Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Just Ask... my thoughts on people that bug us

"Summer's here and everything seems brighter and better. It's warm outside, patio parties are being planned and even work feels better... or at least if would if only "that guy" would stop doing "that thing" he does that drives me insane. I mean really...does he have to do that? He knows how much I hate it..."

Sound familiar? Everything is going just peachy until someone does something that presses one of your buttons and brings that warm fuzzy feeling to a grinding halt... again.

Here's a little food for thought...

Have you ever asked "that guy" (or maybe "that girl") what's up with the behaviour? When something bothers you, sometimes the best thing you can do is to politely let the person know. Likely they haven't got a clue that "that thing" they do irritates you. And the fact that they've done it a hundred times (I can hear you're teeth grinding from here, by the way) could simply mean that they've never noticed your reaction. If they are clueless, how can you expect them to change the behaviour? After all, it's not as if they can hear your thoughts.

It might be that what they do, they do for a reason. And if you were fully aware of the reason, it may not be so bothersome to you. They may be able to tone it down some and you may find yourself a little more tolerant of the action once you've had a discussion about it.
It might even be that they do it in retaliation to something that you do to them, albeit unknowingly. And you'll never know exactly what's up, if you don't just ask.

It's easy to complain about it to your peers (maybe it'll get back to them) or your supervisor (maybe they'll issue a cease and desist order) but if you really want to solve the issue once and for all, and be able to work near each other in the future, why not try to start up a friendly conversation to ask them about the behaviour and to let them know what it does to you.
Keep it simple and just ask if you can speak to them about something on your mind. Talk about how YOU are affected by the action, rather than blame them for it, and let them know what you'd like to see. Be sure to invite them to share with you their side of the story, too.

Remember, it's the little things that lead to big things. Small bothers repeated turn into big issues - and small gestures, like asking nicely for a conversation, can sometimes surprise you with big rewards. And this applies not only at work - you can do it anywhere with anyone.   Why not try it and see?


  1. This is good advice and something everyone should try at least once.

    I am a new follower from the Fun Tuesday Hop.

    Vicky @ http://messforless.blogspot.com

  2. Thanks for following. It's amazing how many people never think to just ask the source of their conflict what's up. you're right - everyone should try it just once at least - so much potential for fabulous change there!

  3. So nice to meet you from the Canadian Blog Hop! And yes - little things can turn into big problems over time - I agree!