Having a cousin who is difficult to deal with can be very frustrating, especially when you have to spend time together often. To make these times less painful, you can learn to reduce conflict, communicate with him more effectively, and find ways to control your own emotions. Although it is not possible to change his personality, you can change the way you react and endure his presence. Over time, you won't care much about his behavior anymore.
Method 1 of 3: Manage conflicts
Step 1. Take a deep breath and calm down
When you feel stressed or nervous, take a deep breath and try to calm yourself down before you say or do anything. Breathe in through your nose for a count of 5, hold your breath for 5 seconds, then breathe out through your mouth for a further count of 5. Repeat this exercise until you feel calmer.
If possible, leave the room you are in and take a few minutes to calm down or walk around the neighborhood
advice: Yoga and meditation are effective methods of reducing stress. You can try doing 10 minutes of these exercises a day to keep you focused and calm.
Step 2. Ask your cousin to stop his attitude
Whether it's annoying behavior or provocation, tell him you would like him to stop. Try to be direct and speak appropriately to get the point across clearly. Speak in a calm tone and don't yell when making this request.
- For example, say something like, “John, could you stop making that noise? It really bothers me. "
- Here's another example: “Alice, I'm not the only one wearing braces, it's nothing new, you know. Stop bothering me with this. "
Step 3. Laugh at the situation when you can
If your cousin is bothering you it could be because he wants to provoke a negative reaction in you and laughing at the situation may surprise him and even make him stop. Don't show him that his attitude bothers you and just laugh at what he says.
- For example, if your cousin tells you that your new clothes are ugly, laugh at it and just say, "Okay, thank you, Charles." Then go about your business and pretend nothing has happened.
- This can be very difficult to do, especially if your cousin's comment is really hurtful. It's okay not to force yourself to laugh when you're hurt. If you find yourself in a similar situation, talk to an adult.
Step 4. Chat with an adult in case they continue
If he continues to behave this way, even after you ask him to stop, talk to an adult about the situation. Ask his parents or anyone else who is responsible for you at the moment for help. This is even more important if your cousin is harming you physically or threatening you.
- You can say something like, "Mom, Karl keeps making jokes about my hair, even though I kindly asked him to stop." "
- If not, you can say this, "Uncle David, can you ask and tell Julie to stop tickling me?" "
Step 5. Remember that his behavior does not concern you
Even if it seems like your cousin is bothering you or being mean to you because of something you did to upset him, know that it is not your fault. Remember this whenever he says or does something to upset you.
- Here is an example of what you can say: “Sara is just mean. I didn't do anything to provoke her, and it's not my fault. "
- Remember that you are not responsible for his attitudes or his words, even if he tries to make you believe that he is.
Method 2 of 3: Communicate with your cousin
Step 1. Use the first person to speak
First person singular sentences best express how you feel about a particular topic. Using sentences that start with "you" or "you" can be interpreted as an attempt to blame the other person and will force them to become defensive.
- For example, say something like, “I get frustrated when you comment on my weight. Please stop doing this. "
- Here is another example: “I have the impression that you are not listening to me when you interrupt me. "
Step 2. Tell her that you are not going to tolerate emotional manipulation
If your cousin uses guilt, threats, or any other form of emotional manipulation to get something, set limits on what you accept or refuse to do. Be direct and firm when telling him what you are or are not ready to tolerate.
- You can say something like this, “Stop trying to make me feel guilty about not helping you with your homework. I told you I had plans after school, so I'm sorry, but I can't help you today. "
- If he's threatening, say, "Threatening myself won't change my mind, so don't bother." "
Step 3. Acknowledge his point of view without judging it
Showing empathy can be of great help when dealing with your cousin, as it allows you to view him with more understanding and compassion. Empathizing isn't the same as doing what he wants you to do, but it does allow you to understand the reason for the behavior and reduce the frustration you feel.
- Suppose your cousin continues to harass you to do his homework for him. He may feel frustrated because he doesn't understand and there is no one else willing to help.
- If he is physically abusing you, this behavior may be a reflection of how your parents or siblings treat him at home. It doesn't justify their attitude, but seeing things from another point of view can help you feel less frustrated.
Warning: If your cousin is physically abusing you, talk to an adult. Talk to a trusted family member.
Step 4. Use the term “because” when making a request
People are often more willing to respond to requests when we use the term "because". Use this to your advantage and when your cousin refuses to help you make it clear why you are asking him for something.
- Instead of making a request by saying something like, "Tidy the room, please", phrase your request like this: "We need to tidy the room because my parents are coming and they asked us to do it." "
- Instead of saying, "Can you stop playing this song over and over? Say, "I don't want to hear this song anymore, because it's getting annoying." "
Step 5. Change the subject when he says something that bothers you
There's no need to continue a conversation or provide an answer to a question that makes you uncomfortable, so feel free to avoid a topic or ignore a question or comment that makes you feel uncomfortable. comfortable.
- If your cousin asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and say, “So how was your day? "
- If he doesn't get the message and keeps pushing, be clear and say, “I don't feel comfortable answering your question. "
Method 3 of 3: Manage your emotions
Step 1. Keep your expectations low so you won't be disappointed
Having high expectations about your interactions with your cousin can be very disappointing. If you continue to be disappointed with their behavior, lowering your expectations may help. Keep your expectations low, so that even if your relationship improves a bit, you will still end up being surprised.
Suppose your cousin often makes derogatory remarks or complains a lot. Then expect him to act in the worst possible way. So, if he only says a few bad words or is in a good mood, you will be pleasantly surprised
advice: If he's used to saying mean things when you're around him, expect him to do that every time you see him. If you expect him to annoy you or make derogatory remarks, you can lessen the impact.
Step 2. Imagine yourself surrounded by an impenetrable shield
Imagining some sort of shield enveloping your body that nothing can pass through may help you cope with your cousin's remarks that you should normally be annoyed with. Try to imagine the words hitting the shield and bouncing off it before it hits you.
- To reinforce this visualization exercise, imagine the color of the shield, its shape, and its particular features, such as a design or spikes.
- It takes some practice to master the visualization technique, but over time you will become more and more able to let your cousin's comments bounce off your shield.
Step 3. Accept and recognize your cousin for who he is
By taking a minute to recognize your cousin's personality and true identity, you may be able to adjust to his behavior. Identify his behavior and understand the feelings that animate you in his presence. Then say something to yourself like this.
- “Jeanne, you are very mean to me and you often tease me and it hurts me. However, I accept that you are like this and that I am sometimes upset when I am with you. "
- Repeat this to yourself every time your cousin gives you a hard time.
Step 4. Plan an escape route if you are too frustrated
There may be times when you need to get away from your cousin before you tell or do something for revenge. To make sure this option is always possible, make a plan in advance for each time you will be spending time with him. Avoid finding yourself in a dead end situation or where you have no way to take a break.
Suppose you spend the day at home with him. You can apologize for going to the bathroom when you need a break
Step 5. Make sure you take good care of yourself
Self-care covers all aspects of life, whether it is eating right and getting enough rest, indulging in a relaxing bath, getting a new haircut, or having a nice day with friends.. Prioritize your needs so you can be your best when it comes to interacting with your cousin.
- For example, you can have a healthy snack or meal before spending time with your cousin to make sure you're not hungry.
- If you're worried about having a hard time with him, indulge yourself by reading a chapter from your favorite book, playing with your favorite toy, or watching an episode of your favorite series.