They’re everywhere — people who make themselves feel better at our expense. “But if we’re prepared, they won’t have power over us,” says Judith Orloff, psychiatrist and author of Positive Energy. Here’s how to deflect the vampires as they strike:
Scenario: Your airplane seatmate wants to talk politics — for the whole flight.
Solution: Say, “That’s interesting, but I hope you understand this is my time to relax. I need to read now.”
The Drama Queen
Scenario: To your co-worker, losing $1 in the vending machine is the end of the world.
Solution: Say, “I’m sorry that happened — I hope you can work it out — but I need to get back to work.”
Scenario: A “friend” consoles you after a bad date, saying, “Maybe you’re setting your sights too high.”
Solution: Minimize contact with that person. At the least, tell her, “That was hurtful. Please don’t say things like that to me.” Then recognize the insults for the insecurity that they show.