Dealing with Difficult People - The Sniper

Difficult people are everywhere in our life. It could be someone in our family, workplace or a friend. It could also be a distant acquaintence. It's easy to identify a difficult person, but harder to know what to do about them. Hopefully this week's blog will help with that! The Sniper 

A Sniper is someone who is great at taking pot-shots and making sneak-attack comments. This can come across as humorous put-downs, having a sarcastic tone of voice, or giving disapproving looks.

Being on the receiving end of this from a sniper is uncomfortable, and often people don't respond because they don't like confrontation, which allows the Sniper to get away with their angry comments.

What should you do with a Sniper? First of all, don't take it personally. Secondly, call their bluff. If they put you down in a humorous way say, "It sounds as if you're making fun of me, are you?" A Sniper will usually reply to such questions with denial of "I'm only joking", and this might reduce the chance of similar attacks in the future.

Other good tips in dealing with a Sniper is to remember not to defend yourself or withdraw. Defending will only get you into an arguement, and withdrawing will get you verbally abused. Ignore any malicious intent. If they say something along the lines of "Wow, do you just throw whatever food you have laying around and call it dinner?" Just respond and say, "Yes, I like to try new things around here". You have to pick your battles. Also, respect the fact that a Sniper has their own opinion too, even if you don't agree.

Maybe you're beginning to see some of the difficult people in your life, maybe not. Please check back in with us as we still have several personalities to share with you, such as Complainer & Busybody (everyone knows a Busybody!). Thank you for reading.


Written by: Tamara Wilhelm MA, LMHC, LCAC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling  at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.