BBC — History — World Wars: John F Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis

John F Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis

By Professor Ernest R May
Last updated 2013-11-18

For fourteen days during October 1962, the world held its breath as John F Kennedy (known as JFK) and Nikita Khrushchev tried to reach a compromise and avoid nuclear war. Ernest May investigates how Kennedy demonstrated his leadership skills during the crisis.

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The ‘gravest issues’

Early on Tuesday 16 October 1962, John F Kennedy’s national security assistant, McGeorge Bundy, brought to the President’s bedroom some high-altitude photographs taken from U-2 planes flying over Cuba. They showed Soviet soldiers hurriedly and secretly setting up nuclear-armed missiles.

For some time previously the Soviets had openly been sending weaponry to Cuba, including surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles (SAMs). To deflect any criticism about this from the Republicans, who were busy campaigning for the November congressional elections, Kennedy had said he would not protest about such defensive weaponry being installed in Cuba, but warned that if the Soviets ever introduced offensive weapons, ‘the gravest issues would arise.’

The ‘gravest issues’ were at hand.

Since Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev had promised repeatedly not to send offensive weapons to Cuba, and America’s top intelligence analysts had predicted that he would keep his word, Kennedy felt safe in voicing this warning. The U-2 photographs, however, showed that Khrushchev had been lying. The ‘gravest issues’ were at hand.

The United States at the time had more than 25,000 nuclear weapons in their arsenal. The Soviet Union had not quite half as many. Kennedy’s predecessor, Dwight Eisenhower, had calculated in 1960 that, if a crisis led either side to fire nuclear weapons, all humans in the northern hemisphere could perish. ‘Gravest issues’ indeed.

The ExComm and the secret tapes

A P2V Neptune US patrol plane flying over a Soviet freighter during the Cuban missile crisis, 1962 © To help him decide what to do about the Cuban situation, and how much risk to run of a nuclear exchange, Kennedy assembled a small group that came to be called the Executive Committee of the National Security Council — or ExComm for short. Early in his presidency, Kennedy had had to make a decision about a CIA plan to land Cuban exiles at the Bay of Pigs, in Cuba, with the hope that these exiles would overthrow Cuba’s Communist government, headed by Fidel Castro. Kennedy had asked for advice about this from only a handful of people — those he knew he was officially obliged to consult. The operation proved to be a fiasco, and afterwards Kennedy had resolved in future to consult more widely.

Included in the ExComm were the regular participants in National Security Council meetings, plus Kennedy’s brother, the attorney general Robert Kennedy, and the President’s chief speechwriter, the White House counsel Theodore Sorensen. Both of these men could help Kennedy to think about the domestic political aspects of the crisis. The President also invited several other key advisors to join the group: C Douglas Dillon, who had held high posts under Eisenhower and who gave Kennedy a link to the Republican leadership; Dean Acheson and Robert Lovett, who had served under President Harry Truman and could help Kennedy see the current crisis in longer historical perspective; and a former ambassador to the Soviet Union, Llewellyn (Tommy) Thompson, probably the person in the President’s circle who was best acquainted with Khrushchev.

We know today exactly what was said in the meetings of the ExComm, because Kennedy had a tape recorder installed in an unused part of the White House basement .

We know today exactly what was said in the meetings of the ExComm, because Kennedy had a tape recorder installed in an unused part of the White House basement, with wires running to concealed microphones in the Oval Office and Cabinet Room. He had told no one about this other than his private secretary, the two guards who maintained the machines, and perhaps his brother, Robert. Since he kept it on through almost all ExComm meetings, anyone today can listen in on the proceedings.

Quarantine

In the first day’s debates, everyone favoured bombing Cuba. The only differences concerned the scale of attack. Kennedy, Bundy, and some others spoke of a ‘surgical strike’ solely against the missile sites. ‘It corresponds to «the punishment fits the crime» in political terms’, said Bundy. Others joined the chiefs of staff in insisting that an attack should also take out air defence sites and bombers, so as to limit losses of US aircraft and prevent an immediate air reprisal against US bases in Florida.

The under secretary of state, George Ball, had commented that a US surprise attack on Cuba would be ‘. like Pearl Harbor . ‘

By the third day, 18 October, another option had come to the fore. The under secretary of state, George Ball, had commented that a US surprise attack on Cuba would be ‘. like Pearl Harbor. It’s the kind of conduct that one might expect of the Soviet Union. It is not conduct that one expects of the United States.’ Robert Kennedy and Secretary of State Dean Rusk concurred, Rusk observing that the decision-makers could carry ‘the mark of Cain’ on their brows for the rest of their lives. To meet this concern and to obtain time for gaining support from other nations, there developed the idea of the President’s publicly announcing the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba, ordering a blockade to prevent the introduction of further missiles, and demanding that the Soviets withdraw the missiles already there. (Both for legal reasons and for resonance with Franklin Roosevelt’s ‘Quarantine Address’ of 1937, the term ‘quarantine’ was substituted for ‘blockade’.)

To those of Kennedy’s advisers who still favoured quick use of military force (the ‘hawks’ in later classification), this quarantine constituted an ultimatum. If Khrushchev did not capitulate within a day or two, a US air attack on Cuba would follow, followed before long by an invasion. For those in the ExComm who would later be classed as ‘doves,’ the quarantine bought time for possibly developing some diplomatic solution.

A Berlin crisis, not a Cuba crisis

American tanks on alert in the Berlin Grunewald, West Germany, as the crisis over the Cuban blockade looms during the Cuban missile crisis (25th October 1962) © In the early phase of ExComm debate, Kennedy blamed himself for the crisis — ‘Last month I should have said that we don’t care’ — implying that if he had not given such a strong public warning, he could possibly have let Khrushchev get away with placing missiles in Cuba; ‘It doesn’t make any difference if you get blown up by an ICBM flying from the Soviet Union, or one from 90 miles away. Geography doesn’t mean that much’, he said. But Kennedy explained over and over to members of the ExComm and others why, since he had issued the warning and Khrushchev had chosen to challenge him, the crisis involved much more than just a personal affront. The reason was that, for Kennedy, the crisis was not centrally about missiles in Cuba; it was about Berlin.

The Soviets had tried to take over West Berlin in 1948-9. Their blockade had been frustrated by an Anglo-American airlift and by the astonishing resolution of the West Berliners, but in 1958 Khrushchev had once more revived the threat, and he continued to do so. In 1961, he and the East Germans built a wall around West Berlin as a stopgap measure to halt the exodus of East Germans from Soviet-controlled areas. Earlier in 1962 he had told Kennedy that he intended to act on West Berlin as soon as the US congressional elections were over.

. Kennedy interpreted the installation of missiles in Cuba as a move preparatory to a showdown on Berlin.

Counselled by Thompson, Kennedy interpreted the installation of missiles in Cuba as a move preparatory to a showdown on Berlin. For him, such a showdown would create a horrible dilemma. The United States had promised to protect the million and a half West Berliners from Soviet take-over, but had no means whatever for physically preventing the thousands of East German and Soviet troops that surrounded Berlin from taking control of the city if they chose to do so. The only protection for West Berlin was the US threat to respond to an attack by using nuclear weapons against the Soviet Union.

If Kennedy demanded uncompromisingly that the Soviets remove their nuclear weapons from Cuba, Khrushchev would have to decide whether to comply or to take the risk of actual war, which might become a nuclear war. The onus would be on him. If Kennedy showed weakness in face of Khrushchev’s challenge, the effect might be to embolden Khrushchev to ignore American warnings about Berlin. It would then be Kennedy, not Khrushchev, who would bear the onus. ‘A Soviet move on Berlin,’ Kennedy said to the joint chiefs of staff, ‘leaves me only one alternative, which is to fire nuclear weapons — which is a hell of an alternative.’

Dreadful days

Robert McNamara in 1965 © On Monday 22 October, Kennedy went on radio and television, describing the secret Soviet build-up in Cuba, proclaiming the quarantine, and demanding that the Soviets remove the missiles. In the next few days, one harrowing moment followed another.

Kennedy and his advisers mulled over the question of how actually to stop a Soviet ship that crossed the quarantine line. Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara described the Navy’s plan for dealing with a Soviet submarine that was escorting a merchantman. A destroyer would use small depth charges to signal that the submarine should surface. McNamara acknowledged that the submarine commander might think he was being attacked rather than being sent a signal and might fire at the destroyer. Kennedy said, ‘I think we ought to wait on that today. We don’t want to have the first thing we attack as a Soviet submarine. I’d much rather have a merchant ship.’

. one harrowing moment followed another.

When McNamara protested, Kennedy gave way, but, as his brother Robert recalled later: ‘His hand went up to his face and covered his mouth, and he closed his fist. His eyes were tense, almost grey, and we just stared at each other across the table.’ Fortunately, before there was an encounter at sea, Khrushchev ordered all Soviet merchantmen bound for Cuba to turn back.

Meanwhile, Kennedy and his advisers faced the question of how to keep track of continuing missile construction in Cuba. At the urging of McNamara and the chiefs of staff, Kennedy authorised low-level daytime surveillance flights in addition to continuing U-2 flights. He also agreed provisionally to night-time coverage involving the use of flares. Vice-President Lyndon Johnson worried aloud about these. ‘Imagine some crazy Russian captain,’ he said. ‘The damn thing goes «blooey» and lights up the skies. He might just pull a trigger. Looks like we’re playing Fourth of July over there or something.’ Also fortunately, the crisis ended before flares were actually used.

Finessing the Turkish missiles issue

On 26-27 October, the crisis came to a head. Khrushchev cabled Kennedy that he was prepared to remove missiles from Cuba in return for a US promise not to invade Cuba — a promise that had already been given more than once. But, just as Kennedy and his ExComm began to discuss a response, Khrushchev broadcast from Moscow a second message saying the missiles would be removed if, in addition, the United States withdrew nuclear missiles and other ‘offensive means’ from Turkey.

The second Khrushchev message provoked furious debate. With Ball in the lead, Kennedy’s advisers said almost unanimously that Khrushchev’s new condition was unacceptable. America’s NATO allies would think the United States was sacrificing their security for the sake of its own. Kennedy alone seemed unconvinced. When Ball said, ‘If we talked to the Turks. this would be an extremely unsettling business’, Kennedy replied with asperity, ‘Well, this is unsettling now, George, because . most people would regard this as not an unreasonable proposal . I think you’re going to have it very difficult to explain why we are going to take hostile military action in Cuba . when he’s saying, «If you’ll get yours out of Turkey, we’ll get ours out of Cuba.»‘.

What Kennedy wanted was to mollify Khrushchev without seeming to make a concession, and above all to avoid any prolonged negotiations.

In the end, Kennedy found a way to finesse the situation. He sent Robert Kennedy to see the Soviet ambassador, Anatoly Dobrynin, to tell him that the missiles in Turkey were obsolete, and that the US planned to pull them out within about six months. All this was true. He said further, however, that, if the Soviet Union used this knowledge to claim that the US had struck the deal proposed in Khrushchev’s radio message, Kennedy would deny the claim and would not remove the missiles from Turkey. What Kennedy wanted was to mollify Khrushchev without seeming to make a concession, and above all to avoid any prolonged negotiations. He had to insist that Soviet missiles come out of Cuba unconditionally, or he would compromise the display of firmness that he judged necessary to protect against a Berlin crisis.

In fact, the exchange between Robert Kennedy and Dobrynin had no effect. Khrushchev had already decided to retreat to a simple request for a no invasion pledge. And the crisis ended on that basis. US reconnaissance aircraft kept watch while the Soviets dismantled their missiles and loaded the parts on ships for return to the Soviet Union.

Resolution

The world escaped nuclear war in October 1962 largely because of the prudence of Kennedy and the belated prudence of Khrushchev. Though Kennedy had felt it necessary to be uncompromising in his demand for removal of the missiles from Cuba, he had been careful to put off to the last possible moment any action that could result in killing a Russian. Khrushchev had probably decided to drop his demand for quid pro quo removals from Turkey as a result of learning that a Soviet anti-aircraft missile in Cuba had shot down a US U-2 plane, killing the pilot. Kennedy and Khrushchev both recognised that, once blood had been spilled, it would be very hard to keep any crisis under control.

Kennedy and Khrushchev both recognised that, once blood had been spilled, it would be very hard to keep any crisis under control.

Because Khrushchev had been faced down, he did not force a new Berlin crisis. The Soviet bloc lived for the next 27 years with a wall around West Berlin that marked East Germany as a huge penitentiary, and it eventually became possible for west and east to turn towards the stabilising compromises of the later period of détente.

Find out more

Books

The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis by Ernest May, Philip Zelikow, Ernest R. May (Editor), Philip D. Zelikow (Editor) (W.W. Norton, 2002)

Kennedy’s Wars: Berlin, Cuba, Laos and Vietnam by Lawrence Freedman , (Oxford University Press, 2002)

One Hell of a Gamble: Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy, 1958-1964 by Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy J Naftali, (W.W. Norton & Company, 1998)

The Cuban Missile Crisis (The Cold War) by Peter Chrisp (Hodder Wayland, 2001)

An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963 by Robert Dallek (Little, Brown, to be published in 2003)

Kennedy by Hugh Brogan (Longman, 1996)

The Presidency of John F. Kennedy by James N Giglio (University Press of Kansas, 1991)

President Kennedy: Profile of Power by Richard Reeves (Simon & Schuster, 1993)

The Modern American Presidency by Lewis L Gould (University Press of Kansas, 2003)

About the author

Ernest R May is Charles Warren Professor of History at Harvard University. He is co-editor (with Philip Zelikow) of The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House during the Cuban Missile Crisis (originally issued in 1997 and updated since) and of The Presidential Recordings: John F. Kennedy: the Great Crises (3 volumes, issued in 2002). His other recent book is Strange Victory: Hitler’s Conquest of France (2000). Earlier books have dealt with the making of the Monroe Doctrine, American expansion in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, America’s intervention in World War I, American Cold War strategy, and uses of historical reasoning in decision-making.

www.bbc.co.uk

20 Expert Tactics for Dealing with Difficult People

Believe it or not, you can stay calm, defuse conflict, and keep your dignity.

Posted Mar 03, 2015

We’ve all been there—trying valiantly to reason with an incredibly difficult person. The situation proves frustrating, maddening, and sometimes even frightening. The truth is, you can’t reason with an unreasonable person. However, there are proven techniques to better manage such dicey situations.

I learned the ropes of what’s technically called “verbal de-escalation” from many years working in hospitals. Every year, we’d go through training on how to defuse difficult situations in which a patient, family member, or even another employee was extremely angry and seemingly out of control.

What follows are the tactics that professional crisis intervention teams use, and you can learn them, too. You can use these techniques with your boss, a customer, a family member, even a stranger. Keep in mind: The closer your relationship the person, the more knowledge you’ll have of what will best work to calm things down.

These tips may feel unnatural at first. When you’re dealing with a person behaving unreasonably, the fear response center in your brain (the fight-flight-freeze part) is going to be activated. This part of the brain can’t distinguish between a customer that’s yelling at you or a vicious dog about to attack you. It’s up to you to engage your conscious mind in order to defuse the situation. Some of these tips are general, suggesting a mindset to cultivate. Others are more specific in advising you what to do in the moment.

www.psychologytoday.com

Ten Keys to Handling Unreasonable & Difficult People

Strategies for handling aggressive or problem personalities.

Posted Sep 02, 2013

Most of us encounter unreasonable people in our lives. We may be “stuck” with a difficult individual at work or at home. It’s easy to let a challenging person affect us and ruin our day. What are some of the keys to empowering yourself in such situations?

Below are 10 keys to handling unreasonable and difficult people with references from my books How to Communicate Effectively and Handle Difficult People and How to Successfully Handle Passive-Aggressive People. Keep in mind that these are general rules of thumb, and not all of the tips may apply to your particular situation. Simply utilize what works and leave the rest.

1. Keep Your Cool

Benefits: Maintain self-control. Avoid escalation of problem.

How: The first rule in the face of an unreasonable person is to maintain your composure; the less reactive you are, the more you can use your better judgment to handle the situation.

When you feel angry or upset with someone, before you say something you might later regret, take a deep breath and count slowly to ten. In most circumstances, by the time you reach ten, you would have figured out a better way of communicating the issue, so that you can reduce, instead of escalate the problem. If you’re still upset after counting to ten, take a time out if possible, and revisit the issue after you calm down.

2. «Fly Like an Eagle»

Benefits: More peace of mind. Reduce risk of friction.

How: Some people in our lives are simply not worth tussling with. Your time is valuable, so unless there’s something important at stake, don’t waste it by trying to change or convince a person who’s negatively entrenched. As the saying goes: “You can’t fly like an eagle if you hang out with turkeys!” Whether you’re dealing with a difficult colleague or an annoying relative, be diplomatic and apply the tips from this article when you need to interact with them. The rest of the time, keep a healthy distance.

3. Shift from Being Reactive to Proactive

Benefits: Minimize misinterpretation & misunderstanding. Concentrate energy on problem-solving.

How: When you feel offended by someone’s words or deeds, come up with multiple ways of viewing the situation before reacting. For example, I may be tempted to think that my co-worker is ignoring my messages, or I can consider the possibility that she’s been very busy. When we avoid personalizing other people’s behaviors, we can perceive their expressions more objectively. People do what they do because of them more than because of us. Widening our perspective on the situation can reduce the possibility of misunderstanding.

Another way to reduce personalization is to try to put ourselves in the difficult individual’s shoes, even for just a moment. For example, consider the person you’re dealing with, and complete the sentence: “It must not be easy….”

“My child is being so resistant. It must not be easy to deal with his school and social pressures…”

“My boss is really demanding. It must not be easy to have such high expectations placed on her performance by management…”

“My partner is so emotionally distant. It must not be easy to come from a family where people don’t express affection…”

To be sure, empathetic statements do not excuse unacceptable behavior. The point is to remind yourself that people do what they do because of their own issues. As long as we’re being reasonable and considerate, difficult behaviors from others say a lot more about them than they do about us. By de-personalizing, we can view the situation more objectively, and come up with better ways of solving the problem.

4. Pick Your Battles

Benefits: Save time, energy and grief. Avoid unnecessary problems and complications.

How: Not all difficult individuals we face require direct confrontation about their behavior. There are two scenarios under which you might decide not to get involved. The first is when someone has temporary, situational power over you. For example, if you’re on the phone with an unfriendly customer service representative, as soon as you hang up and call another agent, this representative will no longer have power over you.

Another situation where you might want to think twice about confrontation is when, by putting up with the difficult behavior, you derive a certain benefit. An example of this would be an annoying co-worker, for although you dislike her, she’s really good at providing analysis for your team, so she’s worth the patience. It’s helpful to remember that most difficult people have positive qualities as well, especially if you know how to elicit them (see keys #5 and 6).

In both scenarios, you have the power to decide if a situation is serious enough to confront. Think twice, and fight the battles that are truly worth fighting.

5. Separate the Person From the Issue

Benefits: Establish yourself as a strong problem solver with excellent people skills. Win more rapport, cooperation and respect.

How: In every communication situation, there are two elements present: The relationship you have with this person, and the issue you are discussing. An effective communicator knows how to separate the person from the issue, and be soft on the person and firm on the issue. For example:

“I want to talk about what’s on your mind, but I can’t do it when you’re yelling. Let’s either sit down and talk more quietly, or take a time out and come back this afternoon.”

“I appreciate you putting a lot of time into this project. At the same time, I see that three of the ten requirements are still incomplete. Let’s talk about how to finish the job on schedule.”

“I really want you to come with us. Unfortunately, if you’re going to be late like the last few times, we’ll have to leave without you.”

When we’re soft on the person, people are more open to what we have to say. When we’re firm on the issue, we show ourselves as strong problem solvers.

6. Put the Spotlight on Them

Benefits: Proactive. Equalize power in communication. Apply appropriate pressure to reduce difficult behavior.

How: A common pattern with difficult people (especially the aggressive types) is that they like to place attention on you to make you feel uncomfortable or inadequate. Typically, they’re quick to point out there’s something not right with you or the way you do things. The focus is consistently on “what’s wrong,” instead of “how to solve the problem.”

This type of communication is often intended to dominate and control, rather than to sincerely take care of issues. If you react by being on the defensive, you simply fall into the trap of being scrutinized, thereby giving the aggressor more power while she or he picks on you with impunity. A simple and powerful way to change this dynamic is to put the spotlight back on the difficult person, and the easiest way to do so is to ask questions. For example:

Aggressor: “Your proposal is not even close to what I need from you.”

Response: “Have you given clear thought to the implications of what you want to do?”

Aggressor: “You’re so stupid.”

Response: “If you treat me with disrespect I’m not going to talk with you anymore. Is that what you want? Let me know and I will decide if I want to stay or go.”

Keep your questions constructive and probing. By putting the difficult person in the spotlight, you can help neutralize her or his undue influence over you.

7. Use Appropriate Humor

Benefits: Disarm unreasonable and difficult behavior when correctly used. Show your detachment. Avoid being reactive. Problem rolls off your back.

How: Humor is a powerful communication tool. Years ago I knew a co-worker who was quite stuck up. One day a colleague of mine said “Hello, how are you?” to him. When the egotistical co-worker ignored her greeting completely, my colleague didn’t feel offended. Instead, she smiled good-naturedly and quipped: “That good, huh?” This broke the ice and the two of them started a friendly conversation. Brilliant.

When appropriately used, humor can shine light on the truth, disarm difficult behavior, and show that you have superior composure.

8. Change from Following to Leading

Benefit: Leverage direction and flow of communication.

How: In general, whenever two people are communicating, one is usually doing more leading, while the other is doing more following. In healthy communication, two people would take turns leading and following. However, some difficult people like to take the lead, set a negative tone, and harp on “what’s wrong” over and over.

You can interrupt this behavior simply by changing the topic. As mentioned earlier, utilize questions to redirect the conversation. You can also say “By the way…” and initiate a new subject. When you do so, you’re taking the lead and setting a more constructive tone.

9. Confront Bullies (Safely)

Benefits: Reduce or eliminate harmful behavior. Increase confidence and peace of mind.

How: The most important thing to keep in mind about bullies is that they pick on those whom they perceive as weaker, so as long as you remain passive and compliant, you make yourself a target. Many bullies are also cowards on the inside. When their victims begin to show backbone and stand up for their rights, the bully will often back down. This is true in schoolyards, as well as in domestic and office environments.

On an empathetic note, studies show that many bullies are victims of violence themselves. This in no way excuses bullying behavior, but may help you consider the bully in a more equanimous light.

“When people don’t like themselves very much, they have to make up for it. The classic bully was actually a victim first.” — Tom Hiddleston

“Some people try to be tall by cutting off the heads of others.” — Paramhansa Yogananda

“I realized that bullying never has to do with you. It’s the bully who’s insecure.” — Shay Mitchell

When confronting bullies, be sure to place yourself in a position where you can safely protect yourself, whether it’s standing tall on your own, having other people present to witness and support, or keeping a paper trail of the bully’s inappropriate behavior. In cases of physical, verbal, or emotional abuse, consult with counseling, legal, law enforcement, or administrative professionals on the matter. It’s very important to stand up to bullies, and you don’t have to do it alone.

10. Set Consequence

Benefits: Proactive not reactive. Shift balance of power. Win respect and cooperation when appropriately applied.

How: The ability to identify and assert consequence(s) is one of the most important skills we can use to «stand down» a difficult person. Effectively articulated, consequence gives pause to the challenging individual, and compels her or him to shift from obstruction to cooperation. In my books How to Communicate Effectively and Handle Difficult People and How to Successfully Handle Passive-Aggressive People, consequence is presented as seven different types of power you can utilize to affect positive change.

In conclusion, to know how to handle unreasonable and difficult people is to truly master the art of communication. As you utilize these skills, you may experience less grief, greater confidence, better relationships, and higher communication prowess. You are on your way to leadership success!

© 2013 by Preston C. Ni. All rights reserved worldwide. Copyright violation may subject the violator to legal prosecution.

What a fantastic and

What a fantastic and practical article! Thank you very much for providing these suggestions.

Brilliant!

10 keys to dealing with unreasonable people.

Thank you for sharing… Excellent !

Why people like controlling others

It seems that I have the most difficult time with people who seems to want to control my life. It seems that people get upset when I speak to certain people or like someone they do not approve of. I hear everything negative about people simply because I have befriended them. It gets worse when it comes to female because I catch it from both males and females.

Here is an example, I was speaking to a female co-worker and a male co-worker walked up and starting laughing and then introduced himself to the female co-worker. His actions caused both of us to look at each other like what is wrong with this person. This same male co-worker love to tell me of all the «relationships» female co-workers have had when he see me speaking to them. Never mind, he does not know what the conversation was about.

Every female at work is out to set me up with their girlfriend regardless if I am attracted to that person or not. They want to build up that person in my eyes, but I make my own decisions when dealing with relationship and as I tell my co-workers I prefer to make that choice, but I am not on the time table that they want.

I can understand that they may not be happy, but they chose to put themselves in those marriages. I cannot understand how trying to control my life will make their better? I know life is not perfect so I do not expect a whole lot. If i am in a bad situation, I deal with it myself instead of blaming others.

10 Keys

These are great tips. They can really be life changing tools for most of us. Thanks for these.

Difficult peoplle

What you wrote was absolutely helpful, I chose to date someone I was in a band with knowing they were bipolar and even with that they used it as an excuse to be difficult and completely unreasonable so some of the things you said I have applied and will apply. I broke up with him which made it worst even though I allowed him to stay in the band even after being name called and screamed at repeatedly. At this point I just wanna keep the peace until I can decide my next move so thank you so much for your article you are a life saver

Some great tips I agree.

Some great tips I agree. Problem is sometimes theory and practice aren’t always compatible I find. I have experienced bullying myself is isn’t easy to deal with. Some women can be very nasty likewise men can also have these traits. I have learnt not to bite the bait and come down to some people’s levels. These type of people normally back away and stop the bullying of others. They are nasty people and need to get a life they are sad cases in most instances.

neighbour

Hi,
So I have a young family and partner.. we’ve lived in a flat for 5 years and recently gained a new neighbour. She happens to be an old friend of my Dads. Her flat is situated behind ours.
She started off very friendly and interacted with my daughters baby and school girl. Had heaps of helpful tips on gardening etc.. Gave us a hot dinner when we arrived back home late from holiday. But, lately she has become way too much. Over stating her mark. Always coming over to give us food, but just walking on in without me getting to the door. My baby had something in her mouth and she picked it out with her finger.. things like that. My partner and I are fed up. She questions my every word or she knows the answer to everything. Just don’t know how to tell her to back off in a nice way.

www.psychologytoday.com

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