over the edge and when they finally do, you’re like, aha, I told myself so. It perpetuates the cycle.
3. Blame your excuse on yourself. We sometimes avoid being upfront with people because we don’t want to hurt their feelings or we might even be concerned that if we say something all of our anger will rise from the fiery pits of hell and explode all over them. If someone insists on repeatedly showing you stupid YouTube videos or otherwise annoying you throughout your day, just tell them that you need to focus right now but that you can maybe talk later. Tell them that you’re super tired and just in a crabby mood, so you’re sorry for not being completely there in the conversation.
4. Realize that you’re not a mind-reader. Stop creating stories in your head as to why someone is doing something to you. She’s trying to get attention and that annoys me. He thinks I’m stupid that’s why he’s talking down to me. They’re walking slowly they obviously want me to be late. –You don’t know any of these things for certain, and they will only make you angrier.
5. Likewise, realize that people can’t read your mind. Most of the time, annoying people don’t know they are annoying. You don’t have to be rude, but people won’t know you don’t like something until you tell them.
6. Think about how you’re seeing yourself in that person. We are usually most bothered by the things in others that we recognize in ourselves– it’s just what we are most attuned to. You’ll probably be so taken back by oh my god, I do that too that your attention will shift from the annoying self-reflecting person in question.
7. Know that you can’t write anyone else’s script. You can’t expect things from people. You can’t expect them to walk at the same pace you do, not speak when you don’t want to be spoken to, arrive at the time that is most ideal for you, work at the same pace you do. You just can’t expect people to behave in certain ways or not.
8. Realize that the more annoyed you get will not make them stop any sooner. People have a strange tendency to let themselves get annoyed for the sake of seeing how far someone can push them so they can really gauge how horrible they are and they have legitimate reason to hate them. The angrier you get will not validate someone’s annoyingness any more or less.
9. Don’t entertain people who want to argue irrationally. Just don’t. You are not responsible for teaching them how immature they are and by engaging in such petty arguments, you’re just as bad as they are.
10. De-friend and unfollow. That’s the only solution for social media annoyances. Facebook over-sharers, attention seekers, perpetual selfie-takers, pity seekers, sub-tweeters, Twitter accounts that you thought were legitimate but just end up retweeting “0MG FolLOWiNG THIS PERSON GoT ME 2000000+ FoLLOWERS!!!”
11. Ask them to give you “me” time. Most people will respect this.
12. Call them out. When people are going on and on about how they’re fat and they’re so upset because this horrible thing happened to them, it’s in everyone’s best interest for you to just tell it to them straight. Tell them all the ways their life is great and how they have nothing to complain about so they should probably stop doing so before they really have something terrible happen.
13. Headphones. It doesn’t even matter if you’re actually listening to anything or not. People are much less likely to approach or bother you if they think you’re listening to music. Also, it gives you an excuse to ignore them. Oh, sorry, didn’t hear you.
14. Just zone out. Sometimes there’s no way to remove yourself from the situation: office meetings, family gatherings, people in public places, etc. If you’re able, just let your mind wander. Think about something that makes you really happy, or just make jokes about the people who are annoying you in your mind (… but keep them in your mind).
15. Just tell them that they are annoying. My best friend and I do this, and it works beautifully. We just say, “you’re working on me,” and the other one knows to back off a little. It’s the healthiest thing you can do because you make sure you’re in check with your feelings, and you communicate that to your friends/partners. But for other instances, just tell them: you are not fat. Your life is not that bad. You’re being a little over-emotional and I’m sick of it. You’re very close to my face right now and it’s making me uncomfortable. Can I step in front of you? I’m running late and I have to move quickly. Why are you so angry all the time? Why do you feel the need to share and express your political opinions on Facebook so frequently? You’re overreacting.
16. Show them how they are annoying. This is sometimes the only thing to do when telling them that they are annoying fails. How? Give them a little taste of their own medicine. It will be a wake up call.
17. Don’t keep competing. This is a classic kind of annoying person… the one who is always looking to one-up you. Just let them win. When they tell you that they ran 10 miles this morning, got a new job as a designer, will probably be getting engaged this weekend and lost 20 pounds in the last week, just say “oh, cool” and walk away. If they aren’t getting interest or competition from you, they’ll stop.
18. Understand what you have to stomach. When your grandma wants to smother you in kisses for the tenth time in one day, you can’t exactly just tell her she’s annoying you. This applies to people like your boss, too. You need to keep your job and respect your family.
19. Play their game. Once, a friend of mine would interlude our conversations with a very annoying, high-pitched, condescending and very obviously fake “yeah?” and it drove me crazy. I didn’t know how to tell her this and I didn’t want to seem nuts to ask her to stop saying one word. So I just started responding every time she said that with another, equally annoying “yeeeeah.” She got irritated by it pretty quickly and asked me what was up with me doing that. I told her I did it in response to her. She was shocked at how frequently she prompted me to do that, and the situation was resolved.
20. When all else fails, just take mental notes and formulate the stories you’ll tell your friends later.