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The best ways to deal with family members that are difficult to be around.

7 tips to help you deal with difficult family members

We all have that one family member that knows exactly how to push our buttons – and they enjoy watching us squirm. You know, the one that you try your best to avoid and then inevitably end up sitting next to at every family gathering. It could be a crazy aunt or a whiny tween that just gets under your skin. Whoever it is, you do need to learn to keep your emotions in check. This is often very difficult to do. With these tips, you can prove to the family that you can handle any situation with the maturity of an adult:

Tip 1: Listen before you speak

Spend some time carefully listening to this person. You’ll eventually understand what their triggers are and what gets them going. Once you’ve figured it out, you can steer them away from the topics that set them off.

Tip 2: Don’t ever take it personally

Toxic people often treat everyone around them in the same toxic way. As soon as you start feeling offended or irritated just remind yourself that it’s not you – it’s them.

Tip 3: Don’t get sucked into gossip about that person

Gossip is destructive. It can ruin someone’s name for the rest of their life. Do you really want to do that to someone when you don’t even know for sure if the stories are true? You will also be respected by the rest of your family if you walk away from gossip.

Tip 4: Remind yourself that ‘hurt people hurt people’

Someone that is really difficult to get along with may have some emotional baggage that they’ve carried on their shoulders for years. If you show them love, they will probably open up to you and you’ll see where all the hurt comes from. You may even start to see them for who they really are.

Tip 5: Try putting yourself in their shoes

We never know what someone else is going through. You may get a glimpse into their life by putting yourself into their shoes. How are they doing at school or work? Do they have friends? How do they treat other people? Examine the situation from all angles to get a clearer picture of why they are the way they are.

Tip 6: Don’t try to change the person

You may be able to influence them but change them? It’s not going to happen. But you can change the way you respond to that person. It is very possible that if you respond to them differently, they may change the way they treat you. Always be polite and mature. If you keep your slate clean, they won’t be able to point fingers at you.

Tip 7: Stay true to who you are

Don’t change who you are to ‘keep the peace’. Always stand tall and be kind. Don’t pretend to be something you are not. The world is full of fake people. It would be a much better place if we were all true to ourselves.

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