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What to do when you want to strangle someone at the office

No, you won't learn any choke-holds here, but you will learn a little bit about how to avoid a heart attack when you're facing people at work who always seems to annoy you. Next time you get really angry or disappointed in that one person, you will be better equipped to avoid the stress and just deal with the problem instead, step by step.

1. Try to take responsibility for and identify which part the problem that belongs to you
You might think that the person annoying you is the problem, but it normally requires at least two people to create a problem. A person who annoys you tremendously may have the same effect on other people, but it doesn't have to be so. Consider, therefore, why he/she is so annoying to you.
The most common response is that he/she reminds you of some other person or situation that you encountered before, even if you can't really remember who or what. He/she might have done you wrong or let you down. He/she may never shut up. Whatever it is, you have to try to accept that the reason you are so annoyed, is as much your own fault as the other person's. Yes, it's tough sometimes to try to analyze yourself when you are angry, but the purpose is to prevent yourself from having a similar problem in the future.

2. Have faith in a solution
There is usually always a solution to a problem and it can even be quite simple and might not necessarily require very drastic measures (like someone having to be strangled).

3. Make an effort and try to see the good in the person who annoys you
Any person (almost, anyway) is worthy of respect. Be careful not to fall into a pattern to try to punish someone passively in any way. Don't gossip or talk behind some ones back even if you feel hurt. It may make you feel good for the moment, but it doesn't solve the problem.

4. Search for a solution
The truth is that you can't change other people, so imagine instead that it's your responsibility to find a solution to the problem itself. Use all your resources and creativity and talk to your friends – but do look for the solution, don't just go mental over someone or something.

Consider the following:
• What can you do differently?
• Would a change in your own approach help solving the problem?
• Would it solve the problem if you talked things over with the person?
• Are you focusing on this issue to avoid having to deal with something else?
(The thing is that the solution can contain the least of all things you want to do, but do it anyway. It's worth the hassle for a little peace of mind, but it'll also to give you a reason to feel proud of yourself).

5. If nothing else works
If you’re truly faced with a real idiot you must take the problem seriously. You can't change other people unless they want to change themselves. For you to maintain peace of mind, you must do everything possible to stay away from that person. You may plan the project so that you don't have to meet up for example. And if that person is your boss, it's actually better to go find another job than to get a bad ulcer.

Advice that will help you make progress
• Start setting your own standard today for what you want out of your relationships with other people and be polite and nice according to that standard. Don't let anyone change your attitude because it doesn't suit them.

• When someone steps out of line, tell him/her in a nice and polite way. Tell the person what you expect from your relationship. Sometimes you have to compromise. Other times you may need to end a relationship with someone because they will never learn to understand and respect you. It's about respecting yourself.

• Allow your surroundings a takeoff. You have to change yourself gradually to make the new “model” suit your personality.

Yes, it sounds a bit mechanical, but it's important that you understand that this will make a big difference in all of your future relationships. If you don't have the confidence to change everything at once, do it in small increments and see how it goes. You'll find that it actually does indeed work.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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