As adults, most of us can handle an occasional “difficult” person—whether it’s a stringent boss, stubborn brother, or surly barista. But some people are far beyond “difficult;” they’re absolute crazymakers. You know who they are: folks who continuously push your buttons, test your boundaries, and invade your mental, emotional, and/or physical space. We call them “crazymakers” because they do just that—make you crazy.
Maybe they do it intentionally; maybe not. Maybe they have a personality disorder such as narcissism; maybe not. But there are a few things that crazymakers seem to have in common:
- They know how to set you up for failure—meaning that no matter what you say or do to them, it won’t be the right thing
- They can’t (or won’t) accept blame or responsibility for anything (to them, it really is all your fault)
- They’re incapable of (or unwilling to) seeing your side of the story
The best way to handle a crazymaker? Some might say to avoid them altogether. But what if your crazymaker is someone whom you cannot avoid? Worse, what if you’re “forced” to spend the holidays with them? Here are some tips for keeping your sanity in the midst of their crazy:
- Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings when around your crazymaker. If you start feeling bad, is it because you’re allowing that person’s words or actions to seep into your self-esteem? Now’s a good time to remember this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
- Every day, do something to enlarge your sense of “self.” Examples include repeating positive affirmations, journaling, yoga, meditation, enjoying personal time to do your favorite things, and learning something new. These types of activities work wonders when it comes to feeling better about who you are as a person and over time, have the power to significantly decrease your need for external validation.
- Try listening to your crazymaker from a more objective point of view. Think of them as an actor on a stage. By detaching yourself as best you can, you will be better able to remain calm and less engaged emotionally.
Happy Holidays from Insights!