How to Be Nice to Someone You Hate or Don't Respect

Being nice to someone you don't like can help you in the long run.
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Being nice to someone you don't like may seem impossible. Unfortunately, that person may have a big influence on your social and academic lives. Learning to find a way to get along with someone you don't respect can positively affect several aspects of your life.

1 Get Over It

The easiest way to attempt to be nice to someone you do not like is to get over it. For whatever reason, you are required to communicate with this person. If the reason is for a class project, your best bet is to try to get along. This could include smiling and maintaining casual conversation. Some regard this as "grinning and bearing it." While this seems like an easy quick fix, it is often easier said than done. You may find it difficult to set aside what annoys you about this person to achieve your goal. In fact, what that person does may affect your ability to reach your goal.

2 Mirror Images

You may be able to easily identify the traits in the other person that you don't like. In fact, you may know these traits well because they are traits you both share. Many times people tend to dislike others for possessing traits that they do not like about themselves. If you dislike someone because that person is self-centered, take a look at yourself and see if you possess that characteristic. Then, address this characteristic within yourself. You should attempt to work on the qualities in yourself that you don't like, but also try to be compassionate with yourself. If you're compassionate with yourself, you're more likely to be compassionate with the person you can't stand.

3 Do Unto Others

While we'd like to think that we're always direct communicators, this may not always be the case. In fact, the person with whom you have a problem may not know that you dislike him. Your natural tendency may be to avoid, often known as "flight," or to confront, known as "fight." While confrontations are commonplace on reality television, they don't work well in reality. Besides, most reality television conflicts are rarely solved after a confrontation. So, treat others how you would want to be treated. Approach the person directly, but do it respectfully. Let that person know what you need from him in order to work well together.

4 Shift Your Focus

By shifting the focus away from the person and onto yourself, you may see the benefit in getting along. Being nice to that person could benefit you and open you up to meeting new people who could positively influence your life. Whether you're in college or planning to head there soon, you'll have to learn to interact with others. Developing these skills in college can help prepare you for the "real world," where you'll work with a variety of people. So learn how to get along with people you may not like now rather than later.

Ashlea Campbell writes about families, relationships and health-related issues. In addition to writing professionally, she teaches writing courses at Collin College in Plano, Texas. She holds a Masters degree in English education from the University of Kansas.