How To Deal With People That Stress You Out

Every day you deal with people that stress you out. It can be a friend, a family member or colleague. Toxic people lurk in all parts of our lives. If you find yourself completely stressed when dealing with certain people, you need to find ways to cope and make the best of the situation. Here are some tips to help you stay cool, and deal with people that stress you out. And if you’d like some IRL inspiration, reserve your seat for The Board – this event is the perfect way for you to meet inspiring women, share your challenges, and learn from others doing amazing things.

People who stress you out

How to deal with people that stress you out

Don’t indulge negativity

Toxic people love to be negative. Nothing gets them more animated than moaning about all the ways life has let them down. They love to place blame on everyone else – their family, society, government – it doesn’t matter. They rarely take ownership on improving their own situation, instead, wallow in their negativity. Misery loves company. So if you have been indulging them in the past and letting them be negative, you need to realise that you are just enabling their behaviour and that they will never change.

Next time they are about to go on a negative tirade that’s going to stress you out, you need to step in and question them about ways that they are improving their situation. If they continually just give excuse after excuse and over time never actively try and change their problem, it may be time to phase out the relationship.

Know your triggers

By being able to identify what it is exactly that this person does that causes you such stress, you should be in a better position to deal with it. There are two types of triggers you should become familiar with.

One is emotional triggers. These occur when the toxic person you are dealing with says something that presses your buttons. Why do the things they say hurt you? Are they highlighting your personal insecurities? Can you reframe these insecurities within your own mind, so they no longer hold such a power over you?

Second are physical triggers. Get to know what your body does when you are stressed. Does your face go red? Does your heart begin to beat wildly? Do you find it hard to even speak? By knowing your physical triggers you can begin to identify them earlier during a conflict so you can remove yourself from the situation sooner.

Be aware of manipulation

Stressful people can be very manipulative. They can find ways to make you feel worthless and inferior. If you allow them to treat you like that, that’s what they will continue to do. If the person is someone that you can’t phase out of your life, like a boss or family member you need to figure out exactly how they are manipulating your emotions. For example, If a boss or coworker are saying that you are lazy, keep detailed notes on the work you are doing and go through the correct channels within your organisation to resolve the situation.

If it’s a family member, limit your interaction with them to occasions where attendance is mandatory and beforehand identify the triggers that cause you to become upset in their presence. This will help you prepare responses for when the toxic family member tries to hurt you and cause you stress.

Take a stand and set boundaries

This can be very difficult to do, especially if you feel intimidated by the person who is causing you stress. The person may be completely oblivious to the fact that they are being difficult to deal with. By vocalising the issues you are having with them, it gives them a chance to change their ways. If they continue with the behaviour, you will need to set boundaries. This might mean only dealing with them at certain times and not responding to every message that they send you. This can be difficult in a work environment, so you may need to start looking for other employment opportunities. Having a constant stress at work will impact negatively on your mental health, so you must figure this into your career choices.

Have something to look forward to

If you must deal with this stressful person, try and have something to look forward to afterwards. Family gatherings can be stressful, so plan to go for a facial or back massage a day or two after the event to unwind. If it’s a stressful client in work, treat yourself to an indulgent lunch or dinner afterwards. Spending the entire lead up thinking about the toxic person, you are making the situation worse by adding to your anxiousness. Instead, having something to look forward to after dealing with the difficult person can help salvage a little bit of positive mindset.

What are your coping mechanisms for dealing with people that stress you out? How do you react when faced with a stressful situation? Let us know on the GirlCrew app or in the comments below. 

14 thoughts on “How To Deal With People That Stress You Out”

  1. My biggest problem is that i hate confrontation so i often let it fester inside me with the other person completely unaware. I have learnt to either say how I feel or walk away from negative relationships, but it is still hard to do.

  2. This is a great guide. I’ve purchased cake ahead of time when I knew I had a phone conference with someone who stresses me. Stress eating isn’t good, but actually taking a bite of the cake each time I felt her start trigger me worked so good lol

  3. If people stress you out, that means they also tend to express something that it’s hard for them to do so, so that’s why they kinda’ go on the wrong path. Always keep in mind that they also have their ups and downs 🙂 Of course, I am only talking about friends and family, not about the people that you’re forced to see them daily (such as at work), because you have no choice there, ugh!

  4. Unfortunately I know lots of those people! In fact, one of them just sent me an email just now. How’s that for timing lol. I usually just step away from the situation and take a breather. Counting to 10 keeps me from doing things I’ll regret later!

  5. Boundaries and sticking to them are especially important. It’s always good to have a list of your boundaries and stick to them! Your right about the complaining, I wish people would do that less. Great post

  6. I totally agree that toxic people love to be negative! I used to let people get to me a lot and it would stress me out, but a few years ago I decided that I was going to care less and it’s been such a weight off my mind. Sure, there are still people who push my buttons, but I try and focus on the positives and not let them affect me anymore!

  7. All I do is either avoid interacting with them or just ignore their negativity which is taking a toll on me to be honest so thanks for the pointers!! Time for a change 🙂

  8. I love these tips – especially knowing your triggers. So important to cut out as much unnecessary stress as possible!

  9. nesta adele haywood

    I can’t abide people who put a damper on things when you tell them that you are going to do something. I decided to move from London to Cornish coast two years ago. It is something i have always dreamed about and my partner. The negative reaction I got from family and friends really annoyed us. Oh don’t do that you won’t make any friends the Cornish are very unwelcoming to outsiders it’s cold there in the winter. You will be isolated with no friends. Not one of them had anything positive to say at all. We ignored it all in the end. We love it here no more heavy traffic and noise we wished we had moved before. The friends we had in london we hardly here from now strangely enough. Negative people drain our energy get some positive ones thst is what we have done in our new part of the UK.

  10. I find now after having a heart attack and open heart surgery that my family…all adylts that live with me are the most stressing in my life. I cant stand to be around them. Am trying to adapt but almost ompossible for me not to be stressed around them. Any advise…I really just eant to be alone ..away from them. I feel guilty but thats how I feel……self preservation is starting to become a big thing.

  11. I really like some of the comments on this thread. Especially the one by nesta haywood. As I can relate to her situation myself. I moved from central London Bloomsbury to Sussex 3 years ago with my partner. We had the same problem from some relatives etc so negative. We love out new location made lots of new friends joined things etc. The way some people spoke Sussex near Brighton was the back and beyond. Do what you feel is best for you there will always be someone ready with negative opinions.

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