Being Nice to People Who Annoy You

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1 Keep things positive. Even if you’re around a Negative Nancy who is driving you crazy, try to steer the conversation in a positive direction. Whether you’re talking to a grumpy classmate or a drama queen sister, try to talk about the good things in life, such as the sunny weather, the holidays coming up, or what fun things you’re going to do after school. Get the other person to talk about happy subjects, and you’ll be much more inclined to be nice to that person.
Always remember to treat people the way you would like to be treated. The golden rule is that if you are nice to people they will treat you in the right manner, and if you are horrible and nasty to people they will think that you’re mean and ignore you. However, you may be stuck with someone who is just being nasty to you — does that mean you have to stoop down to his or her level? Absolutely not. Instead, you should just keep killing that person with kindness — and get out of the situation any way you can.

  • Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should let a rude person walk all over you. You should stand up for yourself, but do so in a kind and respectful way. If that person feels like being rude, don’t stoop to his level.


Avoid touchy subjects. If you’re around a person who you don’t generally get along with, avoid the things that you know will make that person upset, or the things that will make you more annoyed. Try to stick to the safe, polite topics, like your health, the weather, or school or whatever it is you have to talk about, and you will be far better off than if you tread on territory that is touchy or immediately controversial. If you want to be nice, then you should avoid pushing a person’s buttons — or having yours pushed.

  • While you’re at it, see if you can find some common ground, whether you and that person like the same sports team or grew up in the same hometown. You may be surprised by how much you and the person have in common — and by how much easier it suddenly is to be nice.
Know when to walk away. Sometimes, the best thing you can do to keep being nice is to say goodbye. Learn to pick your battles and stop engaging with a person who routinely annoys you if you can avoid it. If it’s a person you have to see regularly, like a sibling, then just remember that it’s better to say nothing than to say something that isn’t nice. If you know the conversation is getting heated and is likely to make you say something you regret, just excuse yourself.

  • Walking away at the right time doesn’t make you a coward. It actually makes you more mature for being able to recognize when something is futile.


Try to see it from the other person’s perspective. You may find it hard to be nice to a person because you just feel like you’re such completely different people that you’d never be able to get along. But if you take a minute to think about where that person is coming from, you may have a better understanding of that person’s thought process and intentions. You may not end up being best friends with a person just because you know him or her better, but you may find it easier to be nicer to that person.

  • For example, you may think that a person is really stuck up and mean, but you’ll see that the person is treated poorly by his or her own parents, which can lead him or her to act a certain way. This can help you have more sympathy for where that person is coming from.


Keep the mood light. If you’re stuck spending time with someone who annoys you, try to be funny, goofy, or just plain silly to lighten the tension. Don’t take yourself so seriously and don’t dig in to the deeper topics. Just try to keep things fun and easygoing, and you’ll see that the person is much easier to get along with and be nice to. If you’re talking about serious subjects with a person you don’t like that much, you’ll be more likely to act mean.

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