7 Ways on How to Deal with Difficult People or Situations

At times, we are all forced to interact with difficult people or find ourselves in difficult situations. Here are some tips on how to cope:

  1. Try to observe rather than interact. What is the real problem? Is it words? Behaviors? Emotions?
  2. Be aware of what feelings the person or situation is bring up in you. Are you angry? Sad? Scared? Worried?
  3. Take a step back. Leave the person or situation and review what is happening and how you are feeling.
  4. Discuss rather than vent. Think of a few people whose opinion you value and run the situation by them in a neutral tone. Tell them you want their honest opinion on the person or situation.
  5. Create “experiments”. Think of a few different options for how you could handle the person or situation. Then in your mind, imagine the different outcomes that might happen. Think about how you would handle those outcomes, etc.
  6. Try an experiment. Next time you are with the difficult person or in the difficult situation, try one of your experiments. Take close observation of what happens next. Try to be a neutral observer rather than part of the situation.
  7. Step back again and review. How did your experiment go? Did it change the person’s behavior? Did it make the situation easier to tolerate? Repeat steps 4-7 until you have a strategy that works!

I hope this information is helpful. If you like this approach, you may like working with a Cognitive Behavior Therapist. We would be happy to help! Please call us at 919-636-5240 for a consultation.

Live mentally healthy,
Dr. Jennie Byrne

Dr. Jennie Byrne, M.D., PhD. With over 15 years of medical expertise, Jennie Byrne, MD, PhD, is a board-certified psychiatrist with experience treating mental health conditions in adults, including dementia, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, and depression. After practicing in New York City for 12 years, Dr. Byrne relocated to North Carolina in 2008; she currently cares for patients in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, at Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill. Dr. Byrne earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She then received her doctorate from New York University Department of Neurophysiology. She also has a doctorate of medicine from New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Byrne went on to complete a psychiatry residency at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York. In addition to her work as a psychiatrist, Dr. Byrne has performed extensive research on attention, memory, and depression. As a board-certified adult psychiatrist, Dr. Byrne focuses on the needs of each patient to pro

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