How do you deal with a person who is noticeably a bit “off?” O.K. Let me just call it what it is. How do you effectively deal with a person who is either insecure, jealous, or just crazy? I’ll take a moment here to say that I’m an advocate for addressing mental health issues, not ignoring them or simply assuming that a person will “get over it,” “grow out of it,” or even move on – and “move on” means they’re probably moving on to terrorize someone else. (I digress.)
I’m really interested to know how other people stay sane when that person comes walking towards you in the hallway, walks up to you at church, or stops by your desk to get in their daily crazy. What I mean by that is that there is clearly a disconnect with this individual. You noticed it the first day you met. They stand by and scowl when someone pays you a compliment, exhibit a false sense of confidence to give the appearance of being sane – but you know the truth because you’ve been down this road before (and someone outright told you… “Oh, her? Yeah, she crazy…”)
You’ve seen them in full crooked wig, blank stare, horror movie mode and at that moment wanted to teleport yourself to your grandmothers house – where there may be a few folks walking around with a lose screw but they know to stay in line when company is present.
What is the code word to disarm a jealous, possibly insecure and I’ll say it again, CRAZY individual that you have to interact with on a regular basis?
Unfortunately for me, I’ll want to spend time getting to the root of the person’s issues. Like, literally try to pinpoint when and why they decided they were better off letting that voice in their head take over? The one telling them to try to one-up everything someone else does, the one saying, “Girl, let’s Instagram flex today (but in their case, it’s a really bad version of someone fronting like their not the spawn of Rosemarie’s Baby… I digress again.)
But who has time to play therapist/psychologist every time that person comes marching around the corner. Sometimes, I’d prefer to run away or have one of my friends on FaceTime to witness the insanity. The friend who will defend you, protect you, and back down any broad with a look or two words. If you don’t have one, girl, go find her or him.
Instead, I smile and nod… I take the high road, grit my teeth and engage.
A friend once told me a story about a girl at her church who would make a point every Sunday, to walk over and play the infamous tit for tat game.
“Hey, I heard you and your husband just closed on a new house… Me too! But it’s bigger.”
“Oh, you’re finishing your doctorate? Well, online university.com just sent me a copy of mine. I’m thinking about getting another this weekend.”
It is an incessant game of “You ain’t got nothin’ I ain’t got, or done anything I can’t do and I want YOU to know it.” But why?!
What do they want? Why do these unstable, Stepford Wife, Basketball Wife, Love and Hip Hop wannabe, rejects zero in on a target that wants nothing to do with them? When you don’t engage the crazy with conversation or even eye contact, why do they come back? Is there some kind of repellant I can buy?
I literally Googled the question and the search results came back with this:
Many psychologists believe that this urge to cause pain in another person stems from underlying internal insecurities manifesting themselves defensively. Getting someone else to change their behavior is much more difficult than changing your own. When dealing with a bully, establishing resilience in yourself can be the best line of defense.
Psychology.com mirrored these same thoughts. So I wasn’t too far off in my approach, right?
For now, I’ll continue to smile and nod. I’ll keep the conversations short and sweet and limit their knowledge of my personal life to what I make available via social media.
What is your method for repelling or engaging someone who has chosen you as a target for their insecurities, jealousy, or downright misguided thoughts ?