Douchebags are everywhere, and that is a fact of life that most of us hate. Everyone has that one person in their life who can effortlessly make you miserable just by their mere presence. We always wonder why, despite the universe being a jerk in itself, there are individuals who add to the suffering by being a storm cloud on another person’s beautiful day. But that’s the way it is. C’est la vie.
We hate those kinds of people and we tend to avoid associating with them. But there are instances when we can’t totally avoid them like the plague. As a result, we have no choice but to adopt measures to counter their negative presence. One effective way is by using these simple and innocent evasive maneuvers to make sure your day stays fresh and enjoyable.
Who are these people?
As we’ve said, the universe itself can be a jerk who makes sure that such people take the form of a co-worker, a college classmate, a boss, a neighbor, or even a family member whom you must see or deal with every waking day. Maybe you recognize these types:
#1 The Quintessential Jerk. These are the types of people you’d kill in an instant if there weren’t any laws against it. They are obnoxious bullies who actively put you down through insults and demeaning comments. Their idea of social interaction is antagonizing everyone and making their lives miserable.
#2 The Constant Whiner. These people might not be jerks in terms of personality, but they unwittingly ruin your day by their constant complaining of their problems, which are often simple and superficial. They’ll come to you for advice, but whatever advice you do give will fall to deaf ears. They think that the whole world should mourn with them if they have problems. These people are also known as “ask-holes.”
#3 The Narcissistic Braggart. You’ve met one of these at least once in your life. They’re the ones who steal the spotlight from any conversation. They are self-centered, attention-grabbing jerks who think that they are infallible and should be worshiped by the people around them. These are the types who talk behind your back and just talk a lot in general.
How to ignore people who breed negativity
Sadly, however you try to avoid them, you cannot keep negative people at bay forever. There will be times when you’ll have to deal with them. In that case, try these tips:
#1 Avoid eye contact. Just like what your parents always said when you encounter a vicious dog, avoid eye contact and go on with your day peacefully. Making eye contact could otherwise invite them to approach and talk to you, and you’ll be trapped in a very unpleasant situation.
#2 Don’t talk to them. Annoying people feed on your reaction to their provocations. That’s the reason for their constant efforts to make you miserable. One easy way to nip it in the bud is to ignore them completely. If they see that you don’t care, they’ll probably leave you alone.
#3 Keep your conversations short. If dealing with them is unavoidable, you can make things easier by using short responses. Make sure you limit your conversation to questions answerable by only a yes or a no. If they try to strike up a longer conversation or start jerking around, walk away.
#4 Try to avoid their space. You might have an idea of where these people move around or hang out, so if you want to decrease the chance of encountering them, stay away from those places.
#5 Keep busy. This is effective at school or in the workplace. Being busy with your work makes you less susceptible to being disturbed by other people. And it has many other benefits, too. You’ll get things done, time will fly, and you’ll keep the jerk away.
#6 Take “buffer” people. Buffer people, as cruel as it may sound, can be used as a human shield to prevent that annoying person from talking to you. This could be a coworker who is equally displeased with the person, or even an intimidating friend. Tag along with them when you’re most vulnerable, such as during your lunch break.
#7 Use your phone. Appear busy by fumbling through your phone or feigning a call when you notice that the annoying person has gotten you in their sight. Keep doing that while walking away until they are out of sight.
#8 Wear headphones. Another way to avoid them is to wear your headphones and listen to some feel-good music when you realize that they’re hovering around like vultures ready to pick on your good day. Headphones serve as a big “do not disturb sign” over your head and are a good excuse to ignore them by saying that you can’t hear them over the music.
#9 Do not make them a topic of conversation. So let’s say that the person has successfully turned your day sour. The trick is to forget it and move on. Make the person realize that you are not affected by their douchiness. Complaining and talking about them will only make your day worse. Take a friend and talk about a fresh topic to keep them out of your head.
#10 Adopt evasive maneuvers. These are simple ways to avoid those obnoxious people when you detect them in your radar:
a) If you pass them by the hall, fumble in your bag as if you’re looking for something while walking faster.
b) As the Art of War states, use terrain to your advantage. The water dispenser, an empty cubicle, or a corner store can provide you with sanctuary when the need arises.
c) A quick bathroom break can help you escape from them should they prove to be persistent.
No matter what, there will always be people who will want to ruin your day. The only question is whether you’ll let them do as they please or if you’ll keep the negativity out of your life by turning your head the other way and ignoring them.