10 Ways To Communicate With Unbearable People

From time to time we all come across people with whom constructive conversation is impossible. Moreover, there are situations when emotions overwhelm our loved ones, friends, colleagues. How to react to irrational behavior and get out of a collision without losses? Found the answers in the book of psychiatrist Mark Goulston “How to talk with assholes”.

1. Show belly – How to talk with assholes

Imagine a battle between two dogs. There are three options for ending it: dogs will fight until both are seriously injured; one will run away, which will turn on the other predator mode; one will lie on its back and show the stomach of the other, thereby saying: “I agree. You are the dominant dog. What do you want me to do?”

When you communicate with an irrational person, you have a natural desire to become the main thing in the conversation. But you can suffer from this. Try to overcome instinct and choose active submission. If you’re wrong, admit it, and then ask, “What do you want me to do?”

By showing imaginary weakness, you will cease to be a threat and neutralize the crazy interlocutor
By showing imaginary weakness, you will cease to be a threat and neutralize the crazy interlocutor

2. Apology, sympathy, disclosure

To apply this method, preparation is needed. First, put yourself in the place of the interlocutor and list a few actions that complicate the relationship. Then write down some gloomy thoughts that a person can associate with you – those for which he may be ashamed.

When you feel courage in yourself, act. First, apologize for your actions. For example, like this: “I apologize for what I constantly do. When I’m upset, it provokes a crazy part of me that is not able to shut up. At such moments, I do not realize that it infuriates you and makes you lock yourself in. It seems to me that you push me away, and you just defend yourself.

” Secondly, show sympathy (for the circumstances in which the person is forced to be, etc.). Thirdly, bring to the surface his darkest thoughts about you. Most likely, a person will deny them. But if you say these things out loud, their monstrosity will disappear, and the interlocutor will no longer feel shame.

Remember to rehearse the speech. And do not use the method if you are emotionally unstable or communicate with someone who openly hates you and wishes you harm.

3. Time to travel

Do not drive yourself into a vicious circle with phrases like “You never finish the job”, “You constantly harm me”, “You are not able to take responsibility”. Instead, think about the next day, or your life in ten years, and then help someone you see this future with you.

Suppose a partner is angry with you. Say: “Apparently, I did (or did not) a lot of things that upset you. How else should I do in the future? ” And if he is too emotional, say: “For the future, if you start screaming or slamming the doors, I won’t talk to you. I’ll ask you to leave and take a walk or even spend the night in a hotel. ”

4. Eye of the hurricane

Communicating with an irrational person, we usually see only his madness: screaming, crying, detachment or outbursts of anger. But here’s the secret: there are no completely crazy people. Inside each tornado is a section of calm.


This is the voice of a hurricane. Aim at him.
This is the voice of a hurricane. Aim at him.

Let the person speak. Listen to him calmly and do nothing. When the tantrum stops, direct the person to the eye of the hurricane, asking him the following questions:

  • What should I do in the long run?
  • And what about the short term?
  • What do I need to do in the near future?
  • What right now?

5. Get to the bottom of frustration

Faced with an emotional person saying things like “You’re an idiot!” Or “I’m leaving you!”, Remember – he doesn’t mean that. He says so because he is overwhelmed with emotions. It will be difficult for you to restrain your reaction to such words, but they cannot be taken literally.

Wait until the passions subside and say: “I see that you really got angry with me. Tell me, do you really hate me or are you just disappointed that I did X (did not X)? ”Anger and annoyance are often based not on hate or disgust, but on disappointment. However, people rarely use the word. Suggest disappointment as an alternative – your interlocutor will likely agree and begin to calm down.

6. Aquarium

If you are unable to make contact with an irrational person, think that he is trying his best (even if you don’t think so). Tell him you want to try a new technique that will help you concentrate on his true feelings and needs. Explain to the interlocutor that now look into his eyes and that he should do the same. You will feel how empathy builds up in you. Look for signs that the other person is no longer defending. When you feel that the dynamics of the relationship between you have changed, start a conversation.


Imagine at the place of the fish your friend crazy
Imagine at the place of the fish your friend crazy.

7. Cleavage

Are you familiar with a situation where one person pits two others against each other?

This happens when he hears a negative answer from the first interlocutor and turns to the second. In conversation, he not only condemns the first, but also hides key facts. This technique is called splitting. Adults turn to him because they once faced a big and serious “no,” which first led to disappointment, then to depression, and then to devastation. They are afraid to relive these feelings and are ready to do anything to hear “yes”.

If someone tells you a story about the betrayal of a friend whom he trusted, check the facts. If it seems to you that splitting is taking place, show the other person that they have guessed his trick. Then talk to him about how to deal with disappointment. If the situation arose in the workplace, call the person who answered “no” while the person you are talking to is in your office.

8. Three P

Sometimes a person experiences irrational fear. His thoughts run in circles and with each turn more and more out of control. You should not go ahead and try to calm a panic with words like: “Relax, I’m sure everything will be fine.” If a person is paralyzed by fear, he will not hear you. Instead, use the three P. method

  • Understand. Recognize that, from his own point of view, a person reacts reasonably.
  • To analyze. Help a person see the situation in a more rational light: are terrible consequences the most likely? Has he ever experienced such situations?
  • Show exit. Make a realistic plan for next steps together.

9. A little flattery

Few are as annoying as know-it-alls (we do not mean experts in our field). How to handle them? Usually people start to defend themselves or become gloomy. This only worsens the matter. The nerdy finds confirmation that everything around is idiots, and behaves even more arrogant.

Here is the solution: identify in which areas he is truly professional. When you meet him, start with the following sentence: “You have an amazing talent,” or “You are our best designer,” or “Your last presentation is simply magnificent.” Then explain that know-it-all actions harm him, but do so in such a way that words reinforce flattery. For example, say: “Our junior designers can learn so much from you. But, when you ulcerate or abruptly cut them off, they leave communication. I think that if you could find a way to speak with them as a teacher and not as a critic, they would take much more from you. ”

Give the know-it-all imaginary goblet
Give the know-it-all imaginary goblet

10. The order of salvation

Do you know people who refuse to accept help, no matter how deplorable the situation?

This is an interesting version of insanity, disguised as altruism, but actually coming from fear of hearing the refusal. Do not ask the victim if she needs help. Instead, tell her to accept her.

Here is an example for marital relations: “It is amazing how you deal with work, with the house, and with children. If I don’t talk about this often enough, forgive me. But I’m worried. You do a lot and are not able to ask for help. I think in the past you asked, but they didn’t help you – and, probably, you were even ashamed of it. But I want you to know that I’m not one of those people. And now I’ll do something that I’ve never done before and probably will never do it again — I want to order you: if you are exhausted, because there are too many cases, ask for help. To show you how important this is for me, I will check every week if there was anything that you could and should have asked me, but for some reason I didn’t. ”

Many examples and 4 more ways to communicate with unbearable people can be found in the book “How to talk with assholes”

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  1. Brianunsap

    Many thanks extremely valuable. Will share website with my friends.

  2. Jamesscady

    The tips is very unique.