Dealing with Difficult People (4) By Dr. Michael Brooks This week we will continue giving you useful information on dealing with difficult people in your life. Seldom do we know what to say or do with people who are angry and difficult to deal with. Dr. Mike will give you some great advice on how to take back control from difficult people in your life. How to deal with difficult family members and in-laws can be critical for a happy marriage. I have heard some good stories about the crazy in-laws, and I’m sure you have as well. Whether some of these stories are true or not, I don’t know. Most relationships with in-laws are good and healthy. Some are bad, and you probably hear that from some of your friends. When you marry into a family, you have to take the good and the bad with it. So what are the big issues with the in-laws these days? Many complaints I have heard is the way in-laws are critical towards you and the way you do things. They may have a certain way they do things and interject their opinions on you, making you compromise your values and to keep the peace you do it their way. Criticism from an in-law towards a daughter in law or son in law is a major complaint in new marriages. Many times in-laws will find faults with their new son-in-law or daughter-in-law. They look for flaws and report to their child the imperfections they’ve noticed. If your parents are doing this, you need to stop them before it gets out of hand. This will cause a division in your marriage if you support your parent’s behavior. Pull them aside and let them know that you appreciate their concerns but you will deal with it if it becomes a problem. Protect your marriage from outside sources (parents, siblings, friends, co-workers, etc.) People mean well, but your new spouse comes first, take no sides. If there are issues, talk to your spouse first and deal with it between the two of you. Here are some of my tips in dealing with your in-laws and your parents if issues keep coming up. • Keep your quarrels between the two of you, don’t involve others. • When disagreeing with each other be civil, don’t defend parent’s behaviors. I know it’s tempting, especially if your parents are defending you. • Don’t take sides with your new spouse, be neutral and then sit down with husband/wife and talk. • Don’t let your parents talk you into anything, think first! • Protect your spouse, your parents, and in-laws from divisive people • Don’t repeat gossip about anyone or anything. Keep the peace • Avoid endless battles or confrontations These days, families, in-laws, spouses come in all different shapes and sizes. We’re all different and have been raised differently by our parents, grandparents. Some parents were strict while others laid back and carefree. There are so many different parenting styles, and we all want to have some input with suggestions on how we think our grandchild should be raised. We need to let our adult children ask us for advice, not we enforce our idea’s and opinions on them. If you’re asked, then by all means give your advice. Keep from interjecting and forcing your advice and being labeled a difficult parent or in-law. In closing, difficult people surround us everywhere. It depends on how we interact with them that will dictate the outcome. My first instinct is to avoid unnecessary run-ins if at all possible. It’s not worth the aggravation and heartaches it causes. If you must deal with someone, that is difficult, then be on guard and be careful with what you say and the intent behind it. If this individual is still a problem, then walk away. Are you afraid to confront difficult people in your life? Do you have family members who are difficult to get along with? Do you fear family gatherings because of past run-ins with siblings, parents? Would you like a plan that can help you face difficult people in your life? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then contact Dr. Mike for personal help and planning your next steps at 303.880.9878. Dr. Michael Brooks is the founder of Applicable Life Coaching and Counseling Services. It is affordable, accessible, anonymous and available by appointment from the privacy of your home. To avoid travel time and the comfort of home, many clients prefer to meet with Dr. Mike over the phone or via Skype. The convenience of this type of Counseling/Coaching is the most effective means of Life Coaching for those who live outside of the Denver-metro area. Give Dr. Mike a call! You’ll be glad you did!