Interacting with Difficult People
It might be a boss, a significant other, a parent, a step-parent, a sibling, an adult child, or a friend with whom you’ve had a long history. No matter what happens, you walk away from conversations with them feeling angry, demoralized, self-critical, judged, disrespected, misunderstood, or just “crazy.” You know your interactions with this person are not healthy, but you feel tied to them by family, work, or shared experience.
Interacting with this individual and respecting yourself feel mutually exclusive at times. Your friends tell you to stop talking to them, or perhaps your worry about the other people in your life that you would lose if you severed communication. Most people encounter challenging relationships in life, and yet no one ever gave the manual for dealing with them.
As a clinical psychologist, I work to help individuals find ways to:
Renegotiate the boundaries of their relationships
Work toward more comfortable levels of closeness or distance
Stop avoiding “hard” conversations that need to be had
Learn effective communication skills