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Old 02-19-2014, 01:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Dealing with difficult people?


How do you deal with obnoxious, rude, paranoid individuals without throwing yourself back to the bottle? The individuals in question happen to be my parents. I love them very much but their overall negativity and bittnerness towards the world is almost unbearabe without alcohol. In the recent past I was able to cope with them quite easily by drinking to gross excess and being so hungover most other days that I couldn't care less about what was bothering them. To be fair, I'm sure I'm no peach a lot of the time either.

I decided to move back in with them until I finish law school (2 more years). It's a decision that makes the most sense financially, and as much as I hate to admit it, they do keep me from going completely off the rails as I usually have when I've lived on my own. Trouble is, I don't know how to deal with difficult people while keeping my cool (without booze), how do you do it??
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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"The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time."

-Abraham Lincoln.

I agree with that statement.
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm in a similar situation, living with my parents after I lost absolutly EVERYTHING a year ago, it's not been easy. I just find ways to avoid them if they're being difficult but recently I found that just telling them when they're making things difficult for me, they actually seemed to understand and back off, was very freeing.

Do they know you're trying to be sober?
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That's actually a good idea... No, I haven't. They are just hoping that I am trying to stay sober. I didn't advertise it so I wouldn't look as bad if I started again. Perhaps I should mention it
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I had to detach from my parents, particularly from my mother. It was difficult, but necessary in order to recover. The negativity from those two people kept taking me down.

I have no advice on how to deal with difficult parents while living with them. I could never have done what you're doing, and I wish you well getting through it.
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I would tell them you're trying your utmost to stay sober and their negativity doesn't help.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I had to detach from certain family members too xxxx
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i found my tolerance levels and understanding increased after I'd been sober for a while
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You'll probably be able to bite your lip better whilst being sober.
Can't think having a drink would help, just focus on the being sober and as time goes it might end up being funny.
I would watch out if they are depressed as that can just suck the energy out everyone around and is very difficult to deal with without the additional stress of your position.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This is a difficult situation and I have had similar struggles with my parents.

I don't know if this is the healthiest approach for the long term, but the following has helped me: avoid difficult people when you are struggling.

I imagine that you are busy during the day with school and are out of the house. On bad days, I would bring snacks and study at the library in the evenings. On weekends I would go to the library, spend time with positive people, and pursue interests. When I'm feeling stronger (no desire to drink), I would be more willing to communicate with them about noncontroversial topics. Explaining to them that you are struggling and trying to say sober could work, depending on the personalities of your parents (It would likely make my mom worse actually, which I know sounds bizarre, but is true in her case.)

Best of luck to you.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I also experienced this in childhood with my mother and the "dealing" was similar to others': detachment. Did not understand her attitude at all as a child, just felt it was somehow incompatible with me... only got her (in a complex way) much later as an adult. Even experienced something similar (that led me to detach) with my father, but in his case it wasn't negativity at all, but extreme doses of self-confidence and self-centered attitude, narcissism etc. I did reconnect with him later in my 20's and now we have a very good relationship, more like friends than father-child, but I am still keeping the distance to a certain extent because it can get too much.

Other areas where I sometimes struggle with chronically negative attitudes is work, some of my coworkers that I need to get things done with or even supervise/manage. Really not easy, I've tried all sorts of strategies with such people from being always positive, encouraging, giving many compliments.... to discussing personal problems in a friendly way... to being more formal and diplomatic (never so easy for me).... to tough love and critical approach (this tends to give me the worst results)... to just doing what they are supposed to, myself... Still often unsure, so please if anyone has found good strategies to handle individuals like these in a professional environment while being able to be productive in peace, let me know!
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:40 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I don't know. Good luck!
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Devils advocate here. Your living with your parents as an adult in their home so that you can save some money or afford to keep going to school. You admit that you are no peach to live with.
Your parents might be having a hard time with this. They may not have expected to have an adult child living back at home. They may be stressed and worried by your drinking and behaviour. I have been in your parents situation and it's really hard when you are offering ongoing financial support as well as sharing your home and sacrificing your privacy for an adult child that resents you. Think of it from their perspective. If it's not working it may be best if you find a renting situation with other people to split costs.

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Old 02-19-2014, 03:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Same for me. Detachment, though painful, was the only way for me. I don't like my Mother. It almost seems sinful to say i but try as i may, i simply can't be around her for any length of time without thinking about that scared little boy that she 'wished she had strangled at birth'. I still hurt and am not yet able to forgive.
But she knows that i am sober and the last time i saw her she looked upon a sober man with his head held high.
And i hugged her.
And i guess it was goodbye then.....
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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It's not sinful to say you don't like your mother. Just being someone's mother shouldn't guarantee love or respect. I didn't love or like my mother. She did nothing to earn my love or respect. She treated my father, a really wonderful man, like dirt. She was hurtful to me as a child and an adult, she said hurtful things to my daughter, and she never liked my husband (well, she may have been right about that one, but I'd never admit it). One of the things I am thankful for is that she is no longer around for me to deal with. When she died I felt liberated for the first time. That being said, I always said I would live in a tent than live with her. No amount of money or security would have been worth it to me. You aren't required to forgive. I never did. If you are sober and doing well and it feels better without her, I'd say it is a worthwhile sacrifice.
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