Monday, November 28, 2011

How to Deal with Family Members that Stress You Out or Drive You Crazy!

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

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.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.

Deal with Stressful Situations by Relaxing and Disengaging

Take a few deep breaths and try to minimize the stressful situation in your mind.
If your family is annoying you and you're worried you'll say something you'll regret, excuse yourself and take it up with them later. That'll give you time to calm down and think about how you want to approach the situation, if you want to revisit it at all.

If All Else Fails, Hack the Conversation

Turn the question around so they're the stressed party.
Return fire with "How would you feel if I asked you that," or "What do you think I'll say," forcing them to answer their own question, or at least tip their hand to what they want to hear from you.
Be sarcastically polite.
Sometimes that's enough to get them to leave you alone.
Go on the offensive.
As in, ask them something they'll have trouble with before they ask you.
Keep them talking.
When they start, listen politely and ask for additional information at every opening. Doing so makes them talk to you, instead of the other way around.
Get rid of them.
If you're helping in the kitchen and you're being grilled by a family member, ask them to do something that takes them out of the kitchen, even if it's for a moment.

Remember, They're Family: You Don't Have to Like Them!

Lifehacker by Alan Henry

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