6 People Who Complicate Your Life
And how to make them go away
By: Erin Hobday
1 THE TYRANNICAL BOSS
Complicates your life by . . . Insisting you're on call 24-7
Simplify your life by . . . Clocking out at 5. And don't forget to lob a cheerful "See you tomorrow" in his direction. "Sometimes you need to manage your boss's expectations," says Gil Schwartz, executive vice president of CBS and Men's Health's Getting Ahead columnist. "That means leaving the office at the same time every day or limiting weekend work." And don't worry about being fired: "If you were doing a bad job, you wouldn't have so much to do."
2 THE CHATTY COWORKER
Complicates your life by . . . Becoming a permanent fixture at your office door, stifling your ability to IM your friends
Simplify your life by . . . Boring him. Don't engage him, suggests Schwartz. Don't look at him or say anything that might lengthen the conversation. "Eventually he'll stop coming by," Schwartz says.
3 THE NAGGING MOTHER-IN-LAW
Complicates your life by . . .Giving you unsolicited advice and hideous ties
Simplify your life by . . . Befriending the enemy. "Most men spend time with their mother-in-law only as part of a couple," says Albert Maslow, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist specializing in men's issues, "but it's important to develop a relationship of your own with her." Maslow suggests taking her to lunch or doing handiwork around her house. At the very least, you'll begin to understand her motivations, Maslow says. And maybe, just maybe, she'll become less of a buttinski.
4 THE PUSHY SALESMAN
Complicates your life by . . . Trailing you around the store
Simplify your life by . . . Wearing gym shorts. In a California State University study, salespeople approached shoppers dressed in work clothes more quickly than those who were dressed casually.
5 THE TRAGIC FRIEND
Complicates your life by . . . Complaining incessantly about his pathetic existence
Simplify your life by . . . Telling him a joke, preferably dirty. It'll stop him long enough for you to change the subject, Maslow says. With luck, you'll eventually deprogram him.
6 THE NE'ER-DO-WELL SIBLING
Complicates your life by . . . Borrowing money and third-wheeling your life
Simplify your life by . . . Shutting him out. Lending him your cash or social life makes you an enabler, Maslow says: "It'll get worse until you cut him off." So apologize, say no, then point him toward Monster.com