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How to deal with petty people?
I thought it might be useful to discuss dealing with petty annoyances and annoying people.

You know the sort.  Grumpy airline passengers who want you to trade seats with their friend/significant other and don't understand why you don't want to swap a nice aisle seat for something in the middle of a 5-seat block on a long haul "just to be nice." People who cut you off in traffic or honk endlessly at pedestrians crossing with the walk light (but blocking those who might want to turn). Harried underlings of the customer service variety who are supremely unhelpful mainly as a way to hide their incompetence. The list goes on.

It's summer, it's hot, temperatures are high... how do you go about heading off potentially unpleasant encounters? Any strategies?
I think number one is coming to peace with the fact that you're not going to change people, and the best you can do is change how you interact with or mentally respond to the annoying people in your life. 

With the example of the airline seats, I think you need to stick to your guns and tell the person you don't want to move  Sometimes replying with a "no thanks", or "that's ok, I'd rather stay here" is enough to get the uninitiated to back down.    If they then persist to get into a debate with you about why, you again have to stand strong and tell them it's your seat and you're not going to discuss it.  Then they have to deal with it.

I think one of the thoughts that has helped me with annoying people is realizing that they are with themselves every second of the day, interacting with everyone else in their lives.  If this person is annoying you, getting you riled up, or generally pissing you off, they are likely inducing the same feelings in everyone else they meet.   Just imagine what their life is like, and rest assured that they will likely get their comeuppance
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Latest Post: August 10, 2010 at 3:56 AM
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