Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries with difficult people can be challenging. There are people in our lives who have personality types that clash with our own or perhaps their behaviors, attitudes or belief systems make them difficult to be around. These areas of conflict can be draining and it’s difficult to know how to manage them!
Maintaining healthy boundaries is easy (with practice) when we are with people who respect our boundaries. The challenge is to continue using these skills with people who are “difficult” or with whom we frequently feel put down, silenced or exhausted. Julie Hanks, LCSW does a great job in this clip discussing different types of difficult people/behaviors and listing specific ways to manage challenging situations, and set clear boundaries in a respectful way. One important point she makes is that “difficult” people are not usually trying to be mean or disrespectful; they are often wounded. This perspective helps us come from a place of compassion when we set limits and boundaries to take care of our own mental health and well-being.