?

Log in

No account? Create an account
eye, spectrum

Psychology Today - Difficult People

Posted on 2012.05.22 at 07:04
Current Location: 67114
Tags: ,




I just subscribed to Psychology Today. After my last foray I was pretty sure I wanted to, but was waiting to see if the quality remained issue after issue. We had a subscription in the late 80s but I wasn't as interested in it as much then as I am now.

I subscribed today after reading only the Editor's Note:

We all know Big-D "Difficult" when it saunters into a room. Difficult people are the bullies and whimperers who must be spoon-fed feedback that's been purged of negative content, so explosive or "sensitive" are they. Then there are those who generally get along well with everyone, save one or two people in whose presence they behave badly, or, more often, people on whom they negatively fixate; the "occasional offender." I'm thinking of the grown-up who devolves into a petulant toddler in the company of Mom, or the person who is uncharacteristically curt with certain people. If you’re consistently annoyed by (and annoying to) a select few — congratulations, you’re human. Knowing the person or situation that sets you off is half the battle and you are capable of dialing-down problematic interactions.

Family: A realist might say that seeing someone at their worst is the price of intimacy. But when little effort is made to control "the worst," the family member you theoretically cherish has been rezoned as an emotional dumping ground. Once the parameters of a relationship are set, expectations emerge and you start to feel like the person exists to meet your needs. This erodes your love and their patience. You can back off by taking responsibility for your own well-being and actually thinking about someone else's.

Friends: If you have just one or two friends who are never sufficiently attentive or somehow let you down, question why they’re coming in for this special treatment. Sure, it could be them. But it could also be that you are placing demands on them that reflect your desires for the friendship, rather than its realities. By privately and unilaterally setting the terms, you may create conditions for a relationship that almost by definition cannot be met. People unconsciously place demands on friends who enhance their own self-image or social identity; it is these friends who are likely to "disappoint" in a friendship.

Everyone else: The default style between two people who have little in common is neutrality. But if you find yourself irritated or negative in minor exchanges with someone you barely know, you may believe that person is wasting your time, and you don’t know how to extricate yourself. The result is a rude or avoidant exchange, rather than an assertive one.

How to know whether you’re the "occasional offender" or Big-D "Difficult" here's the classic folk psychology test: If you’re concerned enough to ponder this question, you probably don’t have much to worry about.

I absolutely adore how suggestions of personal responsibility can apply across the board to so many different ailments. I think I'll post on this subject next.

Comments:


Michelle1963
michelle1963 at 2012-05-22 12:27 (UTC) (Link)
Love, love, love the biohazard sign painted on the woman's face on the cover! So perfect!

Oh my! We've all known a Big D or two in our lives, haven't we? Such a perfect description.

A realist might say that seeing someone at their worst is the price of intimacy. But when little effort is made to control "the worst," the family member you theoretically cherish has been rezoned as an emotional dumping ground.

I have always been blown away by the supposition that it's okay to treat the persons you supposedly cherish the most the worst. While yes, intimacy provides trust, and therefore one feels safe showing vulnerability and being completely honest, that still doesn't mean it's okay to act like a freaking two year old. Even at my most distressed, I've always treated those I consider intimate companions with love, respect, and common courtesy.

I wouldn't scream obscenities at a complete stranger, so I'm sure as hell not going to do that to someone I love. That's just ass-backwards!

ehowton
ehowton at 2012-05-22 23:44 (UTC) (Link)
Love, love, love the biohazard sign painted on the woman's face on the cover! So perfect!

If only it were that easy in real life.
Michelle1963
michelle1963 at 2012-05-24 04:05 (UTC) (Link)
LOL! Yes. I keep trying to figure out how to identify these people at first glance. Some hide it well.
Codekitten
codekitten at 2012-05-26 19:25 (UTC) (Link)
that would be nice, wouldn't it?!?
slchurchman at 2012-05-22 13:14 (UTC) (Link)
I, too, have never understood the disrespect that some feel they can heap on their partners or friends just because they're close. "Thank you" and "Please" are even more important with those we love. Besides thinking of the impact of you words on the feelings of those close, in a truly self-centered perspective, you are much more likely to, not only gain some good will from that person, but get what you want.
ehowton
ehowton at 2012-05-22 23:53 (UTC) (Link)
Not only to I require my children to say, "Yes sir" to me, I also say "Yes sir" and "Yes ma'am" to them.
Lelf Treperra
ubet_cha at 2012-05-22 13:43 (UTC) (Link)
Articles from tHis magazine has come up on my journal a few times over the years. Its a lot of fun and can be very informative. I think its perfect when traveling.

I think the last subject was on the rules of attraction, monogamy and polygamy. Thanks for posting this topic, I am going to have to run out and buy this one. Maybe K* will be interested in it with her ex and, to a lesser degree, me.

ehowton
ehowton at 2012-05-22 23:56 (UTC) (Link)
I would assume that article was on polyamory rather than polygamy, but I could be mistaken!

Believe you me, I not only thought about her ex, but I also thought how I am viewed by those who aggressively embrace societal norms to be on par with him. And that frightens and saddens me both.
Lelf Treperra
ubet_cha at 2012-05-23 18:25 (UTC) (Link)
Actually - I'll cut & paste the post in a second. It was easy to find because I picked up that particular magazine issue when traveling alone with Kerri in 2007. Now, after reading my summary, I wish I had kept the hard copy.

I drove to two super markets and the Target nearest my office looking for this month's issue today. No luck. None of them carry it, although they do carry "Woodcutter" - go figure. I think the nearest book store is still open in our local mall. I'll try to hit it up this weekend.

When it come's to K*'s ex, who really is disturbed, I think there is a large genetic componnent. His brother doesn't have the anger issues, yet is still tied up in his own POV -only is now homeless somewhere down south. His mother is also wildly irrational and a sight to see on her bad days.

Ja* shows some of the same behaviors and we're trying to get him into screening this summer for new therapy so he can learn to handle himself.
It is frightening.
ehowton
ehowton at 2012-05-23 21:45 (UTC) (Link)
It is frightening.

But not insurmountable.
Lelf Treperra
ubet_cha at 2012-05-23 19:06 (UTC) (Link)

If I had more time I think I would subscribe too.

http://ubet-cha.livejournal.com/323641.html#cutid1

The August 2007 edition had a great article on “ 10 Outrageous Un-PC Truths about Men and Women.” that some of you may be interested in. I’ve paraphrased the heck out of my summary of this article by Satoshi Kanazawa, but tried to keep the points ( in bold) true to form.

1. Men like Blond Bombshells ( And women want to look like them.) - Apparently a lot of research has gone into this statement there are several paragraphs that explain biological responses and their origin, as well as how modern man is well aware that visually he is often being fooled by hair dye, boob jobs, and contacts but he doesn’t care so long as they biological response is the same. Women were dying their hair blond in 15th century Italy and may have begun doing so two millennia ago. Sometimes I wonder if my knee jerk reaction to red heads is a learned response because they’re rarer?

2. Humans are naturally polygamous - No real surprise here either. Even though Judo-Christians hold that monogamy is the only natural form of marriage. We know that humans have been polygynous through most of history because men are taller then women. Among primate and non-primate species, the degree of polygyny high correlates with the degree which males of a species are larger then females. In humans there is a 20% difference. Wannbe-boy-sluts need not get excited. Cultural taboos aside ( which are still significant), this baser part of human behavior does not benefit the averagemale.

3. Most women benefit from Polygyny, while most men benefit from Monogamy. – The only exceptions are extremely desirable ( physically/socially/financially) women. Men in monogamous societies imagine they would be better off under polygyny. What they don’t realize is that, for the men who are not extremely desirable, polygyny means no wife at all, or, if they are lucky, a wife who is much less desirable than one they could get under monogamy. When I think about this, the logic seems so irrefutable I wonder why it never occurred to me before. I’m very interested in how societies will continue to change while struggling with Human nature, as women continue to be on a more equal playing field. Of course, on an individual basis the results are easier to forecast. We see examples every day.

4. Most suicide bombers are Muslim - Long explanation of why. Basically I shrugged this one off with a “ Statistically True.” For now.

5. Having sons reduces likelihood of divorce - Statistically True. Men apparently invest more time, place a higher emotional value, in sons then daughters. So much so it affects the amount of work they'll put into a marriage. Sad.

6. Beautiful People Have more daughters then sons – Americans who are rated as ‘very attractive’ have a 56% chance of having a daughter for their first child, compared with 48% for everyone else.

7. Men, and to a lesser degree women, are at their most creative during their first 3.5 decades. - Its called the age-genius curve....Examples...Bill Gates, Issac Newton, Paul Mcartney, Albert Einstein, JD Salinger.

8. The Midlife crisis is a Myth, Sort Of – The explanation here was hard for me to wrap my mind around. Supposedly men are more likely to nose dive into a midlife crisis when their wives become middle aged.

9. Its Natural for Politicians to Risk Everything for an Affair ( But only if they are male.) – This goes back to the Alpha male competitive angle. Where its believed that most men go into politics as a means to become more powerful/visible, therefore more likely to have greater success with a women. Anyone up for a cup of Freud?

10. Men Sexually Harass Women Because they are NOT sexist – Another idea that caught me off guard, but they aren’t talking about the sleep with me for a promotion type of harassment. They’re talking about the jokes, rude aggressive behavior type. Where men are treating women as equals.
ehowton
ehowton at 2012-05-23 21:44 (UTC) (Link)

Re: If I had more time I think I would subscribe too.

Its a good rag for me because they only release one every couple of months.

Some of those are fascinating. Thank you.
Michelle1963
michelle1963 at 2012-05-24 04:20 (UTC) (Link)

Re: If I had more time I think I would subscribe too.

10. Men Sexually Harass Women Because they are NOT sexist – Another idea that caught me off guard, but they aren’t talking about the sleep with me for a promotion type of harassment. They’re talking about the jokes, rude aggressive behavior type. Where men are treating women as equals.

I can see this. And frankly, I know the difference between when a guy is joking with me and when he is being leaning on me / being aggressive. The difference is unmistakable ~ or so I thought. Sadly many woman are vigilant about the words they consider taboo and never consider intent.
ehowton
ehowton at 2012-05-24 12:34 (UTC) (Link)

Re: If I had more time I think I would subscribe too.

lol - from my last Psychology Today article:

"Not that I believe context is everything anymore, at least not by itself. Here lately I've been foraying into the thick of intention - which I now understand to be related to context in a sleeping-with-your-sister kind of relationship. If context is the dynamic in which we wish ourselves to be understood, then intention is the motivation behind that communication."

It was this I had the most difficulty with growing up in understanding the polarity of "treat us equal, but behave different."
Michelle1963
michelle1963 at 2012-05-26 19:37 (UTC) (Link)

Re: If I had more time I think I would subscribe too.

It was this I had the most difficulty with growing up in understanding the polarity of "treat us equal, but behave different."

That never really made sense to me either. The flip side of this, and maybe some women like it, is when having a discussion in a mixed gender group supposedly as equals, and a man cusses, then looks at me like my poor, frail self can't stand to hear such language and apologizes. I understand that is the societal norm, but really? My response is usually something along the lines of, "Yeah, I never fucking cuss."
Previous Entry  Next Entry