Have you ever had the experience where someone really gets under your skin? Perhaps it is a work colleague, a person in your social set, or maybe a family member. What is the best way to deal with this unpleasant situation?

Here a four things that you may find helpful in such situations.

1. It takes two to tango and you don’t have to dance if you don’t want to.

If you are expecting the other person to change who they are then you are probably in for more disappointment. Most people don’t change and don’t even want to change. Most people have their personality well and truly set by their late twenties and the older they get the less likely it is that they will change.

Remember that any successful relationship requires effort and positive intention on both sides. If you are the one doing all the work to make the relationship function happily then you are fighting a losing battle. Ask yourself if you really need to be in this relationship? If the answer is no then remove yourself from it.

2. You are in control of your emotions

You may not always be in control of the relationship but you can choose how you act and feel emotionally. Your emotions are not a product of outside forces, they are a product of your reaction to those outside forces. The good part about this is that you have within you the power to choose what that reaction will be. All it takes is a conscious decision to be in control and then a little practice to perfect the new “in control” habit.

3. The power of non-existence.

If for some reason beyond your control you can’t remove yourself from the environment that the annoying person is in then there is a way that you can train that person in what constitutes reasonable behavior toward you.

Research has shown that the most powerful, results producing thing you can do to another person is to totally ignore their existence when they are behaving in ways that you find objectionable and then to act pleasantly toward them when they are acting in ways that you find reasonable.

For each and every person on this planet, including you and me, the most painful experience is to be totally ignored as if you don’t even exist. Just imagine what it would be like if you were in a social gathering and people not only didn’t speak to you or look at you but they acted as if you weren’t even there at all.

Using this technique of totally ignoring the existence of a person when they are behaving in an unwanted manner and then interacting normally when their behavior improves has been showed to change the behavior of even retarded people with severe learning difficulties. It works even more powerfully on the so-called “normal” person.

4. Accept that your responsibility is to yourself, first and foremost.

When you have to deal with an unpleasant person it is important to remember that your first responsibility in this world is to your own survival, and that includes your emotional survival. If you cannot be happy and content within yourself then it is unlikely that you can help others be happy and content.

Because of your primary responsibility to yourself then you are totally within your rights to remove yourself from the company of people who threaten your emotional well being. It is also totally within your right to practice the ignoring strategy outline in point 3 above.

If you are feeling guilty in anyway for using these strategies then it is important for you to accept that taking care of your own emotional wellbeing is not only your right it is also your number one responsibility.