Search Blog Content

Sunday, December 5, 2010

How to Deal With a Stressful Person

 By Mary Bodel


Stress is a constant in our lives, but some people seem to make an art of ramping it up in those around them. Short of telling the person off with expletives that ought to be deleted, it seems the only reaction you, their victim, may have is to be even more stressed out. There are a few tips that could help you avoid both of these reactions, however.
For Yourself
Big Breath and Count to Ten: The reason you've been told that from childhood is that it works. You may need to count higher than ten, but taking a deep breath and giving yourself a moment to consider your reaction is invaluable in not rising to the bait. If you know that the event is a deliberate attempt to cause you heightened stress, it puts the ball back into the other persons court. You are failing to react.
Laugh it Off: This works best for those situations where the stressful person has no idea he or she is causing other people problems. I've seen it work many times in our family. I have to admit that it does not help the stressful person. Our family member gets very upset, so we try to temper it with kindness.
Move Away: While geography can make many familial relationships easier, I'm not talking about moving across the country. If you can, simply walk away from the person. That means the audience is gone and things can revert to something akin to normal.
Turn them Off: Do you remember as a kid sticking your fingers in your ears and going "lalalala" in order not to hear something you didn't want to? You can do something similar without the visual and sound effects. Ignore the person and get along with whatever you were doing before the interruption.
For Them
Not every stressful person is doing it for the fun of it. Most don't even realize what they are doing, and telling them is a sure way to make the situation worse, believe me. However, there are some subtle things you can do to remedy the situation, at least temporarily.
Positive Reinforcement: Note the positives in the situation and home in on them. If you're planning a dinner with a relative that gets stirred up over it, tell them of happy times you've had around his or her table. If your stressful person makes a dish that everyone loves, ask to have it served.
Redirect: Stressful people can easily get off on a tangent and you may find yourself discussing something far from the situation at hand. Gently turn the conversation back to topic and you may avoid hearing (for the hundredth time) the story of the car accident that happened in 1982 when you really were trying to decide whether you were having ham or turkey for Christmas dinner.
Summon Allies: Sometimes, one person can't turn the conversation. While still being subtle, bring in another person. Chances are good your ally will realize what's going on and help you lower the stress levels.
Whether your person is deliberate or accidental, you don't have to suffer. With these tips, you may be able to deal with that stubborn relative, your coworker or any other person who tends to spread the joy of stress to all around them.
My eBook Home Remedies Stress has much more information about stress and stress management, including the following topics: Diet and Stress: Page Eight, Children and Stress: Page Fifteen, Caregiver Facts: Page Twenty, Herbal Recipes and Instructions: Page Thirty-One, Herbs for Stress: Page Thirty-six. You can also download my free report, the Top Ten Herbs, which gives you information about the uses, side effects, precautions and even interactions of ten of the most popular herbs on the market.

No comments:

Post a Comment