At some point in your life, you’ll meet people who initially appear to be confident, but who later on reveal themselves to be very petty. Pettiness is often attributed to underlying insecurities carefully hidden behind false assertiveness, which surface when the going gets tough or when another person challenges their complacency.

While petty individuals can be very annoying, it’s important to remember that their bark is often worse than their bite. To avoid losing your cool, try these tips for size:

1. Breathe.

In as much as you want to go She-Hulk on these people, it’s always best to stay composed. They absolutely love it when they see that their antics have an effect on you, so don’t make patol. They’re really not worth the effort. Calm down and follow Michelle Obama’s advice: “When they go low, we go high.”

2. Stand your ground.

While you do your best to extend your patience, it’s also a must for you not to give in when petty people eat into opportunities that are rightfully yours. As writer and lecturer Phil Cooke notes, “Don’t back down,” and let them know that you’re not taking crap from anyone.

3. If you can’t reason with them, ignore them.

Petty people often lure you into falling for their mind games so that they have more material to taunt you with. Travis Bradberry writes on Forbes that these people “defy logic,” and they “derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons,” so don’t buy into their silliness. You have more important things to deal with.

4. If you can’t ignore them, put them in their place.

You’d be surprised how much petty people can get annoyed when you focus on improving yourself and eventually succeed in doing so. The great bonus of finding your happiness and being the best that you can be is outdoing them in every possible way, and it’s seriously the most satisfying form of revenge ever.

5. Just be fabulous.

Don’t let petty people rain on your parade, and leave them to wallow in all the negativity they harbor. You’re already miles ahead of them by just being the amazing woman that you are. Celebrate that, and let these people bite their lips in envy.

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