It is common to be irritated by disruptive behavior. Whether or not the annoyance is intentional, the real problem arises when you must confront the person. Informing someone of their annoying behavior can be uncomfortable for many, and possibly insulting to the receiving party. Many avoid the situation completely, only escalating the frustration. Approaching someone delicately about their behavior is very feasible, using the right tactics.

#1 Describe the Situation, Not What You Think

When you address the situation, do your best not to judge it. You may think you know why the person is acting a certain way, but the truth is you do not know unless they tell you. The person may be completely unaware of what they are doing. If you describe what you think instead of what is actually happening, you are judging the situation and the person and not informing them of anything. Stay objective, and tell them what you see happening, and let them see what you are seeing instead of what you are thinking. Even if they are aware of what they are doing, hearing about it in an objective light may let them see how it affects others.

#2 Understand the Other Person

This can be very difficult, but extremely beneficial if accomplished. If you can show compassion and understand the other person's position and/or point of view, you will make a lot more progress to putting a stop to the behavior or finding a resolution. Treat the person like a human being, listen to what they have to say, put yourself in their shoes. This compassion will not only help you communicate calmly with the other person, it lowers their defenses and makes them more receptive.

#3 Keep Your Emotions at Bay

No one enjoys being yelled at. Directing anger, annoyance or frustration on another person usually does not create an open space for communication. Although we may have a strong desire to express the emotion we are feeling at the moment, stay focused on what you want the outcome to be. You will not reach your desired outcome by targeting the other person. You are more likely to resolve the situation by concentrating and expressing the result you are looking for.

#4 Prepare for Defensiveness

Defensiveness is common response to confrontation. What you say may be interpreted incorrectly or it may be taken as an insult. If the other person does become defensive, be patient, and do not take it personally. Contrast and clarify what you are saying, and what you are not saying. Make it clear that it is not a personal attack, just an observation and that you want a positive outcome for everyone involved.

#5 Accept and Move On

Finding a resolution is not always achievable. The other person may be unwilling to shift in their position, or may not understand what you are saying. In this case accept that this is the person's position, and that it has nothing to do with you. This does not mean you have to like it or always tolerate it. If the behavior is very inappropriate and disruptive, find another person who can help (a server in a restaurant, a manager at work, etc.). When you accept the situation and the person, it becomes easier to objectively involve someone else. You can explain the situation without blaming or insulting the other person, which makes the third party more inclined to assist you.

Confrontation can be unnerving for many people, both on the giving and receiving ends. Telling someone their conduct is bothersome can end well when a true awareness is created. A lack of understanding and acceptance is an easy way to instigate negative conflict. Resolutions can be reached by focusing on the situation and actions, and demonstrating compassion.

Author's Bio: 

Adam is a human resources professional and communication coach. His goal is to support individuals and organizations in achieving success by improving interpersonal skills, increasing confidence, and becoming highly effective in communication. With his experience and education in training, recruiting, and consulting, he has acquired a great understanding of social interaction, and uses this knowledge to help others build their skills.

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