She calls me again. A business acquaintance of mine, who wants to partner up with me for this training, learning, changing the world project she has in mind. And again I say: â€śThanks, but no thanksâ€ť.
The project is not the problem. It seems like a good idea. The person is the problem. I know from one too many previous experiences that working with her, interacting with her, is a burden. She is what I call a pain in the ass person.
You know the type: the manager whose employees quit constantly, the businessman nobody wants to work with, the friend nobody wants to hang out with. Even though this person might have good professional skills, because of bad character and even worse people skills, she manages to make everybody want to stay away from her. And of course, like most people in this category, she has no clue to why this is happening and thinks people are just mean, evil creatures.
Unfortunately, pain in the ass people are very common. Over the years, I have worked with these kinds of people, helping them improve their people skills and attitudes. Are you a pain in the ass person?
I believe that the most important steps in not being a pain in the ass person are to accept that you might be one, at least to a certain degree, to understand the key traits this person has and to look for them at your own person. Here are some of the essential traits from my perspective:
1. Compulsive lying. Pain in the ass people will constantly tell you what they believe you want to here, without really thinking whether itâ€™s the truth or not. They will make stuff up and lie constantly. Even when you catch them, they will apologize and promise not to do it again, than theyâ€™ll do it 10 minutes later. This makes it very hard to trust them. Speaking of promises…
2. Not keeping their promises. Pain in the ass people will promise big things all the time, but they will not even manage to keep their small promises. They will promise to send you an email tomorrow, and they will do it in 3 days. They will promise you an 800$ fee, and after you finish your job theyâ€™ll tell you they can only give you 400$.
3. Lack of fairness. Pain in the ass people will often want you to do most of the work, while they get most of the money and the appreciation. They bring little value to the table but they want to get as much value as possible. And when you ask for your fair share, they wonâ€™t think twice about calling you selfish, but they will fail to see their selfishness, especially when itâ€™s even visible to a blind man.
4. Bad listening skills. Pain in the ass people will generally have bad communication skills, but their listening skills are usually the worse. They donâ€™t really listen when you talk; they just phase out and think about their stuff. Then, when they have a thought they want to express, they will just interrupt you brutally and say it. This is how a hypothetical dialog with these people takes place.
5. Opposition to any idea different than their own. Pain in the ass people will reject your ideas simply because they are different from theirs. Their big egos cannot tolerate the thought that they are wrong or that someone else has a better idea. They will often try to bring arguments to support their side but in the end, even if they lose the debate on logic and arguments, they will simply ignore this and just say: â€śNo, youâ€™re wrong. Weâ€™ll do it my way.â€ť
If you identify any of these traits at yourself, I strongly suggest you work on your people skills and eliminate them. These traits sabotage your relationships and performances like crazy. If youâ€™re working or interacting with a person with these traits, I have 6 words for you: Get the hell out of there!