Understanding & Dealing with Manipulative People - Dr. George Simon Interview
How to Deal With People Who Insist That Something Is Bothering You when Nothing Is Really Wrong
Mentally check on yourself for a moment, and be honest.Is something bothering you? Sometimes, people are more perceptive than you think (whether the insight welcome or not). Ask yourself how you're feeling. This way, you'll know how to respond.
- If something is bothering you, and you want to talk about it, then say "Yes, actually, I am kind of upset."
- If something is bothering you, but you don't want to discuss it, try saying "Yes, but I don't want to think about it right now. I'd rather talk about cats/you/our plans/etc."
Verbalize your feelings.It helps to be straightforward about how you're feeling. You are the expert on how you feel, so summarize your feelings in a sentence or two.
- "Actually, I'm in a decent mood."
- "I'm just thinking about my plans for lunch. Not particularly tragic."
- "I just remembered that I forgot to pick up milk from the store. That's why I frowned. But it's okay; I'll get it later."
- "It doesn't really bother me when Brittany cancels plans. I've learned from experience that she's pretty disorganized, so I'm used to it. Would you like to go with me instead?"
Explain your quirks, if they're relevant.If your unique face or body language tends to make people think you're upset sometimes, it may be worth explaining that it's just a quirk of yours. This assures them that nothing is wrong, and lets them know about your habits for the future.
- "I'm told that I look sad when I think, even when I'm not sad. I think it's the shape of my eyes. Don't worry. I'm okay."
- "I have ADHD, and that makes me fidgety. Other people might think I look nervous, but actually, this helps me feel comfortable. So don't worry if you see me fidgeting. I'm just a wiggly person."
- "Apparently I have a bit of a resting angry face. I'm not mad, just thinking about the TV show I've been binge watching."
- "I'm autistic, and eye contact makes me uncomfortable. So if I look in a different place than you're used to, it doesn't mean anything is wrong. I'm able to listen and think better when I do this."
Change the subject.After you say that you're okay, try gracefully redirecting the conversation to something more productive. This may distract them, or give them a hint that you're tired of this topic.
- "Anyway, I was just thinking about the concert this weekend. Are you going?"
- "Did you hear about what happened to Jacob? I hope he's okay."
- "So how is your sister?"
- "Yes, I'm fine. Actually, I was trying to figure out how to surprise my boyfriend on his birthday. Do you have any ideas?"
Be direct with a person who won't take a hint.Sometimes, people ignore or don't understand your graceful attempts to shake off their comments, and you have to be a little more firm. Summarize their recent behavior, and either ask them again to stop, or ask why they're doing this. Usually, this will either get people to knock it off due to embarrassment, or to tell you if something is secretly bothering them.
- "I've told you three times this morning that I'm not mad at you, and you still keep asking. It's confusing me. Is there a reason why you aren't believing me?"
- "You're asking me a lot about my mood. It's making me a little uncomfortable. Let's change the subject, please."
- "I've told you several times that I'm not upset that you bumped into me earlier. And I'm starting to get bothered by you asking so much about it. Please, take 'no' for an answer, and stop asking."
- "I don't understand why you keep asking if I'm okay, even after I said that I am.
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Date: 14.12.2018, 21:11 / Views: 85183