It can be hard to maintain perspective if the person who is ill is also very irritable and criticizes you a lot. Finding ways to detach and set boundaries without being drawn into arguments can be helpful.
What to do if the person is ill, irritable, and very critical of you
- It may help to detach from the situation a little by reminding yourself that the person is ill.
- Don’t try to defend yourself by arguing logically with the person if they are not thinking as rationally as they usually do.
- Address the specific comments or behavior (e.g. shouting) that are unacceptable or concerning, without criticizing or blaming the person as an individual.
- Set limits with the person’s verbal abuse by saying something like “I understand you’re upset but I’m not going to tolerate being spoken to in this way” and walk away.
- Take some time out to help maintain your perspective, and don’t be drawn into reacting to their irritability or believing the criticism.