When you have a problem with somebody that won't go away, you need to mix things up. If you stop sounding like an angry broken record and try improvising a completely different response, you can surprise the other person into reacting differently and give yourself control again.
Photo by Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung.
Trying to solve a problem the same way over and over again is a waste of time, and it makes you feel powerless. Sometimes a problem just needs a new approach, even if it's a little outside the box. When it comes to the people in your life that aggravate you on a regular basis, Michael Lipson at Harvard Business Review suggests a little improvisation can help you switch things up and address your issues with someone from a whole new angle:
...you get back in control of yourself. You become less like a train on a track and more like a Jeep on an open field. It's playful, too: what you come up with in the moment is often light-hearted. It returns your sense of humanity and freedom along with your sense of humour. The second aim of improvisation is that it can liberate the other person. When you stop playing your familiar role, you implicitly invite them to stop playing theirs. You can't directly control the other person, but you can change the environment around them — in this case, your own response. This makes it likelier the other person will respond differently in turn.
For example, say you have a roommate that keeps eating your food in the fridge. The next time they do it, instead of getting angry and sounding like a broken record, wing it and try something different. After you ask them if they ate your food, tell them that they're a good roommate, that you appreciate that they help keep the apartment clean, and give them a high-five. They will be surprised. You've disrupted the typical back-and-forth on the issue, and they may finally realise that you respect them and that they should respect you more by not eating your food. At the very least, you tried a different approach, so you can feel like you're in control again. That confidence boost can lead to thinking of more effective ways to solve the problem down the line. The whole article is well worth a read, so check it out at the link below.
To Fix a Chronic Problem, Try Winging It [Harvard Business Review]