Tagged: support groups

Dealing with Difficult People: Part 3


A person with borderline personality disorder, much like the narcissist, is most likely not working on the same maturity level you are, does not pick up on social cues, and knows little to no boundaries. Someone with this disorder might have lack of control over emotions, difficulty maintaining relationships, lack empathy for others, and avoid accountability for actions. Some tell-tale signs might involve cutting, substance abuse, shoplifting, or other impulsive behaviors.


Acknowledge the person’s feelings. If she has become suddenly very upset, you might say: “I see you’re quite upset. Can we discuss what’s going on?” Make your points clear and concise. If things get too elevated, suggest that the two of you revisit the topic in an hour or so and explain that you want some time to think about what she said. Try putting the responsibility back on the person and ask them for possible solutions. Don’t bow and bend to appease the person but, again, lead by example and stay calm.


Alex Forrest (Glenn Close), Fatal Attraction (this example is commonly used and often criticized for being an extreme case and negative example); Brenda Chenowith (Rachel Griffiths), Six Feet Under; Joan Crawford (Faye Dunaway), Mommie Dearest; and David McCall (Mark Wahlberg) Fear.


You know who I’m talking about. You might have a PhD in Psychology but they know more about mental illness than you do because they once read a pamphlet about depression. This person is overbearing, thinks he has all the answers, isn’t willing to listen to the opinions of others, and may even consider the fact that you have an opinion as offensive. He might be boisterous and loud, enjoying the sound of his own voice and assuming everyone else does, too.


Keep it respectful but do so without putting yourself down. If you must have a confrontation with him, do it when the two of you are alone so as not to bruise his ego. Gently offer alternatives to his line of thinking in a way he won’t misconstrue as being attacking.

Ask your questions in a manner of “seeking clarification”, rather than flat-out disagreeing. Ask for specific details. Provide some attention to the know-it-all (since that is what he is after) but not too much. If he is offering unsolicited advice or harping on a topic that is irrelevant to his business with you, kindly explain that you are not interested in discussing that topic with him and move on to something else.


Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), The Big Bang Theory; Lisa Simpson (The Simpsons); Brainy Smurf.

Hope this helps!

Dealing With Difficult People: Part II


A steamroller is a bully who is not flexible or open to ideas, in most cases. He might be confrontational, manipulative, and/or rude and, in some instances, use threats or intimidation to get his way. Disagreeing with his opinions might make him feel offended, violated, or even hostile – flying off the handle at even the smallest of details. Some paperwork filed an hour late on your part might result in a menacing phone call with a tone of voice more appropriate for if you had run over his dog with your car. The steamroller can escalate situations quickly and may even become violent or threatening.


You’ll want to make sure to keep the environment (and yourself) as calm as possible. Keep your tone of voice low and calm, make eye contact with the person, and make it a point to let them know that you want to hear them out and come to a solution, but that you want to be reasonable. Make it clear to the steamroller that you are not the enemy. This person wants to feel heard. Note that there is a difference in helping someone feel heard, versus helping him/her feel justified.

These are the best tactics because you are leading by example. If the person continues to become out of control and escalates into threats or potential violence, you might say something to the effect of: “I understand you are upset and I really want to help work this out or understand more about the situation. However, I think it would be best if we continue this at a later time.” Use a lot of “I” statements so the person does not feel blamed or targeted.

Stand your ground, don’t be apologetic, choose your words wisely, and don’t engage in arguments. Have an exit strategy in mind as soon as you sense escalation.


Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), The Devil Wears Prada; Scut Farkus (Zack Ward), A Christmas Story; Col. Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson), A Few Good Men; Lt. Col. “Bull” Meechum (Robert Duvall), The Great Santini; and Regina George (Rachel McAdams), Mean Girls.


Most misunderstand the narcissist as being an overly-confident individual. However, this person may have no self-esteem at all. It’s not about confidence or self-esteem necessarily – it’s about how this person sees the world. To the narcissist, the world does not exist in any form other than how it pertains to him.

Some tip-offs that you’re dealing with a narcissist might include grandiosity (or extreme sense of self-importance), a constant need for admiration, heightened fantasies/delusions about imagined successes, willingness to take advantage of others for his own gain, appearance of arrogance, strong sense of entitlement, sees others (wait staff, assistants, etc.) as “beneath” him and, therefore, treats them in a disrespectful manner, has unreasonable expectations of deserving and demanding favorable treatment, is often envious of others or imagines others to be envious of him, and possibly a lack of empathy for others.

You know someone like this. The type of person who might say, “Well, enough about me! What do YOU think of me?”


Manage your expectations. Accept this person the way he is. Don’t expect to get comfort or support from the narcissist. Don’t get frustrated when he uses you to better his own situation, then falls off the radar. Don’t feel disappointed when you realize she only hangs out with you because she sees you as inferior.

You have to understand that the narcissist legitimately has limitations and that it is not about you, whatsoever. If this person is very important in your life, you will need other sources of support, comfort, and emotional stability. Be able to set good limits and boundaries so s/he does not take advantage of you. If this person is a co-worker and you need something from him/her, try to find an angle of “what’s in for them” to motivate them.


Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), American Psycho; Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), The Godfather; (along the same lines) Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), The Sopranos; and Karen Walker (Megan Mullaly), Will and Grace.

Hope this helps! 🙂

Dealing With Difficult People…Part 1

We all know them. They’re out there. They might be our co-workers, our clients, our family members, our friends, or even our partners. What do you do when they’re people that have to be in your life?

For starters, there are different types of difficult people and, therefore, there are different ways to deal with them.

I had so many difficult personalities to go over, that I decided to divide this blog up into a 3-parter, so stay tuned…


These folks always “believe” they are communicating, but nothing could be further from the truth. They mistake body language and facial expressions for assertive verbal communication. The behavior itself (an angry glace or an over-dramatic sigh) might be passive, but later actions (taking the last slice of pizza when they know the other person wants it) indicate signs of aggression. Note that the aggressive aspect is not punching or yelling – it’s more subtle, which is what makes it passive.


I might encourage clients to be more assertive by pointing out that that I sense some tension from their behavior, tone of voice, or body language and I would ask them if they would care to discuss what’s going on. I will be very patient, compassionate, and understanding. I might explain the different types of communication and why it is important to learn to be more assertive and how others might be reading said behaviors, tone of voice, or body language.

In dealing with the passive-aggressive, remember that you are dealing with someone who is averse to having confrontation. It might help to try and be empathetic. Most of us aren’t born with the right tools to communicate effectively – it’s something we have to learn.


Lucille Bleuth and Lucille Austero, Arrested Development; Nurse Ratched, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; Rosalyn Rosenfeld, American Hustle; Betty Draper, Mad Men


I used to be a BIG TIME pessimist, but I would have told you I was only “realistic” about things. My attitude was that, “If it can go wrong, it will” and that “If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all”. Looking back, I can hardly believe that’s how I used to go about in life.

A pessimist has usually already made up his mind to be the victim in most situations and isn’t really looking for solutions, but just wants to vent or complain. It’s much easier to stay stuck where you are and moan about the woes of the world than to accept responsibility for your part in it and do the work that needs to be done. And a lot of us get stuck in that mode from time to time.


People who are stuck in negative thought processes often see the world as a very cruel and lonely place. Don’t perpetuate that for them. Try to treat them with compassion, but be careful not to get sucked in to their negativity. Try to point out the positives in a given situation, without seeming too much like a “Little Miss Sunshine”.

My rule of thumb is to offer up two suggestions when someone has a complaint or an issue. If I feel the person is working harder to explain why the suggestions WON’T work than they are listening to why they will, I disengage. I might even explain to someone that they don’t appear to want a solution and, therefore, I don’t see how I might be of assistance to them.

You know you can’t change a pessimist (unless they’re interested in learning how), so do your best to be mindful that this is just how the person is, be thankful you are not that way, and carry on with your day.


Dr. Gregory House, House; Red Forman, That 70’s Show; Sophia Petrillo, The Golden Girls; Frank Costanza, Seinfeld; Karl Pilkington, An Idiot Abroad; Oscar the Grouch, Sesame Street

Hope this helps! Have a great weekend and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Loving the One You’re With: A Couples’ Workshop

Maintaining a healthy relationship with your partner can be difficult with the stress of everyday life. BHC Assessment and Consulting can help you get that spark back into your partnership through addressing and working through the following issues:

• Sex
• Money
• Communication
• Taking Responsibility
• Building and Strengthening Trust
• Managing Internet/Social Media/Friends and Family
• Finding a balance between life, stress, and your relationship

Dr. David Baker-Hargrove, owner and principle of BHC, can help you with all that and more!

Whether you and your partner are trying to rebuild broken trust, improve your sex life, reconnect on a more emotional and intimate level, or are working through forgiveness, loss, or grief – Loving the One You’re With: A Couples’ Workshop was designed just for you!

The workshop will allow each partner to explore his/her role in more depth, learn and develop new communication skills, and assess and address issues with money, sex, trust, balance, and taking responsibility. Dr. Dave, a dynamic and engaging speaker and psychotherapist, will facilitate the group consisting of no more than 5 couples – allowing for an intimate setting, conducive to learning and growth.

WHEN: Saturday, October 6, 2013, 9AM-5PM
*lunch will be provided*

WHERE: 801 N. Magnolia Ave.; Ste. 318; Orlando, FL 32803

COST: $350 per couple

HOW TO REGISTER: Call us at 407.963.4655 or e-mail us at sherrie@drdavidbakerhargrove.com

BHC Now Offers Group Workshops!

We Now Offer Group Workshops:

Partners of Transgender People
Children/Adolescents with Chronic Disease States

Research has shown group psychotherapy to be very effective in helping people sort out and resolve issues they may be dealing with. Benefits of group therapy include realizing you are not the only one who struggles with a particular issue, learning coping skills from others who have similar life experience and the opportunity to plug into a network of healing. Group psychotherapy differs from support groups in that psychotherapy groups are led by a qualified therapist and follow a specific therapeutic format to facilitate growth and progress. Additionally, group psychotherapy is less expensive than one-on-one psychotherapy and can be an excellent choice for those with financial constraints. At BHC Assessment & Consulting, we offer the following groups in the form of informational workshops that will cover the following topics from meeting to meeting:


1) Coming to Terms with being Transgender/Transsexual
2) Coming Out
3) Finding Your Support
4) HRT
5) “Fantalusions”
6) Coming Out at Work or School
7) “Passing”
8) “So You’ve Transitioned. Now What?”


1) You’re Not Alone
2) How Can I Best Support My Partner?
3) Is My Partner a Narcissist?
4) Communication, Communication, and Communication
5) Are Our Problems Due to Transgender Issues, or is it Something Else?
6) Dealing With Your Own Identity?
7) Sexual Issues
8) Taking Care of YOU


1) Dealing with Depression
2) Coping with Anger/Irritability
3) Dealing with Denial
4) Feeling “Different”
5) Teens with Diabetes (Also Covers Substance Use)
6) Fighting Anxiety
7) Self Esteem
8) Overview


1) Treatment: Where to Start
2) Self: Awareness, Acceptance, and Self Esteem
3) Dealing with Positive (or Psychotic) Symptoms
4) Dealing with Negative Symptoms
5) Dealing with Cognitive Symptoms
6) Relapse Prevention
7) Medication Management
8) Living Your Best & Fullest Life

Meeting Schedule

MONDAYS 4-6: Children/Adolescents with Chronic Disease States
TUESDAYS 5:30-7: Partners of Transgender Persons
WEDNESDAYS 1-3: Schizophrenia
THURSDAYS 5:30-7: Transgender/Transsexual Persons

Workshops are $20 per person and are held once a week for an 8 week period. Space is limited and reservations must be made in advance.