Are you feeling frustrated because your loved one seems to always be making unreasonable demands? Are you unsure on how to deal with your loved ones unreasonable demands? To help understand common mistakes that people make when dealing with the unreasonable demands of their loved one and how you can deal with a loved ones unreasonable demands, I have interviewed therapist Sharman Colosetti, LCSW, PhD.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I have an MSW and PhD from the University of Georgia, School of Social Work. I have been in practice over 22 years. In addition to my private practice, I have consulted part-time at the state women’s prison for 18 years. I am an active member of the American Academy of Psychotherapists, a professional organization that not only helps develop the character of the therapist, but also helps the therapist learn to use her/his personal experience in the therapy room. For balance, I teach water aerobics, dance and garden.”
What are common mistakes that people make when dealing with the unreasonable demands of their loved one?
“The biggest mistake is to respond defensively or in anger. When we think that our loved one is making an ‘unreasonable demand,’ it automatically puts us on the defensive. A second mistake is to try to talk about their demand when either of you are too tired, hungry or stressed. Third is to argue in your mind, instead of listening intently, while you talk about their demand.”
How can someone deal with their loved ones unreasonable demands?
“First, think about their ‘unreasonable demand’ as a poorly-worded request. They are doing the best that they know how to ask for what they want. Find a time when you both have the emotional reserves to be able to talk about their request. Take a deep breath, calmly listen to what they want, and let them know what you heard them say. ‘Let me see if I understand what you want. You want me to call you every day when I’m away on a business trip. Right?’ Get curious. Put yourself in their shoes and try to discover what upset them and what they need. Brainstorm possible solutions and pick one that the two of you can agree on. Set a reasonable deadline to accomplish the request.”
What can someone do if their loved one threatens to end the relationship unless those unreasonable demands are met?
“If your loved one begins to threaten you, either verbally or physically, call a time out until you are both calm enough to discuss their request. Don’t let their abusive actions make you give in to a solution that you are unwilling to carry out. Sometimes, we do not have the resources that are necessary to carry out the solution that they want. In that case, you may need to agree to disagree and manage the consequences. If you find yourself get stuck in the same argument, call a therapist to help mediate the argument and teach you new skills.”
Thank you Dr. Colosetti for doing the interview on how someone can deal with a loved one’s unreasonable demands. For more information on Dr. Colosetti or her work you can check out her website on www.drsharman.com.
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