There’s a lot of pathways to feeling stressed. Busy schedules, demanding workloads,
and people. All. The. People.
The thing about stressful people is you can’t control them. People have free will and
their own agendas, which makes it hard to assert yourself and get them to back off and
give you the space you need. This can cause stress and various other issues.
Since you can’t always influence stressful people into better behavior, you can take
steps to avoid them altogether. Here are some tips for avoiding stressful people.
Tip #1: Limit your contact. If you must endure a stressful person through family relations
or a working relationship, limit the amount of contact you have. Create a schedule that
reduces the time spent with stressful people and let the schedule do the work.
Communicate that you have a specific time frame that accommodates engagement and
stick to it. Let the clock or the calendar take the blame for you not being able to spend
more time together. Setting a clear time frame will help you focus on the time you must
be with a stressful person and give you a deadline for when you can escape.
Tip #2: Don’t automatically commit. Make it a habit to use the term “I will let you know”
as your automatic response to a request for contact with a stressful person. Sometimes
people are caught off guard and asked to commit to things they would rather not be a
part of. Requiring time to think things over and let people know buys time so you can
decide if you want or should spend time with a stressful person. This tactic can help you
avoid stressful people and give you time to prioritize your schedule. Be sure to follow up
and close the loop via email, DM, or a phone message.
Tip #3: Remove yourself from stressful situations. If a situation becomes stressful,
simply leave. Chances are if someone is stressful for you, they are causing stress for
others as well. Politely excuse yourself and leave. You may be setting an example that
others will follow. Generally, you are not required to be in places that aren’t in your best
interest. Don’t be afraid to remove yourself from stressful situations.

Stressful people leave you feeling uptight, drained, and uncomfortable. They are simply
no fun to be around. Avoiding people who cause you stress is the easiest way to
diminish their impact on your mood. Limit your contact, watch what you commit to, and
remove yourself from stressful situations to make things easier.