11 thoughts on “Attacking, Blaming, and Criticizing: How To Respond To Other Peoples’ Bad Behavior

  • January 29, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    This is all the best way of dealing with such problems. But slanderous attacks can poison others’ (who might not necessarily know you at all) view of you, your reputation, in a way that is difficult to recover from.

    • April 20, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      Yes, and that’s what makes the attackers behavior “bad behavior” because it is their problem not yours.

  • February 19, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    I have a boyfriend of 1.5 years who has endured a lot of hurt in his lifetime. He is 12 years older than I am and works in law enforcement. He says he does not trust me when I do not divulge or neglect to tell him of an appointment on my calendar (I have a service based business). He has threatened to break up with me over this because he refuses to be put in a position of being hurt.

    I can understand his points, and am making efforts to reassure him that I have no motive or intention of being distrustful.

    My main concern with the relationship is that he belittles my character, professionalism, and integrity in the process of making an argument. It is hurtful and when my emotions get the best of me, he feels I am trying to manipulate him with my tears. I try to express my perspective and he says I’m turning things around on him.

    I love him so much, but I cannot bear to be in another relationship like this…(was married 16 years to a narcissist). I need to have growth and do not wish to settle for less than what God has for me.

    These points are helpful, but in the heat of battle, my nature says to fight back, but my love for him doesn’t wan to be hurtful back.

    • February 20, 2015 at 6:46 pm

      I am sorry to hear about your situation as it sounds very challenging indeed. Certainly I can understand your dilemma. I would encourage you to step away long enough to gain some perspective on what YOU need and want. The battle we find — although at the time may feel like it is with another person — is usually with ourselves.

  • November 16, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Hi there,
    I think I might be the kind of person that attacks people sometimes like you talk about in your post. I was wondering if you have any advice for how an attacker type person can try to change their behavior and try to stop themselves from behaving in this terrible pattern?

    • November 16, 2016 at 12:03 pm


      It’s very admirable that you are so willing to recognize within yourself something that could be damaging to your relationships, and even more so that you are seeking help. Typically when we attack others it is because we desire a certain feeling within ourselves- be it admiration, sympathy, or recognition. However what we attach to this feeling- self-worth, peace, importance- we can only give to ourselves. Once we recognize that, it is much easier to let go of needing others to behave as we want them to, and attacking them when they don’t.

      Ultimately what we learn is that accepting others is part of learning to also accept ourselves.

      Best of luck to you,

      Claire Nana LMFT

  • January 25, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    I have been in a new job for 3 months now. I have worked hard, treat others with respect, and assist my co-workers with needs that they have. I am getting attacked (usually behind my back). I have a co-worker who takes up for me but this is continuing. My boss is not aware this is happening. My co-worker that I trust wants to tell the boss. How should I handle this

    • January 25, 2017 at 8:56 pm

      Hi Lee,

      Sounds like you are in a tough situation, and I’m sorry to hear you are not being treated well.

      While I don’t know the circumstances fully, my best advice – which I discuss in my article — would be to use emathatic confrontation. However, this being an employment situation and a coworker who may or may not be able to respond to empathy and boundaries, I believe it’s best to take the high road and say nothing. The thing about undermining people is that their behavior is likely patterned, and in time they will be found out.

      Trust in that,
      Claire Nana LMFT

  • August 12, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    Thank you! I learnt a little about myself and the other ! Made a lot of sense to me!

  • September 29, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    I had a situation with a relative of my hubby (oldest son) who said he would not let an East Indian person into his house (horrible I know). So I waited until the next morning and let it pass until I thought it was an appropriate time to take this unsavoury subject up with him (He had had a coffee and a couple of hours w/o drinking or pot by that time). I told him sincerely that I was disappointed in the nature of his comments and he responded by saying “but, but you say all kind of “bad” things about homeless people. See his statement was never true but I think he was simply on attack mode and i realize it had been occurring for years. There was no point in a defense at all .

  • October 10, 2019 at 10:57 am

    Reading your article has helped me tremendously. I scour for information to help me understand why some people are such negative forces and it helps a lot when I find information like yours to help me deal with the crazy behaviors. It has driven me mad trying to understand, to be compassionate and empathetic. Some people make it very hard! I could’ve used your advice way back when I was younger and ignorant. Thank you, I really appreciate you sharing this with all of us.


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