BUTT IN CLOSE FRIENDS KEEP YOU HEALTHY.
A LACK OF SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS IS AS BAD
FOR YOU AS SMOKING 15 CIGARETTES A DAY.
plaining, or draining,” says Jonathan
Ellerby, Ph.D., the spiritual-program
director at Canyon Ranch resort in
Never go head-to-head with someone like this, because they will not rest
until they get the better of you. Brain
scientists have identified how such
people do it: by subverting the way
your brain makes decisions. Strong
emotions actually short-circuit the
brain’s rational thought processes. So
before you see your problem relative,
prepare yourself. When they push
your buttons, what will you do to stay
calm? Take deep breaths? Decide on a
strategy, and practice it.
Then, when the person hurts or
disappoints you, stay rational to
transform the situation. Gently tell
them immediately that you’re hurt,
and let them know what you would
prefer they do in the future. “Focus-
ing on the future, which no one has
messed up yet, is always preferable to
rehashing something that has already
happened,” says Karen Salmansohn,
author of The Bounce Back Book.
Mark Goulston, M.D., is the author of
Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone.