Dealing with Difficult Behaviour

Dealing with difficult behaviour is stressful, the following advice may help the situation:

  • Don’t act impulsively – talk things through 
  • Don’t invade space, stay at arm’s length 
  • Avoid putting yourself in a corner 
  • Always knock 
  • Get to know the signs – pacing, rocking, stuttering, fist clenching 
  • Keep neutral body posture 
  • Keep hands in sight – show the palms of your hands 
  • Don’t clench your fists, put hands on hips, stare or point 
  • Make eye contact – but don’t stare, try to smile 
  • Be self-aware – be aware if you are in a bad mood this will be picked up!! 
  • Be calm – walk slowly, don’t show agitation or irritability 
  • Count to 10 – it does work 
  • Use humour – but avoid negative humour or sarcasm 
  • Empathise – “I think I know how you feel” 
  • Sympathise – “I agree with you” 
  • Ventilation – let someone get it off their chest. Don’t interrupt or argue. 
  • Get them talking – open ended questions “How did that feel?” 
  • Avoid physical contact – grip an arm, shake them awake 
  • Set ground rules – let the person know the limits and consequences. 
  • Know who to call in an emergency 
  • Don’t get involved in a pointless argument 
  • If your friend/relatives flares up and storms off – leave them to cool down before talking to them – don’t try at that time 
  • Take a break – it can be exhausting, worrying and a 100 other emotions. Give time for you.

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