How to Deal with Disorganized People

Your skin is crawling. You feel your cortisol levels rising. You don’t remember being this upset and yet you’re playing the leading role in your own production of Groundhog’s Day.

Susie forgot to copy you on the email. Again.

What’s her deal anyway? Does she not even care about her job? Sure, you’re not exactly King Boss, but you’ve told her time and time again that you want to keep track of the details and copying you on those specific emails would be truly helpful. AND you smiled when you said it!

But no. Susie didn’t copy you. You want to blame a vindictive nature that she’s reserving all the credit for herself, but you know better. Susie is disorganized.

How do you deal with people like that? Other than your typical response of huffing, puffing, and snarky (read: mean) comments. Like when your husband says he’ll be the one to pick the kids up but always forgets when and where he’s supposed to be. Or the intern who never gets your coffee order right.

What’s it going to take the get these people fixed up right?

We can spend all kinds of time saying how these people are never going to get far and that they need to do what you do to be more productive. We can play the blame game all. day. long. Because it’s a game that’s been created to never have a proper end, much less a winner or loser.
That’s why you must deal with disorganized people by dealing with yourself first.

You, who I assume is quite organized, have likely rested your laurels on how fabulously you’ve compartmentalized your life in the way that you see fit.

Here’s the problem: there is no rule book that says the most organized people will win. Okay, maybe one rule book: The World Champion Organizer Olympics.

But that’s pretty much it. (Also, I made that one up. Girl, come on.)

The only control we have in this world is of ourselves. Of ourselves and the ways we react to events in our lives.

There is nothing you can do to hold the hand of someone who has no interest in being more organized in an area that’s bugging you because if they cared about it, they might see things differently.

But even if it’s different, it is very unlikely to be the same as you.

Pro tip: stop expecting yourself from others.

You deal with the disorganized by accepting our differences as humans, and looking inward to see what is making you see them in a negative light. Hate to break it to ya, but we see the world as we are. Not always as it is.

So maybe you’re not disorganized in this particular area of concern, but you definitely don’t like something about yourself that, as you continue to push it down, gives you the energy to take it out on others.

What’s really bothering you? This person is not you, and their level of disorganization is not what’s going to make or break your life.
Deal with the disorganized by getting organized with your priorities. Here are a few ideas:

Say something nice to yourself about yourself.

You need to look out for #1. Doing that doesn’t mean tearing down someone else. It means truly lifting up yourself up. Offer and accept a genuine, thoughtful compliment that reminds you of the power of being nice.

Do something nice for a disorganized person.

When you level up your mind by being kind to yourself, you have a much greater ability to be kind to others. You clearly know that someone doesn’t exactly carry the ball down the court when tasked, so offer to help. Continue to show them your support so they know that you want to see them shine. You can’t make them drink the water, but you can help them when they’re thirsty. 

Plan your next reaction.

This is an obstacle that you know will always come. What will you choose to do next time someone disorganized shows it? There’s no reason to raise your blood pressure over this, so visualize in your mind what an alternative plan of action would be that makes you both feel better. 

Q: What have you found to be helpful for dealing with the disorganized? Leave a comment below.

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  1. Laurence says:

    Hi! I wondered how to deal with someone so disorganized that they affect negatively your life? What if this disorganized person truly takes a toll on you emotjonally and financially? In short, I am stuck for two months a half with a highly disorganized person (roomate) until I move out and this person just “goes with the flow” while coming up with surprise bills and fees. I’m the type of person who keeps a strict budget and cuts where it is possible to, and saves for specific projects. There are also more areas such as cleaning which show we are not on the same ppage at all… how to deal with it before I finally move away?

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