How to deal with relatives you hate

They say “relatives and fish stink after three days”. Now isn’t this why we hate some of our relatives so much, but as destiny has it, we have to deal with their existence and especially their visits now and then, some of the occasions which really turn our worlds upside down.

There is always that one person who would love stepping on your feet, no matter what. And sometimes we shudder to think if the grown up relative is indeed a grown up or what!! However it will never stop them from doing what they do best, annoy you.

So what you need to do is to take matters in you own hands, and not overreact to their nonsensical ways of living. Today we would like to speak with you more about how to deal with annoying relatives or those that you hate, hence please read on and be well-informed for the same. Here look at few tips on how to deal with relatives you hate?

Why do you hate them so much?

1. Is it something that they did or said, didn’t do or didn’t say or something that you don’t like about them? This happens especially when we have aunts and uncles around, who think they know it all and would create massacre for us at the end of the day. They keep saying they went through the same age we are in, but keep forgetting that times have changed and things need to be dealt with differently. So think if this is one of the reasons why you so hate that nagging aunt or the dominating uncle.

2. Be nice and talk to them once, let them know how you hate it when they interfere in your private affairs and life. And also let them know how much you appreciate it when they don’t interfere in your business or when you dad gives you a talk. Be civil and be gentle, and if it doesn’t work, let them know through polite yet stern words (only) that their existence doesn’t make a difference to you anymore.

3. This means you now are justified by ignoring their presence. And even if they do come over sometimes, which they will, you can always greet and play with others, and minimize your interaction with the one you despise around. Or what you could do is, if the one you hate is the one who comes alone to visit your family, go ahead to your neighbors place or lock yourself in a room on the pretext to study. This will send a loud signal that you really don’t want to socialize with someone you cannot stand.

Abuse and use:

Unfortunately more and more children in their growing years are being abused or have been abused by relatives in many ways, which seems to be one of the main reasons why relatives are hated. If such is the case with you, it would be wise to chin up and speak with a counselor who would be able to get you out of this situation. Remember, there are many other ways to show you hate him or her, but the hate will only grow into pus within and hurt you more.

Maybe the philosophical values at home or with the hated relative are different or ancient, and you really don’t resonate or sync with their ideals.

Make that clear to them in a polite way and do let them know that as much as you respect their views, following them all is a not your forte and no one can force you to make life changing decisions basis that.

The trouble with the holiday season is that you have to go home and visit with family, family that can often drive you crazy and stress you out. While there’s no way to completely escape those cringe-worthy and awkward situations, there are ways you can deal with them more effectively.

The holidays are a stressful time for everyone, especially if you’re visiting family. Slow down and relax—the first thing to remember is that whatever situation you’re in, whatever conversation you’re having, it’ll be over eventually. With that firmly in mind, you’ll be able to tackle any other situation.

Understand What’s Happening to You: A Brief Primer on Stress

We’ve gone into detail about what stress actually does to you before. When you’re dealing with family, you’re dealing with acute stressors that can be draining if you deal with them over and over for the course of an afternoon or evening.

What Stress Actually Does to You and What You Can Do About It

Stress is an unpleasant fact of life. We all experience it for various reasons, and we all try to…

You know what it feels like to be in those awkward situations, or those conversations where you can tell your family is grilling you on something you’d rather not discuss, so it’s not difficult to identify. When you have that emotional response however, there are other things going on in your body. Your heart rate accelerates, and your system is flooded with stress hormones like cortisol and norepinephrine, all due to your body’s fight-or-flight response ticking on so you’re aware, alert, and ready to handle the situation. Unfortunately, dealing with an irritating family member who won’t leave you alone isn’t something you can deal with by running fast or climbing high. Once you understand what’s going on, cooler heads can prevail and you can try to see through your emotional response and de-escalate the situation.

How to deal with relatives you hate


I’ve taken some steps towards becoming a peaceful and happy being. However, there’s the matter of other people and their own negativity, in this case my closest family. They are quite a wonderful but negative bunch. I’ve often been mad at them and try to change their ways but I realize now how wrong I was. Nowadays I try to change myself.

I’ve actually decided to cut back on my relations with my mother a little since I believe we have a very unhealthy relationship. However, I really want to keep seeing her in the future and I’m afraid to fall back in old habits of arguing. And I want to see my grandmother. She is very lonely but also incredibly negative, she shouts and complains about everything all the time, and I don’t know how I can handle it. There’s nothing I can do to help her, she complains about stuff on the news, about things that happened over the last 60 years, about our relatives and I realize that she, and my mother, just want to express their feelings. I guess I’m really sensitive because I get such anxiety, unpleasant feelings and sometimes such anger when they do this.

At the moment I just ignore every negative thing they say, but it really really bothers me. How can I change the way I feel about this? I really want to be the happiest me I can be.


Let your family members be as they are. Give them space. I mean this even if you are sitting with them – give them space to be. Don’t take any responsibility for what they say or do, and do not take any responsibility for your own reactions…

When these waves of unpleasant feelings arise in you – let these be as well. Do not identify with them. Be the neutral space of awareness in which feelings arise. Be a witness to them, let them be. Treating feelings in this way will begin to remove their power over you. Negativity can not survive in an accepting, surrendered, alert inner state.

Even if you understand that being affected by other people’s negativity is useless, still this behaviour may habitually arise in you, by itself. This is why I say do not take responsibility for your own reactions or feelings – only be responsible as a nonjudgemental witness of them as they come, stay, and go. Have no opinion of how you should be feeling when around these family members – and as a result you will be more surrendered and at peace, not fighting and fuelling any negativity inside your own self.

Obviously you can not control someone else’s negativity or opinions, and if you argue against it, you just make it worse. So you can use it to burn up any latent negativity inside yourself. With family members in particular, other people can trigger negativity inside you, or trigger shared negativity that exists within many members of the group – which you can then transcend using awareness and nonresistance (surrender/acceptance)

Give up any need to control your mother or grandmother, and don’t try to control your own feelings. Trying to control these things is like trying to cage a wild beast – the beast will get more upset and will fight even more. Surrender completely. If resistance and negativity arise in you, surrender to that, be a space for it all, let it be as it is. This is a far quicker way to peace than consulting the mind or thinking about anything.

To go a step further – the “me” that is upset by all of this – is also observed by you. You can be aware of this “upset me” as it arises – remain as the awareness.

All of the above may at first seem as if you are becoming weaker – but this is only the mind’s interpretation. If you let yourself be as you are – including any uncomfortable feelings, and you let other people be – then action or speech will happen more naturally, and less traumatically for you. You may find yourself not reacting at all to the outside negativity – almost as if it does not exist, or you may find yourself speaking or expressing yourself, but in a less argumentative way.

Usually when people are negative around others, they are looking for a reaction or confirmation from someone else. Sometimes the negativity in them wants to create negativity in others. Giving someone else space to be, without mental judgement, is a great antidote for this. The negative one may get confused or upset – but you just continue to let them be, and you will do (or not do) whatever is needed.

The main thing to do is stay inside yourself. Stay as the witness of your inner state. Nonjudgementally watch the reactions arise in you. Be there as a witness only. Be aware of the story in the head that is formed around these family members –when you are with them and when you are not. Notice how the mind makes these people into concepts and judges and interprets their behaviour mentally. Drop this mental labelling as much as possible, and remain as a witness to it if it continues to arise.

When you give up all attempts to change the way you feel, and instead totally allow yourself to feel what you are feeling – then these feelings will gradually or suddenly be transformed into peace. Don’t take ownership of your thoughts and feelings.

Negative family members like this can actually be great spiritual teachers – if you approach them a certain way. They show you what you are still holding on to inside, what you react to, what the negative patterns inside you are – so that you can be aware of yourself as the untouched witness of it all.

Some of the unpleasantness you feel may also just be the energy field that emanates from these people, rather than only being the emotions that are triggered in you. All the above advice is useful to help with this.

If you don’t involve yourself with negative energy, but let it be, it will not have anything to feed on inside you, and it will diminish.

Taking the above words into account – saying that their negativity puts you off being around them (or any other honest expression from you) – will arise spontaneously if it is needed, and will come more from love than aggression.

Thanks for your question, I hope that helps somehow. If you would like to ask anything else, you can just comment below.

If you found this article on negative family members was resonating with you, you might also enjoy my eBook “Undisturbed A Guide To Emotional Wellness” for more ways to deal with negativity within yourself or others.

Be direct and set consequences

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How to deal with relatives you hate

Sofie Delauw / Cultura / Getty Images

  • M.A., English and Comparative Literary Studies, Occidental College
  • B.A., English, Comparative Literature, and American Studies, Occidental College

It’s no secret that family gatherings can cause stress and lead to conflict, especially if some family members have racist that you’re staunchly against.

What’s the best way to proceed when a loved one seems not only small-minded but outright racist? Don’t suffer in silence through one family gathering after another. You can take several steps to stop the bigot of the family in their tracks. These strategies include setting boundaries and calling attention to racist behavior.

Be Direct

Confrontations are never easy. That said, if you don’t want to listen to your parents or siblings rattle off racial stereotypes every Thanksgiving, the direct approach is necessary. How will your family members understand that you find their behavior offensive unless you tell them?

The moment your sister makes a racist joke or uses a racial stereotype, tell her that you’d appreciate it if she didn’t make such jokes or racial generalizations in front of you. If you believe that calling out your relative in front of others will make her more defensive, ask to speak to her privately and then make your feelings known.

If your family member uses a racial slur in front of you, request that she not use such epithets in your presence. Do so in a calm, firm voice. Make your request short and then move on. The goal is letting her know that her comments make you uncomfortable.

Get Help

What if you find this family member intimidating because he’s an elder, in-law, or fits into another category you believe warrants respect? Find a relative you feel more comfortable with and request that they accompany you as you confront your racist family member.

Tell your relative that you love and appreciate them (if that’s true) but find their views on race hurtful. Alternatively, if your grandfather has made remarks you consider racially insensitive, you might want to ask your parent to speak with him about his behavior. If your mother-in-law is the party in question, ask your spouse to confront her about her racial attitudes.

If no one else in your family will serve as an ally, consider taking a less direct approach to confronting your relative. Write a brief letter or email informing them that you find their comments hurtful and asking them to refrain from such remarks in the future.

Don’t Argue

Avoid getting into a back-and-forth with your relative about their views. Stick to the following script: “I find your comments hurtful. Please don’t make these remarks in front of me again.”

Arguing with the relative isn’t likely to change their views. The family member will be on the defensive and you will be on the offensive. Focus on your feelings on the comments.

Set Consequences

Depending on your situation, you might have to set guidelines with your relative. Say, for example, that you have children. Do you want them to hear your family member’s ignorant comments? If not, let your relatives know that if they make bigoted remarks in your kids’ presence, you will leave the family gathering at once.

If your relatives routinely make such comments, let them know that you will skip family gatherings with them altogether. This is an especially important move if you’re in an interracial relationship or have multiracial children who will feel targeted by your family members’ comments. It is also important if everyone involved shares the same race, but you don’t want your family’s racial attitudes to poison your children.

Try Outside Influences

You probably won’t open your relatives’ eyes about race by arguing with them about the issue, but you can take steps to influence them. Organize a family trip to a museum with a social justice focus. Have a movie night at your house and screen films about racial inequity or ones that depict minority groups in a positive light. Start a family book club and select anti-racist literature to read.

Being betrayed, wronged, and cheated is something that all of us will never to get a taste on. However, sometimes there are people who are not sensible enough and treat us really bad. Even though hatred is never a good thing, that feeling naturally comes out. At first you try the Ways to Kill Someone with Kindness, but things get no better. You have done so many Ways to Prove You Don’t Hate Someone, but they continue to treat you bad.

You have nothing left but to get revenge. It doesn’t have to be extremely bad things, but enough to give them some lessons that you are not someone to be messed with. Here are the most evil ways to get revenge on someone you hate.

1. Ignore Them

How to deal with relatives you hate

You don’t really have to keep up with someone who treats you bad. Just sit back and do nothing. It’s the best way to get revenge since they will be stressed out watching you are not affected by the hatred they send at all. It’s the best way to react at the Signs a Family Member Doesn’t Like You.

2. Cut Them From Your Life

There’s no need to be in a good terms with someone you hate at all. Especially when they are the bully who is always belittling you and insult you in front of others. Don’t ever save any of their contacts and don’t try to keep in touch.

3. Have Fun With Your Life

Prove that they have no influence in your life at all. You still be able to have fun without them, and that’s how the best revenge works. Just act as if nothing happened and you are perfectly fine.

4. Block Them

Cutting of all contacts with them seems to be not enough. You should also block them from your social media as well. If they happen to be bullying you online, report their account to be suspended. You can do this when you see the Signs That YourBest Friend is a Frenemy.

5. No Need To Help Them

Helping others is a good deed that everyone should do since we never know when we’d need help from others. But make them an exception. You don’t need to help them even when they’re desperate for it.

6. Show Some Rebellious Act

You need to do something to get revenge. If they are your schoolmates or workmates, ignore all of their request and don’t do any favor they ask for. Let them know that you hate them for their own doings.

7. Take A Legal Action

This is for some serious matters like borrowing money. You may take a legal action with some evidence like receipts or messages the sent. It’s the rightest thing to do to deal with it anyway.

8. Speak Up

Be brave enough to talk back at them. Whenever they put on an act to hate you, answer them back with wit. They have to know what kind of person they deal with. Tell them all the Reasons Why You Don’t Have Many Friends because of them.

9. Achieve Something

How to deal with relatives you hate

Prove that you are better than them by beating them. This works best with your friend at school or work. Work hard in silence and let success be your noise. Everyone around will finally be able to see the truth.

10. Make Them Silent

You don’t have to face them one on one, since all they want to do is to embarrass you in front of others. In a situation like group lunch, dominate the conversation so that they don’t have time to talk, let alone insulting you.

11. Be Kind

Killing someone you hate with kindness will never go wrong. Even if you only put an act into it. This way people around would think how nice of a person you are and how bad they are.

12. Play Dirty

Dirty means dirty. Make sure this placed at most bottom list of your ways to get revenge on someone you hate. Pull a prank or frame them in an unfortunate situation. Just don’t take it too far. You mean to get revenge, not doing something wrong to them.

13. Send Them Terror

When you are already highly irritated, they need to sense some kind of danger around them too. Send an anonymous letter, calls, and texts to them late at night. Make them freak out so that they have no time to wronged you.

14. Give Them Disgusting Gift

Actually this is a little bit funny. It gonna give you a big laugh, too. Try to send them a box contained five living mouse. Don’t forget to choose the prettiest box possible to lift up their mood before freaking out.

15. Embarrass Them In Public

Don’t stop to make fun of them. Order some of dirty movie online with their name and make sure it will be delivered to your office and try to choose the right time like in a meeting.

16. Expand Your Connections

How to deal with relatives you hate

Don’t exile yourself from the society just because someone is belittling you. Grow yourself by expanding you connection. The more you know many people, the more support you will get.

17. Be Prettier

Hit the gym and make over yourself. Try some new styles and haircut. At least you have to physically cooler or prettier than them. It may have nothing to do with revenge, but seeing you getting prettier will make them feel small.

Hating someone with no solid reasons is surely wrong, so make sure that the one you get your revenge on is someone that hate you first. But once again revenge is not a good thing.Unless they’re already passed your limits, don’t do all the ways to get revenge on someone you hate. It only makes things worse. Isn’t peace is all we need in the world?

Finally Solve Your Relationship Problems

If you’re like me you have probably spent endless nights worrying about your relationship and trying to find an easy way that will help you fix it.

I’d endlessly spent hours browsing the internet to find that one golden answer that would finally fix my relationship and allow me to go back to my happy old self.

As I discovered the hard way, there is no ‘one-size fits all’answer that will help everyone. Everyone’s relationship is different.

That’s when I decided it was time for me to talk to someone knowledgeable about the specific issues I was facing, and I found Relationship Hero.

Want him to chase, love and obsess over you?
Well, you’ll need to have a much deeper understanding of a thing called the ‘hero instinct’ which is one of the fundamental drivers behind the behaviour of all men. Once you use that to your advantage, you’ll finaly become the most important priority in his life. My friend James Bauer prepared this Quick Free Video that’ll teach you to utilize this to your advantage.

Within 1 minute, I was able to chat directly to a relationship consultant to whom I could explain the specific issues that I was facing in my relationship.

She gave me suggestions that I could immediately start implementing and we agreed to set a follow up meeting to see how it went.

As soon as I started implementing her suggestions I immediately noticed a big improvement in my relationship. This felt like a huge sigh of relief.

Of course, it still took hard work, but at least with my relationship counselor’s suggestions I now had a plan of action.

If you’re in a similar situation, I would therefore highly recommend that you do the same.

I’m sure you can get your relationship back on track as well!

Research points toward a path to common ground.

Posted May 10, 2016

How to deal with relatives you hate

You may hate to admit it, but there are just some people you just don’t like all that much. This is fine if you can stay away from those people, but what if there’s no avoiding them? Perhaps there’s a coworker who rubs you the wrong way, yet you are forced to share an office, have neighboring cubicles, or work together on joint projects. Or there could be a relative such as a cousin or in-law whom you would never choose to spend time with. However, at family gatherings you’ve got no choice but to be in the same room or even sit at the same table. In your volunteer or community work, you’re on a committee that you very much enjoy and feel a strong sense of commitment. But there’s that one person who, no matter what, irritates you so much that you’d rather stay home in order to avoid his or her presence.

The usual rules for getting along with people may not apply when those people are ones who you know, or think, will cause your blood pressure to skyrocket. Normally, you can handle a person who bugs you by either staying away or working to keep your interactions as short as possible. When these are people who aren’t likely to disappear soon, or quickly, you’re stuck with the dilemma of keeping things on an even keel as much as possible despite your resentment.

One trick you might hope would work is to try to think the best of someone and put a positive spin on what the person says and does. Your in-law might not mean to imply that you’re not as smart as your spouse or partner; your coworker may not deliberately sabotage your efforts to get through a meeting in as professional a manner as possible. It’s just that, unfortunately, these problematic situations seem to develop almost on their own. It’s also possible that these annoying individuals are deliberately trying to set you up, and your reaction is perfectly understandable given the circumstances. Even so, the unpleasant feelings that develop still get in the way of your ability to get what you want to out of the situations. Being provoked may also cause you to get so angry that it’s you, not the other person, who ends up looking bad.

The research on factors that can help you overcome your dislike for someone else that seems to have the most relevance comes from the laboratory of University of Groningen psychologist Melvyn Hamstra and colleagues, specifically a study published in 2013. The idea behind the study is that of regulatory fit, meaning how much energy you’re willing to put into what you’re doing. Generally, if you like something, you’re willing to put more energy into it—but you could also put an equal amount of energy into staying away from something you dislike. Therefore, if you like someone, you’d try as hard as possible to devote yourself to being with that person but if your feelings are the opposite, you’ll try just as hard to avoid that person as much as you can.

The researchers distinguished between two types of focus when you’re putting your energies into an activity. In the promotion focus, you seek to realize your goals and desires, achieving an idealized outcome. In the prevention focus, conversely, you try to do what you “ought” to do and stay away from anything that will keep you from allowing that to happen. You’ll experience regulatory fit when things feel right to you, and the focus of what you’re being asked to do fits the focus of what you wish to do.

The situation that the Hamstra and colleagues team used for their study involved having participants read letters of application from a hypothetical candidate for a job. The candidate either took a promotion focus, emphasizing how much he or she wants a job that involves challenge and responsibility, or a prevention focus, in which the candidate emphasized wanting jobs that require diligence and attention to detail. Participants with a strong promotion focus should like the first applicant and those who adopt a prevention focus should like the second, more conventional, applicant. The match between participant focus and the nature of the letter should, further, stimulate greater interest and motivation toward the applicant.

As noted by Hamstra et al., our usual bias toward people we don’t know is to start out with the default assumption that we will like them. This, in and of itself, is an interesting observation. In case you tend toward the more cynical end of the initial liking spectrum, it may be hard for you to believe that most people have this positive likability bias. Even so, all other things being equal, most of us do seem willing to give a stranger the benefit of the doubt. This observation provides some basis for the saying that “familiarity breeds contempt,” and it’s why you may find it harder and harder, over time, to like the people you should but just can’t.

In a series of studies in which participants read applicant letters that stressed either promotion (“I want to succeed”) or prevention (“I want to fit in”), Hamstra and his colleagues found that the overwhelming tendency was for regulatory fit to produce greater liking of a potential applicant. The regulatory fit itself was, as I noted above, more likely to occur when promotion-oriented people read promotion-oriented letters and prevention types read prevention-oriented letters. In other words, you’ll feel a stronger likeness pull toward people you see as having a similar orientation as yourself, and a stronger dislikeness push away from those who don’t match your own orientation.

Now we can return to the original question: How to get along better with people you don’t like, but have no way to extricate yourself from interacting with.

The Hamstra et al. study suggests that you first tune into the dimension of your personality that represents a lack of fit with the target of your disdain. The individual may not be a bad person, but just someone whose personality doesn’t fit your own. You’re a pessimist and this person is an eternal optimist. Or you’re outgoing and relaxed, and this person seems uptight and reserved. The Hamstra findings also suggest that the more of a mismatch there is, the more strongly your venom will flow toward this person.

Recognizing the subjective nature of your reaction to the person you don’t “like” can become the first step toward seeking a common ground. Talking through your differences, perhaps in the presence of a third party, could help both of you figure out how to not only agree to differ, but to form the yin to each other’s yang. You may not end up as best friends, but you can at least learn to respect, and ultimately work, in the face of your differences. Fulfillment in daily life depends on many factors; getting along with those who are different can become one more way to enhance yours.

Follow me on Twitter @swhitbo for daily updates on psychology, health, and aging. Feel free to join my Facebook group, “Fulfillment at Any Age,” to discuss today’s blog, or to ask further questions about this posting.


Hamstra, M. W., Van Yperen, N. W., Wisse, B., & Sassenberg, K. (2013). Like or dislike: Intrapersonal regulatory fit affects the intensity of interpersonal evaluation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49(4), 726-731. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2013.03.002

How to deal with relatives you hate


How to deal with relatives you hate

In This Article

In theory, your engagement and wedding planning period should be a fun time. You get to book a venue, try on dresses, taste different wedding cakes. What’s not to love? But wedding planning can be stressful, especially when family members are involved. Some give unsolicited opinions; others might put pressure on you to do things a certain way. It can be hard to know when there is normal wedding planning angst from family members or when someone is really being nasty and toxic. And if it’s the latter, what do you do?

For help, we turned to Landis Bejar, a licensed New York State Mental Health Counselor and owner of AisleTalk. She talked us through ways to determine if a family member is toxic, as well as strategies to address the situation. With this advice, you can eliminate much of the negative and move on to focus on your joyful time.

Meet the Expert

Landis Bejar is the founder of AisleTalk, a company that provides therapy and counseling services specifically to brides and their families.

Signs of Toxic Family Members

There is a difference between a family member being annoying or unpleasant and toxic, says Bejar. “A person or a relationship is toxic when he or she cause you serious harm or emotional pain on a regular or recurring basis. It’s usually not that the person is toxic, but rather, the relationship between you is toxic. Or their behavior is. Or both.”

If your interactions with a person always leave you feeling worse, rather than better, you might be dealing with a toxic relationship, explains Bejar. “You might notice you have strong negative, emotional reactions to their behavior or conversations with them, that you feel small, belittled, or insignificant,” she offers. “You might feel like you are always walking on eggshells or that you feel manipulated.” If that person makes you doubt your own reality or your own opinions, that’s also not a good sign.

Another key indication that a relationship is toxic is if you’ve told the person you are uncomfortable with their behavior, and they can’t change. “We all have ups and downs with people we are close to, but you know it’s outside of the norm if it’s happened on several occasions and/or that the person is unwilling or incapable of changing their behavior when you’ve tried to express how they make you feel,” she says.

If a person is moody (you never know what you are going to get with them), disrespectful of your boundaries, or intent on controlling you and your decisions, those are all warning signs.

How to Respond to Toxic Family Members

Address Them

Step one is to address the abuse with the person directly. “Reflect on feelings and experiences you have felt as a result of their specific behavior and address it with them,” shares Bejar. It might be an easy fix. Some people are clueless about the impact they have on others and pointing things out can solve the problem. “The first step towards healing the relationship can be giving them the benefit of the doubt. If they know how they have hurt you, and if they care, they will apologize and change.”

Set Firm Boundaries

Sadly, addressing an issue doesn’t always work. “If they minimize your experience, get defensive about their behavior, or manipulate the conversation to change the topic or ‘play the victim,’ this is a result of (more) toxic behavior,” says Bejar. “It is an indicator that you should set firmer boundaries.”

Setting boundaries doesn’t necessarily mean shutting them out of your life or cutting them off completely. “The main objective is to create distance,” she says.

Some ways to create distance include not answering every call or text message; decreasing your time with them; sticking to topics or activities that don’t trigger you; only spending time with them with someone else who can serve as a buffer; and blocking them on social media.

Don’t Engage

Bejar also reminds us that you don’t have to engage with a toxic family member if you don’t want to. “You don’t have to argue with them when you know it’s not going to lead anywhere,” she assures. “You also don’t have to engage if they’re yelling at you or causing you pain. You can say ‘I can’t talk to you when you yell like this.'” She recommends having a script ready in your head to use whenever you are close to that family member so you are well prepared and never caught off guard.

When to Cut Ties With a Toxic Family Member

If you’ve tried the strategies above, and they haven’t worked, it might be time to cut a family member off, admits Bejar. “If you are still feeling the same level of stress, anxiety, and emotional dysregulation after speaking with them directly, distancing yourself from them, and setting firmer boundaries, you might need to cut them off completely,” she says.

There are different ways to cut ties with someone. One of Bejar’s favorite strategies is to write a letter or email to that family member so you can clearly explain the reasons you don’t want to be around him or her anymore. “Highlight the specific behaviors that have elicited pain,” she says. “Speak to the specific feelings you have experienced as a result.”

You can also explain why you need to take a break and say things like, “I need to prioritize my mental health and the positive relationships in my life right now.” In the letter include the steps you have taken to improve the situation in the past before moving to this more drastic option. “State that it’s difficult for you to come to the decision, but you feel confident it is the only option at this point.”

It’s important to stick to your decision even if the other person tries to convince you to change your mind. Remember that you’ve tried to make this relationship work, but now it’s time to do what is best for you and not for someone else.

Where to Get Support When Dealing With a Toxic Family Member

Dealing with a toxic family member can be emotionally and physically draining, and it’s important to find ways to get support during this time. Don’t forget you are also planning a wedding on top of dealing with this family member.

Bejar recommends leaning on family members and friends who get you. “Surround yourself with people who know how hard this was for you and will provide supportive and unconditional love and understanding.

If you are overwhelmed it is never a bad idea to reach out to a professional for help. “I am a supporter of reaching out to a professional when you feel any kind of distress, not just hitting rock bottom,” offers Bejar. “Through your therapeutic work, you might gain insights and skills that can help you discern whether it’s a toxic relationship or just one that would benefit from some better communication or other relationship skills.”

  1. How to Support a Sibling During Divorce
  2. How to Deal With Family Backstabbers at Home
  3. How to Get Rid of an Obsessive Ex Girlfriend
  4. How to Deal With Siblings That Cause Drama
  5. How to Deal With a Controlling Parent

How to deal with relatives you hate

A family member is usually the last person you’d expect to gossip about you. Your relative is supposed to have your back, not be the one backstabbing you. Try to take a deep breath and talk to your family member – there might be an underlying issue that the two of you can resolve.

One on One

When your sister lets you know about the malicious rumors your cousin has been spreading throughout the family, resist the flames that start to spread throughout your body. Don’t sink to her level and engage in the hurtful and childish behavior – you’ll appear no different than the offending relative and it won’t satisfy your wounded pride, explains Ben Fuchs in the article “Betrayal, Revenge & Forgiveness: A Life Initiation.” Furthermore, you don’t want to involve any more members than necessary to avoid inciting a family war. Instead, give yourself some time to cool off and then arrange a get-together with the offending family member to get to the root of the problem.

Dig Deep

While at first glance it might look like your relative is spreading rumors to your sister, uncle Bob and cousin Jim for no reason, her malicious actions might not be entirely unfounded. Talk to her about why she’s acting in this manner – be clear and speak plainly, and then be open to listening to what she has to say. Perhaps you offended her unwittingly or she might be jealous of your relationships or career success. However, your relative might not hand over this information quite so willingly and when questioned might quickly become defensive. To make it through the conversation and get to the root of the problem, stay calm and cool in the face of her negative reaction.

Heal the Rift

If you discover that resentment has been building over the years – perhaps you’ve become the star to which your aunt compares your cousin on a regular basis – you can have an open discussion about her hard feelings. If there has been an unresolved altercation between the two of you, consider offering an apology for hurting her. While her backstabbing activities aren’t justified by your perceived previous wrongdoing, if you played a role in causing your family member to feel hurt or offended, you can begin to heal the relationship by showing that you are apologetic.

This Ends Now

Now that you’ve gotten to the underlying issue that caused your once-doting uncle to spread vicious rumors behind your back, let him know that you need this behavior to stop. If the backstabbing continues after your discussion, don’t sink to his level and engage in malicious talk behind his back – remove yourself from the relationship. By spending less time with your relative, you provide less fuel for the fire – less gossip for him to spread – and it provides you both with a cooling-off period. Now it’s up to him to come to you to repair the relationship. If he is interested in reconciliation, he’ll have to cease the negative behavior and apologize for the hurt he has caused.

No More Chances

If you’ve tried everything you can fathom and the relationship is irreparable, you may need to withdraw from it all together. Let your family member know how you feel and that you no longer wish to communicate with them. While you might feel guilty or pressured to maintain the familial relationship regardless of the emotional cost to you, stick to your plan and rely on the positive and healthy relationships in your life for support. If you find yourself struggling with guilt and other negative feelings, talk about the issue with a therapist or other mental health professional.

3 steps to distance yourself from people who suck up precious time and energy

Key points

  • Sometimes known as “energy vampires,” negative people can wreak havoc on your life if you don’t have effective strategies to deal with them.
  • These people may show poor boundaries, be chronic complainers, or be unable to accept responsibility.
  • It can be helpful to limit contact with these individuals and try not to get pulled into their crises.

How to deal with relatives you hate

They’re all around us: People who suck all the positive energy out of us to fuel their relentless hunger for negativity, leaving us drained, exhausted, and unhappy. Whatever you call them—energy vampires, energy suckers, or just unhappy, negative people—they can wreak havoc on your life if you don’t have effective strategies to deal with them.

Energy vampires are often personality-disordered people who tend to be:

  • Intrusive, showing poor boundaries.
  • Overly dramatic, making mountains out of molehills.
  • Overly critical, finding fault with just about everyone and everything in their lives.
  • Chronic complainers, rarely finding anything to their liking or satisfaction.
  • Argumentative, having trouble agreeing with others, even on things that seem insignificant or inconsequential.
  • Relentlessly demanding and persistent, being unable to take no for an answer.
  • Constantly negative, always seeing the glass half empty.
  • Unable to accept responsibility, blaming everyone but themselves for their actions and problems.

There is no reason to allow their problems to become yours. Here are three steps to help you deal with people who drain you:

  1. Know one when you see one.
    The negative nature of energy vampires is not always readily apparent when you first meet them. At first, their quirkiness may intrigue you, their gossip and stories may leave you wanting to hear more, their dramatic flair may entertain you, or their hard-luck stories may suck you in. Soon, however, you begin to realize something is wrong. Don’t ignore those feelings. Pay close attention to your instincts and your physical reactions after your encounters. If you find yourself experiencing muscle tension, loss of energy, headaches, irritability, sadness, confusion, or negativity, you may have an energy vampire in your life.
  2. Limit your contact.
    Once you’ve identified such people, limit the amount of time you spend with them. If you can’t detach completely, as in the case of family members or coworkers, set firm limits. For example, for those who are intrusive or overly dramatic and end up consuming a lot of your time with their tales of woe or displays of theatrics, you should start off conversations with something like, “I only have a few minutes before I have to [fill in the blank]. ” Once that time is up, politely disengage.
  3. Don’t get pulled in.
    No matter how much you might like to think or hope you will be able to fix their problems, you won’t. Chronically negative people will either resist your interventions or create new crises in their lives for you to “fix.” The truth is that in cases of personality-disordered people even the best therapists have difficulty effectuating change. In short, their problems are beyond your ability to “fix.” Your best strategy is to protect yourself by setting clear and firm limits. For example, for those who are very needy or insecure and constantly want your guidance, resist offering solutions. Instead, say something like, “I’m confident that you’ll be able to find the right answer on your own,” and excuse yourself. You don’t have to be rude—you can be firm in a kind and empathic way.

In the times we live in, energy, especially the positive kind, is a precious commodity. It’s not something you should willingly give up to those who would steal it. Instead, keep a positive attitude and surround yourself with positive people who leave you feeling upbeat and energized. In the words of Helen Keller, “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.”

© 2012 Sherrie Bourg Carter, All Rights Reserved

  1. How to Forgive a Family Betrayal
  2. How to Deal With Backstabbing Relatives
  3. How to Get Over Your Wife Cheating on You
  4. Positive Communication Techniques
  5. How to Let Your Best Friend Know You’re Mad

How to deal with relatives you hate

When a backstabbing family member says negative things about you to others, it can send you reeling. Families are supposed to be made up of people who love each other unconditionally and are often the last people you expect to have negative thoughts about you. If you find out that a family member has been speaking ill of you behind your back, honest communication is the best recourse. Try to resolve the issue and if it doesn’t work, cutting the hurtful family member from your life might be necessary.

Stay neutral when you learn of the backstabbing comments or actions. You’ll likely hear from another friend or family member of the betrayal, but your conflict is with the one doing the backstabbing only. Don’t involve parties unnecessarily, which can escalate the conflict to a more serious family problem. Try to verify that what was claimed to have been said was actually said.

Ask to have a private conversation with the person who has been speaking negatively about you. He likely won’t realize that you’ve been informed of what he has said. Have the conversation on neutral ground, in a quiet place free of distractions and other outside parties.

After establishing that the person said what was claimed, figure out why the family member has been speaking ill of you to others. She might have a rational reason, such as hurt feelings or a single action that offended her, but she might also have reasons that are harder to identify, such as jealousy. Your family member may become upset or defensive when you question her behavior, so it’s important to keep your cool and speak calmly to avoid further problems.

Apologize for your part in the altercation. While it’s true that the person doing the backstabbing is at fault, you might have unwittingly played a part by ignoring your family member’s feelings and causing hurt between you. Request that the backstabbing stop and you work together for a stronger, more open and honest relationship.

Remove yourself from the situation and the family relationship should the backstabbing continue. It can be difficult to restrain yourself from retaliating with harsh words and actions, but it only deepens the underlying issues. Instead, simply spend less time with your family member so he has less to talk about. This gives you both time to cool off and puts the next action for reconciliation in the offending family member’s hands.

How to deal with relatives you hateI work on multiple initiatives simultaneously at my current job. Some of them are long term, big projects, and some of them are smaller projects under one big program. Two of these smaller projects have given me serious headaches and stress in the past few days.

Why? Because the key people I work with on these two projects:

  1. Don’t validate their own work – they send me stuff full of obvious mistakes.
  2. Don’t know their stuff – they can’t answer simple questions about what they are delivering, and constantly ask others for help.
  3. Don’t provide complete answers – I get cryptic emails back, with short answers to my questions, which only triggers more questions.
  4. Don’t communicate when the deadline has passed and the work is not done – Last I heard, the project should have kicked off two weeks ago. After I asked about it this week, I was told the project manager is just looking at it this week and will kick it off soon (no actual date was promised).

Was I bothered when I experienced all these things? Unfortunately, yes. My instant reaction was, “why can’t these people get their s*** together?” I am not even expecting them to deliver it on time any more, but I did expect them to update me before the deadline had passed, and I expected them to check their own work before declaring it finished.

There lies my problem, and maybe yours if you have encountered anything similar at work. I had certain expectations which led to my frustration and my urge to fix it, even though I really can’t make people be better than they want to be.

The truth of the business world is all kinds of people work in it. The bigger the company, the more variance there is in the:

  • Degree that people care about their work – some people just don’t care.
  • Level of intelligence – not all people you work with were A or B students in school.
  • Quality of work – people’s standards are very different. They may not want to over-achieve, nor be asked to achieve more than the bare minimum.

What is my point? After a few days of headaches and stress, I realized that I am actually causing my own headache and stress, and I can stop it. This is also why I want to share my learning here — so I remember to read this next time something similar happens. Hopefully, it can help you, too, if you ever face a similar situation.

What I Learned to Do – 5 tips

  1. Emotional Divestiture – My friend told me this term when I told her about my recent stress. It basically means “don’t invest in your work so emotionally.” Whatever is happening in these two small projects is not personal. Getting all worked up about it only adds to my stress and doesn’t help the situation.
  2. Respond without judgment – My first response to one of these incidents was to write a nasty gram back. I even considered telling the person’s boss. Just so you know, I didn’t send it. It wouldn’t be professional, and it would be counter-productive. No one is ever motivated to work more if you yell at them or tell their boss about it. I did write the nasty gram to relieve my frustration, but I promptly erased it.

Once the moment passed, I wrote a response that purely focused on what questions I had, based on the work they submitted and the issues at hand. At the end of the day, I have to deal with the hand that is dealt. Wasting time wishing it were different is just that — a waste of my time and energy. On top of that, I still needed them t complete the work, and maintain a professional relationship with them.

So, if you feel like you are too frustrated, don’t send any emails or call anyone yet. You will undoubtedly sound bitter and faultfinding. Walk away and cool down a bit before taking the next steps to resolve the situation.

  • Get a meeting together instead of responding by email Sometimes email is just not a good medium for clear communication and quick resolutions. Instead, I set up some 30 minute meetings to resolve some big issues.
  • Cover my “A**” -One of the biggest reasons I was stressed was that I had promised my boss and her boss that this would be done by a certain time, based on what these teams communicated to me. When they are delayed or the work is of a low quality, and I don’t find out about it until the 11 th hour, I can look pretty bad. One of the first things I did when I found out was to inform my boss the situation, what I was doing to resolve it, and asking for her input or other suggestions.
  • Don’t expect – My mistake was I expected a certain level of quality; I was also hoping to control the timeline, but neither were in my control. These are projects to be completed by other groups that do not report to me. I can only inquire and proactively follow up. I need to accept unexpected challenges as they arise, and let the chips fall where they may.
  • At the end of the day, the old adage still applies: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. The key is to distinguish what I cannot change from what I can change:

    • What I cannot change – other people’s motivation, quality of work, or other departments’ inefficient processes for getting things done.
    • What I can change – communicate upward to manage expectations, ask questions and make suggestion about how to improve the work, etc.

    I am much calmer today. The issues for these two projects are not resolved, but I accept that. I know my calmness will also help me focus on moving the project forward as much as my influence will allow. Best wishes to your career success!

    Your comments: Would you have dealt with these kinds of situations any differently? If so, how? Share your comments and questions below. Let’s have a discussion.

    Like this post? Share on Linkedin, Email, Twitter, Facebook, Email, etc.

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    How to deal with relatives you hate

    The only thing more uncomfortable than disliking your BFF’s new bae is being in the same tricky spot with a family member. While friends sure feel like family to most of us, the truth is that the stakes often get much higher when your actual relatives are involved. When you struggle to like or even just get along with someone a parent, sibling, or extended family member brings home, it can totally throw off the dynamic of family dinners and holiday celebrations. It’s important that you figure out a way to handle this situation with care, so keep scrolling for expert tips on what you should do if you don’t like a family member’s significant other.

    How to deal with relatives you hate

    1. Figure out the root of the problem. There are about a million reasons that you might dislike someone. Before you decide how to handle these negative feelings you’re having, you need to home in on the specific reasons that are creating this particular situation between you and a new potential family member. Life coach Devoreaux Walton suggests that your conclusion there should guide your next steps. If you simply find this person annoying or don’t quite relate to their personality, it’s probably best to set your concerns aside and try to have an open mind. “On the other hand,” Walton tells us, “if you dislike a family member’s significant other because you feel they are disrespectful, rude, or detrimental to your family member, you do have the right to speak up.”

    2. Have an honest conversation. If your issues with this person really do run deeper than cheesy jokes or less than sterling table manners, you should approach the conversation with your family member thoughtfully. “Be honest with [them] and politely express your concerns, while making sure to let them know you are coming from a place of love and don’t mean any harm,” recommends relationship expert Lori Bizzoco. “If they’re willing to listen to what you have to say, then great. If not, don’t push too hard.” At a certain level, you do have to trust that your parent or sibling can make good decisions — and sometimes, even with a toxic or downright abusive relationship, being even justifiably judgmental can result in the person you’re trying to help getting defensive. Expressing your concerns is all you can do.

    3. Fake it ’til you make it. “The only way your family member is going to take a good, hard look at their S.O. is if they’re not busy defending that person from you,” agrees Tina Gilbertson, a Denver-based psychotherapist who specializes in family estrangement. Do your best to be polite to the partner in question so that your loved one doesn’t constantly have a reason to come to their rescue. With outside stresses eliminated, they may be able to more easily acknowledge that their partner’s negative behaviors don’t outweigh their positive ones.

    How to deal with relatives you hate

    4. Change your mindset. As long as you or your family members are not in danger because of this person, you might find that the best course of action is to work on shifting your own perspective about the situation. (Yes, we know this sounds like advice you would get from your mom… but moms do know what they’re talking about.) “[You] might never be best friends with the person, but [you] can focus on changing negative thoughts about the person,” encourages mental health writer and expert Emily Mendez. “Emotions are strongly connected to thoughts. Changing thoughts about the person can help change [your] reaction.” Try practicing more positive thoughts. You might find yourself naturally falling into more enjoyable interactions with the new flame, which could kick off a real friendship between the two of you.

    5. Set boundaries. If you’re not ready to change your mindset or are not comfortable doing so, then it’s totally okay for you to maintain your current negative feelings. They are, after all, your feelings! Licensed professional counselor Julie Williamson notes that setting boundaries might be necessary. Assuming your primary frustration with your family member’s partner has to do with their personality — and assuming they are totally head over heels in love with each other — it’s kind of up to you to remove yourself from situations that will drive you crazy. Sitting out certain casual family events so that you can show up with a better attitude to holidays and other major milestones might be the best way for you to keep your cool and maintain a healthy relationship with the family member who’s caught in the middle. And who knows? With a little distance, you might even find yourself less frustrated.

    6. Stay positive. When all else fails, try to remain the bigger person. Remove yourself from a tense situation with a family member’s S.O. before it turns sour. This is a way better course of action than letting things get negative, and it will help maintain your relationship with your fam no matter what happens with the partnership.

    How have you handled disliking a family member’s partner? Tweet us @BritandCo.

    This post may contain affiliate links to some TERRIfic sites you should check out. Learn more about it here.

    Hurt people hurt people. It’s a popular quote most people know when referencing painful relationships. Yet, there doesn’t seem to be any catchy quotes for dealing with hurt from that person you trusted. I know because I looked and failed. And it happened at a time I needed it most.

    Just two weeks ago I was forced to deal with someone whom I thought was a friend intentionally hurt me all over a misunderstanding. She questioned my character, belittled me and shamed me publicly on social media. And to make matters worse, she made it known that I was no longer welcome at a place I loved. If that isn’t called hurting you intentionally – I don’t know what is. Rather than doing what she did – attack her character and publicly shame her on social media- I did what comes naturally to most Cancer women (or anyone for that matter). I cried. I cried for days wondering how this person I thought would be a life long friend could treat me so poorly. I cried for hours mourning the friendship and chapter of my life that had come to an end. I cried for days wondering where I went wrong and blamed myself for this girl’s callous actions towards me. And as the tears subsided I wondered how I would make the hurt end.

    I’d be lying if I said that it still didn’t hurt sometimes. While hurting her just as bad as she hurt me would’ve made me feel better temporarily, I knew I had to find a way to deal that had more impact. Luckily, all I had to do was look towards the people I admire most to realize the steps that I needed to take. I only hope the below help you as much as they helped me deal with someone who tried to hurt me intentionally.

    1. Be honest and stop the pain

    Although vulnerability is one of the things I’m most afraid of, I realized I needed to allow myself to be vulnerable when confronting this girl. I explained how she made me feel and discussed what caused the issue. In this case, it was a third party misinforming this “friend” about a conversation I had with another person. Rather than trusting the person she knew me to be and ask if what she heard was true, she decided to go on the defensive. Unfortunately, this girl had already made up her mind about believing those lies. I knew trying to convince her otherwise was out of the question and not worth the effort. So instead I decided it was time to make her stop the pain by ceasing her efforts to try to hurt me. As silly as it sounds, some people are not aware of how callous and offensive they are being until they are called out on it. In my case, I told her that I didn’t appreciate being belittled on Facebook and Instagram. I was fortunate in that the person realized her wrong doing and stopped it immediately.

    2. Stop blaming yourself

    This is a tough one, but stop blaming yourself for the way this person chose to act towards you. The reality of the situation is this person intentionally hurting you has a lot more to do with their issues than yours. While it would be easy to blame yourself for everything under the sun, now is the time you need to celebrate yourself and realize that you can’t control people, what they do or what they think about you. There are people who will love everything about you and people who have nothing good to say about you. You will never be perfect, but you can be pretty damn amazing. Keep in mind, Jesus was perfect and they still hated and hurt him. So stop blaming yourself for someone’s immature reaction towards you.

    3. Resist the urge to get revenge

    A true mark of maturity is trying to understand someone’s hurt rather than trying to hurt that person just as bad as she hurt you. Luckily, I never had an issue in this department. It’s just not in my DNA. But i definitely did think about it. An eye for an eye only makes you just as wrong as the other person. Plus, it just takes too much effort. Instead of investing energy in trying to get the person back, channel that into something productive so you can be the best version of yourself. After all, living well is the best kind of revenge.

    4. Show them your softer side

    If you thought resisting the need to hurt her was hard enough, wait till you try to show her your nicer side. They may not deserve your kindness, but in my experience being kinder to that person helps you more than it helps the person who hurt you. Showing your softer side when people intentionally hurt you, not only eases your miserable feelings but makes it less likely for you to feel guilty. Think about how guilty you’d feel had you chosen to blast them on social media the way she did. Now think about how proud of yourself you’ll feel if you chose to pray for that person every night. Sure praying for the person who hurt you may not change the person, but it will certainly change you. Furthermore, being kind and showing that person your softer side will reflect greatly on you. Even though you don’t need to prove anything to anyone, those familiar with the situation will only see you as a kind, levelheaded, and mature person. Lastly, it will only ease your feelings about the painful situation. Rather than feeling bitter and scorned about the pain this person caused you, you’ll feel compelled to only feel pity for the amount of hate this vengeful person has in her life.

    5. Be the best version of yourself

    After this incident, I made the mistake of proclaiming that I’ll never let myself get close to anyone again. However, that is the worst possible thing I could do. Allowing the painful situation to change me, only gives her the power and results in my giving the world a second rate version of myself. If you do that, you’re only allowing the person who intentionally hurt you to win. Lord know’s she doesn’t deserve another victory.

    Don’t let anyone’s pain, drama, ignorance, lies, or closed mind stop you from being the person you are meant to be. Instead, choose to utilize this painful situation to be a better version of yourself. Take the lessons of scorn, conflict resolution and sympathy that you acquired from this situation and apply it towards building better relationships, valuable opportunities, and selfless acts of kindness.

    How do you cope when a person has hurt you intentionally? Have you ever tried to get revenge?

    TERRIfic Words: Be kind to unkind people. They need it most.

    How to deal with relatives you hate

    How to deal with relatives you hate

    How to deal with relatives you hate

    How to deal with relatives you hate

    How to deal with relatives you hate

    By Lauren Shaw, Staff Writer
    December 6, 2013

    It’s that time of year again: the cheery holiday season filled with hot chocolate, toasty fires, and warm blankets. This picturesque scene can only be ruined by one thing: unpleasant relatives. Follow these tips to avoid any hostile relatives and enjoy your holidays.

    Stick with the relatives you enjoy. This includes your favorite cousin, crazy uncle, or even your aunt’s dog. By surrounding yourself with enjoyable company, you will not only have a good time, but you will also be able to escape from the unpleasant relatives by being otherwise occupied.

    Make friends with the animals. Animals are natural companions and, if your family has pets, they can provide a lovely distraction and keep your relatives from conversing with you.

    Go hide in your room. This avoids any human interaction. Period.

    Dive into a book. Also preventing any unwanted interactions, books provide a place to disappear behind its covers while still being present around your family.

    Invite a friend over. Your friend can keep you company and provide entertainment and distraction. They also have the opportunity to meet your lovely extended family.

    Avoid hugely debated topics. If you are forced to converse with an unpleasant relative, do not talk about your views on risky topics such as politics and religion. This always initiates disagreements and arguments.

    With these tips, you will be able to avoid relatives you dislike and appreciate the holidays in peace.

    The advice on this page is distilled from the results of a questionnaire about coping strategies. The questionnaire was distributed at a FACT Conference in 2017. 43 people replied, 33 had themselves been wrongfully accused, eight were spouses or partners of the falsely accused and two were other relatives or friends.

    Not all the advice that follows may be suitable for a particular person but it is highly likely that some of it will be helpful.

    In the immediate aftermath of the investigation

    1. Talk about your situation with close family and friends. You may be surprised how
      supportive they are. The majority of those responding to the questionnaire found them
      helpful. If your work place prohibits you from speaking to anyone, get legal advice because
      this avenue of support is vital and could be life-saving.
    2. Phone FACT’s helpline on 0843 2892016. You can also speak to the Samaritans on 116 123
      (in the UK and the Republic of Ireland). Don’t keep it all to yourself. We will listen and
      understand what you are going through.
    3. Get good specialist legal advice from a team that will support you and believe in your
      innocence. FACT can help you find a good solicitor.
    4. See your GP as soon as possible. Your doctor can help you look after your mental and
      physical health at this difficult time and can keep a record of your suffering. Doctor’s are vulnerable to false allegations and will understand you. Don’t be afraid to take medication such as antidepressants and sleeping tablets if they are prescribed for you.
    5. Contact your Union and/or professional indemnity insurance provider.
    6. Don’t talk to the media; if necessary let your legal advisor do the talking for you.

    In the longer term

    1. Keep in touch with family and friends, and keep talking.
    2. Make use of FACT’s support, come to FACT conferences and speak to other members of
      FACT who are in the same situation as you. We understand what you are going through
      because we have been there too. FACT’s website has many helpful resources
    3. Continue to visit your doctor, and take medication if prescribed.
    4. You will feel better if you can take active steps to regain some control of the situation. Some
      of the strategies recommended by our respondents are:

    a. Get involved in campaigning for justice for the wrongfully accused.
    b. Support others in the same situation.
    c. Research the allegation and/or the complainant
    d. Help your legal team prepare your defence.
    e. Keep a diary, including detailed notes of meetings, correspondence and phone calls.
    f. Research false memories and the phenomenon of wrongful allegations.
    g. Read accounts of other victims of wrongful allegations.

  • These psychological strategies can help control your anxiety and depression.
    a. Try to keep your anxiety in a separate “compartment” of your mind.
    b. Limit the amount of time during the day during which you and your partner/spouse
    discuss the situation.
    c. Try to live in the moment. You may want to learn and practise the technique of
  • These distraction techniques can also help control your mood.
    a. Exercise, such as long walks.
    b. Keep busy.
    c. Go on weekends away or holidays somewhere completely different.
    d. Visit family and friends.
    e. Listening to music, watching escapist or comedy films and TV can be helpful.
    f. Take up a creative hobby or find a constructive project.
    g. Do voluntary work.
  • Counselling can be helpful, but check their confidentiality policy first. Some counsellors will
    feel they need to pass on information about you if they (mistakenly) think you are a risk to
  • If you visit your priest or faith leader bear in mind that they may have an obligation to take
    safeguarding measures which may restrict what you can do in your faith community. You
    may want to seek spiritual support elsewhere.
  • Keep drugs and alcohol under control, over indulging can damage your health and can make
    your anxiety and depression worse.
  • Useful websites and advice

    OK Rehab An organisation to help you cope with any addictive behaviour, including, but not limited to alcohol and drugs. Unfortunately, the stress of a false allegation could make addictive behaviour worse, or cause an addiction. The people running this service are ‘in recovery’ themselves so are uniquely placed to help you find the right treatment which may be private or NHS.

    How to deal with relatives you hate

    How to handle your bipolar family member’s anger and protect everyone from injury.

    Bipolar Anger: A Source of Embarrassment

    Many with bipolar disorder don’t discuss the anger problems that are associated with the moodswings of mania and depression. Why? Because they’re embarrassed that they can’t control it. In an article for BP Hope Magazine, HealthyPlace bipolar consumer expert and mental health author, Julie Fast, describes her battle with anger and bipolar:

    “There are many people in jail because of their anger and bipolar behavior. Children who threaten their parents, women who punch a co-worker, or men who pick fights with strangers are common among people who have this illness. We don’t discuss it much, because so many people are embarrassed by what they have done. All my life, I’ve lived with the embarrassment of mood swings. Indeed, bipolar affects my moods in so many ways that it’s hard to keep track of what is real and what is caused by faulty wiring in my brain.

    In addition to the symptoms of bipolar, there are drugs, including various steroids, that are notorious for causing anger. But no matter what causes the bipolar person to be angry, the question is: How do you deal with a person who’s bipolar and angry?

    Handling Bipolar Anger

    If you are both angry and fear losing control, it is best to separate, protecting everyone from injury. If your relative with bipolar disorder is angry and you are not:

    1. Remain as calm as you can, talk slowly and clearly
    2. Stay in control. Either hide your fear, as it may cause the situation to escalate, or tell the person directly his or her anger is frightening you
    3. Do not approach or touch the person without his or her request or permission to do so
    4. Allow the person an avenue of escape
    5. Do not give in to all demands, keep limits and consequences clear
    6. Try to determine whether the anger is completely irrational and thus a symptom of bipolar disorder, or if there is a real cause that you can validate
    7. Do not argue irrational ideas
    8. Acknowledge the person’s feelings and express your willingness to try to understand what the person is experiencing
    9. Help your relative figure out what to do next
    10. Protect yourself and others from injury; some bipolar anger outbursts cannot be prevented or stopped

    Did You Know That .

    . there is relief for people who are caregivers?

    People who care for patients, such as those with bipolar disease, often experience emotional distress, frustration, anger, fatigue, guilt and depression. One solution is respite care. Respite care is when a temporary caregiver relieves the person who regularly cares for a patient. This can be for part of a day, overnight care, or care lasting several days. People providing respite services can work for an agency, be self-employed, or are volunteers.

    Bipolar and Angry “All the Time”

    If angry outbursts are a recurring problem, wait until everyone is calm and then brainstorm acceptable ways in which the person with bipolar disorder can handle angry feelings and remain in control. These might include:

    1. Being clear and direct at the time of minor annoyances, so the anger doesn’t get bottled up and explode
    2. Venting some energy via exercise, hitting something safe (a pillow), or yelling in a secluded place
    3. Leaving the situation or taking some time out to write in a journal or count to oneself
    4. Taking an additional dose of medication, if prescribed

    Mellody Hobson lends advice for dealing with clinging family and friends.

    Oct. 6, 2009 — — When Penny Campbell got divorced and started having financial trouble, she asked her older sister Lisa Griffith if she could move into Griffith and her husband’s Texas home temporarily in order to get back on her feet.

    That was six years ago.

    Though Campbell has been trying desperately to become financially independent again and has moved out several times, she’s always had to move back in. Now, she’s something of a permanent fixture in the Griffith family, paying a small amount of rent while she finishes school.

    Regardless of her intentions to the contrary, Campbell has become a financial freeloader, according to “Good Morning America” financial contributor Mellody Hobson.

    How do you say no to family or friends that seem to need your help? It’s a sticky situation, but Hobson stopped by “GMA” to show how you can first spot the freeloaders and then how to deal with them effectively, without abandoning them.

    When Campbell struggled through divorce and devastating financial setbacks, she fell back on her sister for support.

    “I’m lucky I have family to turn to, through the good times and the bad,” she said.

    But soon things got so bad financially that she had to leave her three children and father in Montana and relocate to Texas where Griffith lived so she could move in with the couple and their 17-year-old son and save money.

    “I don’t want her to fail at all,” Griffith said. “She’s very smart. She works really hard. I didn’t want her to worry about those finances, but live here for financial reasons.”

    Despite working a full-time job in law enforcement and working part-time at a local department store, Campbell has not made any progress financially in the six years since she moved in.

    “I haven’t been able to save any money. It’s one of those things where I look at my paycheck and I’m like, ‘Where did my money go?’ I know I get paid this amount a month, and by the end of that paycheck, it’s already gone,” Campbell said.

    But Campbell’s not the only one getting frustrated; Griffith is also feeling the growing strain.

    “I feel like she does take advantage of us sometimes,” Griffith said. “Being a family member, she feels that she can be late on rent and not communicate that she’s going to do that. She just becomes so defensive. I approached her, she didn’t approach me.”

    Campbell asked her sister if she could stay in the home until she finishes school, about another nine months.

    “I didn’t want to do it, but I thought what’s another year almost, nine months, whatever,” Griffith said. “And so I said that’s fine. If that’s what you got to do, that’s fine.”

    Mellody Hobson on Financial Freeloaders

    The financial situation is tearing at the sister’s relationship.

    “It has affected our relationship in a negative way, in a way that I wish wasn’t there,” Griffith said. “I want her to have a great life. That’s all I’ve ever wanted for her.”

    “I get frustrated because I am not at the point where I thought I would be,” Campbell said through tears. “If I sat here and said I’m not doing anything to turn it around. but I am.”

    According to Hobson, the first thing to know is whether a family or friend has become a freeloader. There are several warning signs.

    He or she repeatedly comes back for money.

    If the same person is constantly coming back for money, or in Campbell’s case relying on her sister for six years, Hobson said they are freeloading.

    “When you’re dealing with someone where it’s a repeat situation…you’ve got to say no,” Hobson said. “It’s very, very difficult, but you need to say no.”

    Someone who is truly in need will ask for help once or twice as a last resort and then figure out a way to make ends meet, she said.

    He or she buys luxuries instead of necessities.

    If a friend or relative uses your money to buy things that they want but don’t need, they definitely crossed the line into freeloading, Hobson said.

    He or she acts like a victim.

    Another way to spot a freeloader is to see if they seem to have stopped helping themselves. Hobson said if they start acting like a victim and only feel as though other people can solve their problems, then they are freeloading.

    In that situation, Hobson says, “you’ve got to put the ball in their court and have them take control of their life.”

    Dealing With a Freeloader

    After you’ve identified your freeloader, you need to take steps to curb their freeloading habits, Hobson said.

    Set clear boundaries on help.

    First, tell whoever you’re helping exactly how you’re going to help them. The person who you are helping should be able to say exactly why they need the assistance and what they’re going to do with whatever help they get, Hobson said. For Griffith and Campbell, Hobson suggested sitting down to communicate frustrations.

    Jeopardizing your relationship is “just not worth it,” Hobson said. “Talk about these issues openly.”

    Don’t go into debt helping others.

    While Hobson said she would not suggest turning down everyone that asks for help, you have to be careful not to enable those you do help. It’s definitely time to stop when your help is more than you can afford, she said. Both of you going into debt is the worst case for everyone involved — “you can’t put yourself in peril.”

    There are two major things you can do to help make sure a freeloader doesn’t need your help in the future: give non-financial help and develop a financial plan with them.

    Give non-financial help.

    To help a freeloader get back on their feet, you can help by finding out what their goals are and how they are going to achieve them, Hobson said. Paying for a resume or a job hunting seminar can pay off if they’re out of work. Whatever it may be, it’s important to provide them the tools to get back on their feet.

    Help with a financial plan.

    A financial plan can help organize your freeloader. According to the financial planning Web site Simplifi, only 5 percent of Americans have a written financial plan, but they have found that if you have a written plan, you are 250 percent more likely to achieve your financial goals.

    “If you are going to give [someone] money, put it in the form of a loan,” Hobson advises. “That will help the situation and help them take responsibility and accountability for what is going on.”

    Freeloading Kids

    It may seem like special circumstances when the freeloader is your child, but according to Hobson, establishing boundaries is still important.

    If they have a job but are living at home, they should be paying rent, she said. Beyond that, consider charging a maintenance fee or requiring that they help out with household chores.

    Hobson doesn’t recommend these measures purely for financial reasons but also to teach responsibility, she said.

    Since “GMA” visited Campbell and Griffith, the situation has changed.

    Penny Campbell has moved out and gotten her own apartment.

    “She felt she needed to make a change,” Hobson said.

    How to deal with relatives you hate

    If you’re in an interracial relationship, you may be crazy about your partner but dismayed that others disapprove. So, what’s the best way to handle the objections? Communication and boundary-setting are key. Above all else, take the steps necessary to protect your relationship in the face of ongoing negativity.

    Don’t Assume the Worst

    For your own mental health, assume that most people have good intentions. If you notice eyes on you and your significant other as you walk down the street, don’t automatically think it’s because the passersby disapprove of your interracial union. Perhaps people are staring because they consider you a particularly attractive couple. Perhaps people are staring because they applaud you for being in a mixed relationship or because they belong to a mixed couple themselves. It’s quite common for members of interracial couples to notice similar couples.

    Don’t Give the Haters Any of Your Time

    Of course, there are times when strangers on the street are openly hostile. Their eyes really do fill with hate at the sight of interracial couples. So, what should you do when you’re on the receiving end of their glares? Nothing. Just look away and keep going about your business, even if the stranger actually shouts out an insult. Getting into a confrontation is unlikely to do much good. Moreover, your choice of mate is absolutely no one’s concern but yours. The best thing you can do is not give the haters any of your time.

    Don’t Spring Your Relationship on Loved Ones

    No one knows your family and friends as you do. If they’re open-minded liberal types or have had an interracial relationship or two themselves, they’re unlikely to make a fuss upon meeting your new partner. If, in contrast, they’re socially conservative and have no friends of a different race, let alone dated anyone of mixed race, you might want to sit them down and let them know that you’re now a part of a mixed couple.

    You might frown upon this idea if you think of yourself as color-blind, but giving your loved ones advance notice that you’re in an interracial relationship will spare you and your partner from an awkward first encounter with your friends and family. Without advance notice, your mother might grow visibly flustered, or your best friends might ask if they can speak to you in the next room to grill you about your relationship.

    Are you prepared to have these kinds of awkward encounters? And how will you react if your partner’s feelings are hurt because of your loved ones’ behavior? To avoid drama and pain, tell your loved ones about your interracial relationship in advance. It’s the kindest move to make for all involved, including yourself.

    Dialogue With Disapproving Family and Friends

    Say you tell your friends and family that you’re now part of an interracial couple. They react by telling you that your children will have it hard in life or that the Bible forbids interracial coupling. Rather than angrily labeling them ignorant racists and dismissing them, try to address your family’s concerns. Point out that mixed-race kids who are raised in loving homes and allowed to embrace all sides of their heritage don’t fare any worse than other children. Let them know that interracial couples such as Moses and his Ethiopian wife even appear in the Bible.

    Read up on interracial relationships and the common misconceptions that surround them to put to rest the concerns your loved ones have about your new union. If you shut off communication with your loved ones, it’s unlikely that their misconceptions will be corrected or that they will become more accepting of your relationship.

    Protect Your Partner

    Does your partner really need to hear every hurtful remark your racist relatives have made? Not in the slightest. Shield your partner from hurtful comments. This isn’t only to spare the feelings of your significant other. If your friends and family ever do come around, your partner can forgive them and move forward free of resentment.

    Of course, if your family disapproves of your relationship, you’ll have to let your partner know, but you can do so without going into excruciating detail about race. Yes, your partner may have already experienced racism and the pain of being stereotyped, but that doesn’t mean he or she no longer finds bigotry unsettling. No one should grow accustomed to racial prejudice.

    Set Boundaries

    Are your friends and family trying to force you to end your interracial relationship? Perhaps they keep trying to set you up with people who share your racial background. Perhaps they pretend as if your significant other doesn’t exist or go out of their way to make your mate uncomfortable. If you’re experiencing any of these scenarios, it’s time to set some boundaries with your meddling loved ones.

    Let them know that you’re an adult capable of choosing an appropriate mate. If they don’t find your mate appropriate, that’s their problem. They have no right to undermine the decisions you’ve made. Furthermore, it’s hurtful for them to disrespect someone you care about, especially if they’re only doing so because of race.

    Set Ground Rules

    Which ground rules you set with your loved ones are up to you. The important thing is to follow through on them. If you tell your mother that you won’t attend family functions unless she also invites your significant other, stick to your word. If your mother sees that you’re not going to let up, she’ll decide to either include your mate in family functions or risk losing you.

    How to deal with relatives you hate

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    This article was last updated on December 31, 2015

    Thanks to our hard-wired human instincts, we are all selfish — to some extent. For instance, I am selfish,especially in the mornings when someone tries hard to wake me up for something important. I hate to admit it, but even if someone tells me that the world is coming apart or Martianshave abducted people from another country, I would simply turn over and tell them to let me sleep until they knock our door.

    Let’s talk about you. What about that delicious leftover you left in the fridge to eat later on in the evening? Would you be happy about some neighbor or sibling popping in and finishing off your favorite meal while you were out? Don’t worry. You aren’t the only one who would secretly want to scold them on their next meal steal.

    To desperately want to satisfy your human needs,the things I mentioned above is pretty normal.

    But then, there are the greedy, miserable, vile and vicious kinds. They believe that they are all about survival and “living up to the world”. These mean, monstrous and truly selfish beings are the kinds you want to deal with extra care, before you also become a victim to their abhorrent evolutionary instincts.

    Here are 10 ways on how to tame those selfish beings, teach them a lesson, or peacefully trot away…

    10 Great Ways You Can Deal with Selfish People

    1) Spot the Monster: The first step is to recognize this selfish brat of a being. They might be a friend, a spouse, a parent, or any other significant person in your life and you might unknowingly be cutting them some slack as a result of your own true and unselfish love for them.

    This is going to be a person who expects too much from you and gives too little in return. Here are 6 ways to spot them before you get hurt . Relationships with these monsters are never beneficial and will eventually end up in pain and disappointment.

    2) Kill the Ego : Once you have recognized the monster, you need to face it. The perfect moment would be the next time they flash off their cruel personality.When they will approach you, it would be for a “small favor”, or something that will benefit them in some way (and not you). You can respond to this by asking them what’s in it for you. Or, you could tell them that you would perform the task in return for a favor they do you first. If they try to still guilt you into it, tell them what you honestly think about their never-ending selfish intentions.

    Here is an example: “Last week, I was feeling really upset about my personal issues and I told my friend I needed someone to talk to. Hereplied saying that heis really busy at the moment and so he didn’t even bother to ask what it was about. It felt like he really didn’t care.”To face such people, be honest and upfront about your feelings.

    3) Restate, Rephrase, Repeat : Selfish people don’t give consideration to what the other person has to say. They prattle on and on about their “problems” or “experiences” and ignore what you have to say about yours. One way to deal with their ignorance is by making them listen to you and asking them to respond. Re-state, re-phrase, and repeat what you have to say until you receive an adequate response.

    4) Agree on Turn-Taking : Don’t hesitate to try a few experiments on your monsters first before dropping them in the dump.

    Try a “turn-taking” experiment where both of you take turns to speak, listen, and do favors to each other. Let this be a condition to the relationship and see how it goes.

    5) Win the Heart : Many monsters are narcissists who are created as a result of self-defense from past unresolved needs for care and attention. It could be the way they deal with their former wounds. A selfish person will always attempt to be independent, or at least appear independent.Try to change that by winning their heart and making them be depended on you. How? There is only one way to do this… (point 6)

    6) Cure the Culprit : Try the time-honored magical cure: love. Cure the culprit by first winning the heart and then teaching him, through your own actions, how to truly and selflessly love someone.

    Show him how to sacrifice or put someone else’s needs before your own. Let him choose the next vacation spot, give him presents in special occasion without reminders, speak words of kindness, show acts of service for nothing in return, and shower him with an abundance of unconditional love. Remind him again and again that this is true love and sacrifice.

    If your monster is a significant other or any other family member, then your efforts and patience in determining whether or not the love-cure will work on him should be worth it.

    7) Set Clear Boundaries : Sometimes, it pays to set clear limits with these callous people. If they have no respect whatsoever for the amount of investments you put into the relationship and offer no return, you need to tell them that there are boundaries.

    For instance, your long distance sister-in-law expects you to have open doors for her and let her eat off of your earnings whenever she pleases. Ask her, “Can you bring a bag of groceries on your way?” or “We can order Chinese! Dinner’s on you!” If she’s a stingy sucker, she’ll make an excuse not to come.

    8) A Dose of Their Own Medicine : The monstrosity in these selfish beings could be put to rest by giving them a dose of their own medicine. Don’t give them the “special treatment” they want. Start hanging out with someone else, ignore their calls, or talk over them and see how they respond. They will protest and throw a bunch of nasty remarks at you about your attitude. Tell them, “Now, you know how I felt when you did—- to me“.

    9) Detach and Withdraw :Give them the last “not interested” card and survey their response. If they have even an inkling of love, care, or interest in you, they would wonder what happened. A selfish person has a fake and inflated sense of importance. When they are not receiving the treatment they once received from you, they will notice detachment and withdrawal because that they will miss that sense of self-importance you gave them. Upon confrontation, tell them exactly how you feel:

    “I have been feeling lately that our relationship is one-sided. I have been giving too much and taking too less in return.”

    And if all else fails…
    10) De-camp: If you have given them too many chances and they still choose “self” over sympathy, know that any more of your efforts would only be wasted. The person may be too far gone to realize the importance of justice, compassion, true love and care. Don’t let this person prey on your weaknesses anymore and hurt you with their tainted views on friendship.

    Before you exit the door, make sure you let them know how you felt about the relationship and state your reasons for leaving. Not only will this remind you of why you made the decision to de-camp, but it will also make sound and solid impact on the selfish soul you had to put up with for so long – hopefully!

    Jealousy is a negative emotion and it arises from several reasons. There is a need for dealing with Jealousy effectively. This article discusses the reasons for jealousy and suggests some important ways to deal with it.

    Not every one of us considers the fact that life is a wonderful gift of God and it should not just be cherished but be lived to the fullest. Living life to the fullest should mean making the most out of each opportunity for oneself as well as others. This also implies being concerned about welfare and prosperity of others in a way as one looks out for one’s own self. Notwithstanding the fact that life should be lived to the fullest focusing on its positive aspects, some people do not seem to understand well enough the real meaning and

    Everything will be fine as long as you are in a position to battle jealousy by finding its roots and reasons. What if there is no good reason for people to feel jealous or angry and you find people around you who tend to treat you in a hateful way with no real cause. If you ever wonder what to do when someone is jealous of you with no good reason; reacts in a destructive way; makes accusations or sarcastic comments; expresses the words that mean the opposite of what he or she seems to say and is intended to mock or deride or intentionally says things to provoke a negative response from you, there are two ways as mentioned below to handle the situation and not everyone knows either of them.

    One way is to do opposite of what a jealous person does – without a feeling of disgust and hatred – And neither should you be influenced by them. If somebody does something bad to you, such as those mentioned above, then, being humble, friendly, kind and calm is the right thing to do. Thus, in these surrounding conditions, doing good things for such bad reasons can be a good way not only to enhance their internal motivation to reduce bias and prejudice, but help them often to eliminate jealousy. So, what goes in this saying is true in this context. “Never hate those people who are jealous of you but respect their jealousy because they are the ones who think that you are better than them.”

    Sometimes jealous and hurtful behavior of others can damage your well-being and positive feelings. Thus, the best remedial action that the situation demands is to ignore the jealous people completely, as this has been pointed out in these words, “Ignore those people who are constantly talking about you behind your back because they are right where they belong. BEHIND YOU.” In this way, ignoring the jealous, covetous and haters is a best way. The important reason to do so is that you need to go with your own business and you deserve better. Refusing to notice or not acknowledging what they say and do and paying no attention to them will not let them affect you and neither will ruin your composure and peace of mind.

    Regardless of the reasons why people get so jealous, you can still be polite and deal with them by making them feel important and good around you. Think that it is pretty natural to feel what they are feeling. Shifting the point of view, instead of getting upset, working to create good relationship with them will enable you to stay happy.This strategy seems to be a bit difficult though, but, believe me it will work out tremendously for both you and the people around you who get jealous at you. However, a good point to be noted is that people feel jealous of you, because you have made a value, as it goes in this saying. “If people are jealous of you, it means you are worth something.”

    K. A. Fareed (Fareed Siddiqui)

    Writer, Trainer, Author, Software Developer

    BBA, MBA-Finance, MPhil-Financial Management, (PhD-Management)

    Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Applications and Programming

    Level 1 – Leadership and Management ILM – UK

    Individual Member of Institute of Management Consultants of India

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    Some people keep feelings and emotions close to the vest. They aren’t bad people, but it can be frustrating when we’re only treated to occasional glimmers of their sparkling personality. Their slow message response times (leaving you “on read”) and unaccepted invitations make you feel unwanted, or that you’re the only person putting in any effort.

    Having a heart-to-heart with a cheerful, friendly person, however, rarely feels like a struggle. But if everyone was cheerful and friendly, we’d already have world peace. Dealing with people who are distant seems to present a bigger challenge.

    Chances are they’re not trying to make you feel bad. And luckily, continuing the effort can reward you with a wonderful new friend, or a closer relationship with a familiar face.

    Whether this distant person is part of a burgeoning relationship, a family member you’ve always admired, or a newly reclusive sibling or spouse, here is how to show them you value their presence.

    Have Empathy

    A number of traits and mental illnesses lead to a distant personality. Insecure attachment styles, like reactive attachment disorder and disinhibited social engagement disorder, can make people hesitant to start up conversations, seek comfort in the company of others, or ask for what they want directly.

    However, just because someone is distant doesn’t mean they qualify for these disorders. In fact, the DSM says these behaviors must be present before age five to count as a “disorder.” Anxiety and depression can also easily manifest as distance. Pushing away loved ones is a common symptom of depression.

    Even lesser stressors, like buying a home, going through finals, or helping a sick relative can lead a person to someone retreating and acting distant.

    You may not know specifically what causes a person to distance themselves. They may not want you to know, and that’s okay. Don’t push for an explanation. But have empathy when reaching out: Refusing to easily share feelings doesn’t mean they’re rude or dislike you.

    Open Yourself Up

    Some distant people struggle to share their feelings. They may be embarrassed by their emotions, or scared of being vulnerable.

    When dealing with a distant person, consider taking a few leaps of vulnerability yourself. Don’t reveal your whole life story — that can scare off even the friendliest stranger! — but show them that you’re not scared of serious conversation. By taking that first frightening step, you provide an opening for them, too.

    Give Them Time

    Demonstrating vulnerability is a fantastic way to engage a distant person. Just keep in mind: distance is not changed in one conversation. It may take time for your friend to fully open up.

    For example, if a person is distant because socializing increases their anxiety, they may only have the energy for one conversation per week. Consider their emotional resources like a battery: every interaction decreases the charge. Refueling time is mandatory, so texts may be slow or they may decline your next invitation out.

    Relationship progress can be exciting, but don’t be disheartened when a distant person moves more slowly than you.

    Be Frank

    When you talk to your friend, make sure to used I-focused language: “I feel like you don’t respect me when you ignore my text messages” instead of “You are being disrespectful when you ignore my texts.” Accusations may make them more distant.

    Quick caveat: be frank, not cruel. Since distance may be driven by depression and anxiety, avoiding harsh criticism is best. But many people don’t recognize their own distancing behavior, and a heads-up might do them a favor.

    Pay attention to what works

    Whenever you interact, keep close tabs on what works — and what makes them shy away. Did sharing your own struggles encourage them, or did you find them more distant after that chat? Did they make an effort to reach out more often after you told them how their distance makes you feel? You don’t want to smother someone who prefers less interaction.

    Respect Your Differences

    Remember, every person is different. Depending on the reasons for their distance, they may respond better to different approaches. Get to know them and you’ll be better able to predict what makes them tick.

    Making friends is important — as is getting to know old friends and family better. But if the distance grates on your mental health, take a time-out break for your own sake. And if their unresponsiveness leaves you sad, talking with your therapist can help you set expectations or barriers.

    This article was originally published on Talkspace.

    How to Deal with Misbehaving Kids

    The cure for “empty threat syndrome”

    Recently, I was at dinner with two other families. Another guest’s nine-year-old son, Sean,* was provoking his 12-year-old sister, Madeline,* taunting her, getting in her space. The sister responded with a screechy “I HATE YOU!!”

    What ensued was painful to watch, but highly predictable.

    How to deal with relatives you hate

    The kids’ dad, clearly embarrassed by their behavior, says, “Both of you, knock it off, right now!”

    Madeline: “But I didn’t DO anything.”

    Dad: “It’s not okay to yell ‘I hate you’ to your brother.”

    How to deal with relatives you hate

    Madeline, half screaming, half whining: “He was BUGGING me!”

    Dad: “If you guys can’t get along, we are going to go home. I mean it. This behavior is unacceptable.”

    Dad turns back to the rest of the adults and rolls his eyes. We chuckle a little. We’ve all been there.

    It seems harmless to put a big consequence out there, like threatening to leave a party the kids are enjoying. Odds are, they’ll shape up so they can stay.

    But not two minutes later, the brother is at it again, steering his scooter too close to his sister and her friend. “GO AWAY! You’re such an IDIOT!” she screams with emotion that only comes when someone is pushing your buttons.

    Dad assesses the situation; the host is starting to serve dinner. There is no way he is going to make good on his threat to leave right now. What should he do?

    We all make empty threats sometimes, especially in the heat of the moment, hoping to coerce better behavior out of our kids. But there are several problems with threatening to do something and then not following through on it.

    Most obviously, empty threats weaken our influence. Kids are smart; once they know that we are unlikely to follow-through on a threatened consequence, our words have much less meaning. This is especially true in certain situations, like being in public or at a party, where kids know it’s more likely that we parents WON’T follow through. So they learn to not pay much attention to those threats at all.

    This means that we, the parents, aren’t fully in charge—and, consciously or unconsciously, this makes our children insecure. Kids need someone who has been around the block a few times to be in charge. They need structure and rules—or they start to feel insecure.

    But there may be an even bigger problem: It lacks integrity when we say we are going to do something hard, then don’t do it. Our children will behave like we do, especially as they grow into teenagers and adults. When they face a challenge, do we want them to tell everyone that they are going to do the hard thing, then pretend like they never said they would do it? Of course not, but we can only expect them to have as much integrity (and commitment, and courage) as we have.

    Fortunately, there are much more effective ways to deal with our children’s undesirable behavior. Here’s a step-by-step plan.

    1. Make a list of the privileges your kids enjoy regularly, and would miss if they lost. These could be TV time, dessert, lessons or athletic practices, rides to school when they can take the bus instead, etc.

    2. Pick something that you can easily enforce—one standard, predictable consequence. Perhaps your pre-teen daughter is glued to her phone, or your son particularly loves watching sports on TV, or you already have a time-out routine that is working.

    3. Decide what battles you are going to fight. Kids benefit from having a “bright line” painted for them. What is always off-limits? For example, in our house, calling other people names, saying you hate someone, intentionally making someone unhappy or angry, hitting, talking-back, and cheating at UNO are always against the rules.

    4. Have a family meeting to talk about this. Tell your kids that you are making a concerted effort to say what you mean, and mean what you say. Give them permission to hold you to it. My kids throw a pretend flag in the air like a football ref and say “E-flag!” (E is for “empty threat”) if I say something they suspect I won’t follow through on.

    5. In the family meeting, review your family rules. Tell them what “violations” you are going to enforce, and exactly how you are going to enforce them.

    6. Here’s how to enforce those rules. When kids misbehave, issue one warning by saying, “This is your warning,” in a calm voice. (Kids benefit from a warning, because it gives them a chance to self-correct. This will help foster their self-discipline, so eventually they don’t need you at all.) Then, if they cross the line again, they lose the pre-decided privilege—which you can let them know as calmly as possible, such as by saying, “Please bring me your phone,” or, “I’m sorry, you won’t be having dessert tonight.” Or calmly pick your toddler up and put her in time-out.

    This is key: you don’t need to explain what they did wrong, even if they act like they have no idea what they are doing wrong. If kids can learn the rules to Candyland, they can learn your family rules. Kids know when they are misbehaving; don’t let them fool you. If they really aren’t sure what they did, they’ll figure it out fast if they know they are about to lose a privilege.

    7. Be very, very consistent. As consistent as humanly possible. Most kids will seriously test you for at least a week, some longer. Stick to your guns. Imagine you are refereeing a televised soccer match: The rules are clear. Your job is clear. You can’t overlook violations mid-game and expect the players to still consider you the ref.

    Do you suffer from “empty threat syndrome”? If so, do you think the plan above will work for you? Inspire others by leaving a comment below.

    *Names have been changed.

    © 2012 Christine Carter, Ph.D.

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    • How to Overcome Attraction at the Workplace
    • How to Demonstrate Professionalism
    • How to Deal With Annoying Co-Workers Who Make Me Want to Quit
    • How to Deal with Difficult Co-Workers Who Insinuate Malice
    • Emotional Behavior in the Workplace

    The business environment is filled with different kinds of people who have varying personalities, behaviors and interests. As a result, you may encounter people who you don’t get along with or dislike at work. However, in a professional setting, you may not have the option to avoid those you don’t like. They may be on your team, in your department or working on your project. Implement strategies to get along with your coworkers so you can help the business meet its goals.

    Consider How You’re Contributing to the Situation

    When you don’t like someone at work, you may think that this is entirely their fault. However, it’s important to take a step back and consider why you have these feelings. What is it about this person that makes you dislike them? Avoiding your co-worker isn’t a good idea, as you’ll likely run into them sometime at work. As a result, it’s important to get to the heart of the matter and consider the reasoning behind your reaction. The person you don’t like may have some negative aspects of their personality, but you may also be contributing to the animosity.

    Forbes suggests that attribution bias sometimes plays a big role in how we see other people. In this kind of cognitive bias, people blame other’s shortcomings on their character but don’t hold themselves up to the same standard. For example, if you leave work early, it’s because you’re very busy and have a doctor’s appointment, but if your co-worker leaves work early, it’s because they’re unmotivated and apathetic.

    Try and Understand Your Co-Worker’s Perspective

    You may just think, “I don’t get along with my coworkers,” and blame it on their personality or work habits. However, if you want to move past this situation, you need to look at the other side. How does your co-worker feel about all this? What is their viewpoint? Harvard Business Review suggests putting in the effort to understand the other person’s perspective.

    Just like you, they have their own goals and motivations. It’s important to remember that those goals and motivations are valid, just like yours. Consider what is behind your co-worker behaving a certain way or saying something that irks you. Are they purposefully trying to annoy or anger you, or are they just working towards their goals and motivations and not realizing how their actions make you feel?

    Accept That People Don’t Always Get Along

    In the workplace as in life, not everyone will see eye to eye. While it’s vital to put in the effort to get along, in some situations, that’s just not possible. Entrepreneur recommends trying to remove strong emotions out of your reactions. Simply accept that you don’t get along with your co-worker but that you have to work with them to achieve the business’ objectives. Don’t judge the co-worker or consider them in the wrong for not getting along with you.

    The Muse notes that often people feel guilty for not liking another person based on their personality. However, you can get rid of the guilt by accepting this is a normal fact of life. You don’t like all kinds of food or all kinds of fashion, so you don’t have to like all kinds of personalities either. Removing the guilt helps you focus more on work and less on your emotional reaction to the person you don’t get along with.

    Be Tactful and Polite When Working With People You Hate

    When you’re working with people you hate, it can be difficult to monitor your emotions and language. However, in a workplace setting, it’s imperative to be professional in your interactions, even if you really dislike the other person. The Muse notes that it’s possible to be civil and talk about difficult situations without being accusatory or rude. If your co-worker has done something you don’t like, such as taking credit for your work, use open communication to discuss the matter with them.

    Entrepreneur suggests being firm with the issue you’re discussing without being firm on the person. Tell the co-worker you don’t approve of their actions in this matter, but don’t make personal attacks on their character or personality. Discuss the specific situation without getting emotional or personal. This gives you the upper hand and helps you keep decorum at work.

    Carefully Pick Your Battles

    When it comes to working with people you don’t like, you may have to deal with them on a daily basis. This means that there will be multiple situations that bother, frustrate, anger and annoy you. Entrepreneur reminds that not all of those situations are worth your time, energy and emotions. If you focus on each aspect of your interaction and how much you dislike that co-worker, you will not be able to focus on your job. This can affect your performance and your future at work.

    Carefully decide which challenges you want to give your energy to. If the situation does you more harm than good when dealing with it, perhaps it’s something you can just let go. If there is a real benefit to you dealing with it, then weigh whether you want to move forward. Keep in mind that dealing with a difficult situation requires emotional and mental energy, which can affect the rest of your day at work.

    Establish Boundaries for Your Interactions

    Even though you have to work with someone who you really don’t like, you have the ability to set up boundaries for engaging with them. Start with physical boundaries, such as asking your manager if you can move your desk to another area for fewer distractions. Just being physically far away from the co-worker may help you calm down and focus on your job. If that’s not possible, wear noise-canceling headphones to reduce negative interactions.

    Set up emotional and mental boundaries too, so that your feelings for your co-worker don’t seep into other aspects of your life. Decide for yourself that you won’t think about them after hours, or practice mindfulness so you’re not overwhelmed by their toxicity. Keep in mind that you don’t have to engage with them on matters outside of work, so don’t give them the opportunity to get under your skin in other situations.

    Confront the Issue Together

    If you’re constantly saying to yourself, “I hate my co-workers,” it’s possible your co-workers are saying the same thing. Consider whether your co-worker doesn’t like you either and is having a difficult time working with you. Forbes suggests being upfront and having a discussion on how to solve the problem together. Openly say that you notice you’re both not getting along with one another, and ask whether they have any ideas on how you can work together more effectively. Perhaps you can pinpoint what behavior or activity bothers you both so you can try to improve your work habits.

    If the other person doesn’t want to compromise or isn’t willing to work things out, that is something you cannot control. Remember that you made an effort to make the situation better. Keep your focus on the job and not on your co-worker. In time, they may realize they have to compromise in order to more effectively perform at work.

    If your co-worker is willing to listen and discuss the situation, this is an excellent opportunity to figure out next steps. Ensure you’re meeting your co-worker halfway and compromising where possible. This is a good learning opportunity for both of you. Not only can you come up with ways to get along better, but you can also help reduce friction and disagreements in the future.