Dealing with difficult people?

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Dealing with difficult people?

Post by SvenHoot » 21 Dec 2014, 20:56

I'm sorry if this isn't in the right forum!

I still live with my parents, my mother and stepfather. My parents are not bad people and I love my mother dearly, but my stepfather is very hard for me to deal with. He is two completely different people depending on whether my mom is around or not.

I am writing this because I have just been in a very uncomfortable situation in which we have a rescued, formerly-abused dog in our house who is very sketchy around men being yelled at and threatened by him to get in her crate and go outside to go potty. Mind you this dog has been, for the last eight months, tied to a post in a barn and doesn't even seem to realize she is a dog. He tried trapping her and grabbing her (she bit him, naturally) and yelling and using generally negative force before he gave up and walked off cursing, and shouting at my sister (who is four) to shut up and mind her own business. This is not a first.

My mom would not have tolerated this if she was here. She rescued that dog and took her to our house as a volunteer side-job from her main work as a shelter employee with very strong ethics on how to and how not to treat animals.

I'm very quiet and shy around men, even him, and I was feeling a bit angry and unsure of what to do. I'm not really brave enough to directly say something, I'm very non-confrontational.

This brings me to wonder; how are we to deal with difficult people? My first instinct, which was only a longing to do so (curse my inhibitions, but yet not at the same time!), was to tell him to knock it off and wise up. I was feeling very angry but also hurt at his behavior towards an emotionally unstable animal. How would I ethically and properly channel this anger? I'm obviously going to talk to my mom about it but I don't know what good it would do.

I'd just like to know how to release my anger about something I completely disagree with, because it's not uncommon for me to be angry about this kind of thing and I don't want to do or say something that I would regret.

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Re: Dealing with difficult people?

Post by MountainGnome » 22 Dec 2014, 06:20

Depends a lot on the exact situation. How old you are, how old he is, what the personal dynamic between you two is, which one of you is physically bigger, etc. (I know age and size shouldn't be a factor but realistically depending on the circumstances and this guy's mentality, frankly he sounds like a bully and bullies tend not to respond to reason, but to more animalistic forces, or am I wrong?)

I could only tell you what I would do personally, but that may not be appropriate for you. I'm not a confrontational person either but I also won't live in certain conditions and if pressed into such a situation I will stand my ground and make it clear that I'm not going to be walked over.

If you tell this guy what you really think the next time he goes off like that, what do you think is the worst that could happen? Do you think this guy is of a mentality where he would actually try to physically hurt you, or do you think he would just yell at you or what? Everybody has their own problems and I'm sure this guy acts the way he does because of some personal problem he has, but that doesn't mean he has the right to disrespect others and make them miserable, or even to harrass an animal. So boundaries have to be established but the question is what do you think would be the most "diplomatic" way to go about doing this.

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Re: Dealing with difficult people?

Post by Catafonia » 22 Dec 2014, 20:59

I agree with the above: unless you feel sure of yourself and that your stepfather won't go over the top, you should be careful. It's a bit difficult to offer suggestions without more info but perhaps you could have a quiet word with your mother. You will still have to be diplomatic but maybe you could say something like the dog hasn't yet settled in properly and doesn't yet trust the family, how about your mother shows the whole family how to deal with her, then you're not pointing the finger at your stepfather. Exactly how you phrase will depend on how open a relationship you have with your mother but if she has a calming influence on your stepfather, then it makes sense to try and work with that.
Good luck in a difficult situation
Catafonia :smgrove:


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