When you don’t get along with someone, having a conversation with them can be infuriating and agonising. It’s a situation that’s best avoided, but sometimes you can’t get away; especially if you work together on a daily basis. Here’s a way to make those talks productive.
If you’re locked into a discussion with someone you despise, Jay Heinrichs, author of Thank You for Arguing, suggests you pick a goal – a productive one – and stick to it. For example, your goal could be to gather knowledge and learn something new. This person you disagree with might have insight into a perspective you don’t know about. Or perhaps your goal could be trying to find something in common. Maybe they’re fans of the same sports team, and you can steer conversation that direction every time you’re forced to be around them.
Or, if there are other people around, your goal could be to strengthen your relationship with someone else. You can show them how good you are at keeping your cool, or show support for their beliefs in your conversation with the person that drives you mad. The point is to turn a situation you can’t stand into progress, and to keep you distracted enough that you don’t blow your top off.
How to Talk to Someone You Hate [Tonic]