If someone makes you uncomfortable, there are ways you can extricate yourself from the situation.

How to Deal With Someone Who Makes You Feel Uncomfortable

by Keri Dillingham

You're not going to like everyone with whom you come in contact, but you may face some difficulties if you have to often encounter someone who makes you uncomfortable. It could be someone as close as a relative or more of an acquaintance, such as a co-worker or your doctor. While distancing yourself from an acquaintance can be an option, you may want to employ a different tactic with a loved one or someone with whom you must socialize. Remember, "boundaries are essential to healthy relationships and, really, a healthy life," wrote Margarita Tartakovsky, on the "PsychCentral" website, so be sure to defuse any encounter that causes you discomfort.


There are people in this world who are not well-versed in boundaries and tend to encroach on your personal space. It could be someone who stands entirely too close to you and your children in the store or someone asking very personal questions soon after being introduced. Your best bet with these types of individuals is to immediately distance yourself by avoiding eye contact and walking away.

Service Provider

Service providers, such as doctors, have the potential to make you uncomfortable if the boundaries of the business relationship have been crossed. As outlined in "Emily Post's Etiquette," anything outside of a handshake can be interpreted as inappropriate touching. This type of inappropriate conduct can take the form of physical touching or in the chosen topic of conversation. If you feel uncomfortable, you have the right to immediately leave, terminate the business relationship and proceed with reporting the encounter to a governing authority.


Co-workers can cause the greatest discomfort, because there's an urge to outright address the behavior yet knowing that you will be forced to see the person, which will create a disharmonious working environment. Try to control the conversation so that you can pick the topic and its endpoint. Being a mother allows you to have endless conversations about how adorable your children are and can serve the purpose of deterring distasteful conversations by others around you.

Family and Friends

In the book, "Worried Sick," Karol Ward suggests ways that you can subtly change a topic of discussion by: directly expressing how you'd like to talk about something positive since the day hasn't been going great; leaving the person's presence for a spell to allow a different topic to take root; or simply asking where you can get that fabulous pair of shoes.

These are pleasant ways to avoid an uncomfortable situation with a relative or friend. However, if you begin to feel discomfort upon the mere thought of interacting with this particular person, it may be time to privately explain why you are having a negative reaction to the encounters and hope that next time the person will avoid such commentary.

About the Author

After having earned two degrees in psychology, Keri Dillingham continues to focus her time researching and studying the intricate nature of the human relationship. She worked as a victim's advocate for those subjected to domestic violence, and, as such, is adept at discussing and reviewing topics that directly relate to healthy relationships and positive lifestyles.

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