How to Deal With Difficult People With Psychotherapist Andrea Bonior

Andrea Bonior

Verywell / Julie Bang

Every Monday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, interviews authors, experts, entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians, and other inspirational people about the strategies that help them think, feel, and do their best in life.

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Meet Andrea Bonior

Andrea Bonior is a psychologist who spent fifteen years turning what she’d learned in the therapy office into a mental health column for The Washington Post called “Baggage Check.”

She’s also the author of three books, including "Detox Your Thoughts."

She writes for Psychology Today and hosts a new podcast called "Baggage Check."

Why Andrea Bonior Is Mentally Strong

Andrea makes the complex science behind psychology easily understandable. Through her books, articles, and podcast, she helps people understand themselves and their relationships better.

What You’ll Hear on the Show

  • The types of difficult people we’re likely to encounter
  • How to recognize when we are the difficult person
  • How to stop damaging relationships to avoid being uncomfortable
  • How to be assertive
  • How to stop damaging your relationships
  • How to recognize good things about people we don’t really like 
  • How self-care can improve your relationships
  • How to respond to people who cancel plans at the last minute
  • What to say to someone who won’t commit to an invitation
  • How to respond to unsolicited advice 
  • How to deal with different types of difficult people

What You’ll Learn About Mental Health and Mental Strength

Sometimes we assume that certain individuals are just born with more patience or better interpersonal skills than others. But in reality, interpersonal effectiveness can be learned. And when you have better interpersonal skills, dealing with difficult people becomes easier.

Emotion regulation is also key to dealing with difficult people, and fortunately, those are skills that can be learned too.

Recognizing how to manage your feelings when you’re frustrated, irritated, or angry is key to getting along with others.

Quotes From Andrea

I think if we're going think about how to deal with difficult people, we also have to think about how to be honest with ourselves when we are the difficult person.

  • "Technology really helped usher in an era of always knowing if maybe something better was gonna come along and being able to flake out at the last minute."
  • "You will always damage the relationship more if you become known as being unreliable or somebody who cancels at the last minute constantly compared to just asserting yourself from the beginning and saying, ‘You know, I don't think that I can help you this weekend.’"
  • "Try to have that mentality that you're not just living for the next five minutes of comfort. You’ve got to make the decision that is not gonna damage the relationship in the long term."

More About the Podcast

The Verywell Mind Podcast is available across all streaming platforms. If you like the show, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts.

Reviews and ratings are a great way to encourage other people to listen and help them prioritize their mental health too.

Editor’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript does not go through our standard editorial process and may contain inaccuracies and grammatical errors. Thank you.

For media or public speaking inquiries, contact Amy here.

Links and Resources

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By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.