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Understanding the Difficult Partner


An important questions to ask are: “What feelings is the person who is being difficult having and why are they having those emotions?”

Difficult people are often negative and angry.  They are negative because deep in their heart they believe that that is the way the world is, and to be any other way is not being realistic.  Negative people also report being negative so they can protect themselves from being hurt or disappointed.  They believe that something bad is always going to be happening to them.

Difficult partners come across as angry because they feel frustrated, or overloaded, and often misunderstood.

The point here is not to have the perspective that difficult people are being difficult to hurt us they are responding the way they do because of the way they see or think the world is.  

We can handle difficult people most effectively if we move from blaming them to understanding them and then developing strategies to relate to what is going on rather than seeing our partner as deliberately trying to be hurtful.

In the next section I will talk about a basic strategy that can be used with a difficult partner.

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