Yep, we’ve all been there. Whether it’s a co-worker, a family member, or even a close friend, we’ve all had to deal with people whose stark irresponsibility causes anger, annoyance, and even chaos everywhere they go.
These individuals are constantly late, they don’t follow instructions, they miss appointments, they forget to call, they make drastically uninformed decisions, and they just generally create negativity and angst for the rest of us.
Here are five great ways for dealing with these annoying people, and the very appropriate acronym to help you remember these tips is T.H.U.M.P!
- Tell them – Believe it or not, many people who are chronically irresponsible don’t realize the depth of the chaos that they leave in their wake. It’s not up to us to teach and train the masses about how to be responsible members of society, but that doesn’t mean we can’t point out that they have caused a problem due to their irresponsible behavior. If they get upset about it, that is probably because they know that you’re right, and no one likes to face the fact that they screwed up.
- Have a back up plan – Despite your best efforts to tell certain people about their less than savory personality traits, some people are just going to be irresponsible no matter what you do. Your only recourse then is to have a plan in place for whenever they live up to your expectations of them. Whenever you are involved in any dealings with these people, you can think positive about the outcome – and maybe that will come to pass – but you should also plan for that person to drop the ball. By having a back up plan in place long before this person has a chance to cause an issue, you’ll save yourself and everyone involved a lot of headaches.
- Undermine their involvement – Sometimes the best defense is a smashing offense! If your favorite irresponsible person is going to cause problems despite your best efforts, simply remove them from the equation. Make plans without telling them. Fill their normal slot in your endeavors with someone else before they get a chance to get involved. Keep a tight lid on the details about your upcoming adventures. Even if the irresponsible person finds out, that doesn’t mean that you need to suddenly gush about all of the details, thus allowing them to possibly slip in at the last minute.
- Make them an offer – When all else fails, turn to bribery! If you can’t advise the person, prepare for their chaos, or otherwise avoid their involvement, then make them an offer that they can’t refuse. Dangle a big carrot in front of their face, and promise them a rich reward if they manage to be a part of whatever you are planning without making a mess of it. Be sure your “carrot” is something that really appeals to them, even if that appeal is simply to their vanity or to their misguided perceptions.
- Prepare yourself mentally – The final way of dealing with irresponsible people is to simply expect them to be that way. This isn’t to say that you should run around thinking the worst of people. However, there are some people who are going to do what they are going to do, no matter how many problems it causes for other people. If they are going to do their thing regardless of your efforts to the contrary, then the best thing that you can do is to just be ready for it on a mental level. Even chaos, anarchy, and negativity aren’t as bad if we are ready for them. Often, just being ready for something will limit the negative effect that it has on us.