When a someone is demanding something from you or annoying you, it is difficult not to react to it negatively. It could be a child, a parent, a coworker, or a friend. It is almost instinctual to discourage such behavior. But underneath their demand, there is usually a valid emotional need. And if their need goes unmet, the behavior is likely going to come back around again.
So it might be useful to hear their intent. Ask yourself what they are needing underneath their demand or intrusion. And then to willingly help them meet that need. You might even let them know that all they needed to do was ask for what they wanted more directly, thereby providing better skills for the
Because if they had better skills, they probably would have used them. Annoying behavior is often merely a maladaptive way to meet an emotional need. So someone (that would mean you) is going to have to teach them some skills if this behavior is ever going to change.
Depending on the relationship teaching them may not be your responsibility. But the benefit may be two-fold or win-win. First of all, they get to learn skills to meet their needs. And secondly, if you are in a close environment with them, you will free yourself of their demanding or intrusive behavior in the future.
So take a deep breath. Because you are already in an annoying interaction. You might as well set it up for everyone involved to learn something. Then at least your pain counted for something.
About the Author
I, Michael Hoffman, am a licensed psychotherapist, teacher, and author with 25 years experience in counseling and teaching experiential workshops. I have maintained this blog since 2009, and my second book Natural Way of Being will published in 2019.
I offer in-person and video-conferencing counseling, intensive workshops, and online courses to allow participants to directly experience their natural way of being and the life they would have for themselves.