Everyone has their own personality. Some are pleasant and some are poisonous. Some personalities become the bane of your existence. Each one of these personality types; Paranoid, Anti-Social, Borderline, Histrionic, Narcissistic, Compulsive- Perfectionistic, and Passive-Aggressive are difficult, toxic and deadly.
You may have to live or work with one or more of these malicious, noxious and obnoxious personalities during your lifetime. Avoiding them and eliminating them from your life are the most obvious and simplest solutions but that is not always possible.
In order to deal with them you need to have some basic knowledge and understanding of their disorder and their modus operandi. You will also need some strategies to deal with their inappropriate behavior. Some techniques work better than others depending on the personality disorders involved.
Define the particular disorder you are dealing with. Some people may have a combination of traits. Try to find something that you can respect about the individual. Work at accepting the person while not accepting their toxic behavior. These are often difficult to do but they are a starting point.
For certain situations, you might try a technique called “Fogging” by saying something like, “That’s interesting” while inwardly you disagree. You could also try the “Broken Record” technique by repeating what you want over and over. Try to get a sense of what sets the person off and avoid those behaviors. Set clear boundaries and limitations. Let the person know that you will not tolerate their antics.
Describe the behavior that is upsetting you. Express the feelings it arouses in you. It is important to use “I” statements. For example, “When you do (such and such) “I feel.” Then state the need or want you have; “I would appreciate it if you do not do that in the future.” Be aware that you may not get what you want. They may be incapable of change or respecting your feelings which is part of what is so frustrating, upsetting and maddening about them.
Patricia Frank is a Licensed Psychotherapist. She can be reached at 305-788-4864
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