How to Deal With High-Maintenance People (Without Going Insane)

argumentWhy are some people sooooo draining?

We all have at least a couple of those super high-maintenance types in our lives, and because the energy-sucking vampires tend to be either relatives or co-workers or in-laws, simply cutting ties usually isn't an option.

So how do we deal with these people on a regular basis without losing our minds? Is it even possible?

Apparently, yes -- there are a few methods for staying sane when the crazy train comes crashing into town.

Of course I'm not naming any names, but let's say you know one or more of these (completely fictitious) people ...


The "all eyes on ME" old friend

Okay, you know the Kristen Wiig character "Penelope" on SNL? She's the stereotypical one-upper: "I've known them for, like, seven years. So, just a little bit longer. I've just known them for a really long time, so -- longer, just better friends. So -- longer than you guys. So -- "


How to deal?!

Remember, "High-maintenance people live in a world that revolves around them." If you have to hang with someone like this, keep your expectations low -- and DON'T put yourself out there. (Because they probably won't appreciate the effort.)

The "always has to be right" mom

Good luck arguing with this lady! You'd think it was her job to prove you wrong.

How to deal?!

As with small, stubborn children -- choose your battles wisely. "It's important to pick only the battles you need to win. If you don't, you're just going to end up exhausting yourself."

The "tasmanian devil sister"

She's a whirlwind of disaster and somehow manages to pull you into every single screw-up (and make you feel like it's your fault!).

How to deal?!

Brace yourself for the drama you KNOW is coming anyway. At least this way you're prepared for the next meltdown, whereas lying to yourself ("THIS time I'm going to have a nice, calm lunch with my sister!") is just going to make things worse.

The "oh, you don't mind, do you?" co-worker

Let me guess -- you did a favor for this person once, and they took that gesture as an invitation to use you like a dishrag.

How to deal?!

Lay some ground rules. It won't be fun, but it MUST be done. You can be nice about it, but make limitations clear: Your busiest hours are such-and-such to such-and-such so you'd appreciate not being disturbed during that window of time, etc.

Any of these high-maintenance personality profiles sound familiar to you?

How do you deal with the high-maintenance people in your life?


Image via Amanda Wood/Flickr

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