How to Deal With Someone Who Makes You Feel Uncomfortable

An unwelcome touch can make you feel uncomfortable.
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Someone who makes you uncomfortable leaves you feeling anxious and fidgety. Discomfort can signal that this person has crossed your boundaries, according to Dana Gionta, a psychologist quoted in the Psych Central article, "10 Ways to Build and Preserve Better Boundaries." Gionta suggests asking yourself what it is about the interaction or the expectations of this person that makes you uncomfortable.

1 Tune In

Becoming emotionally aware can help you understand what you are feeling and why you are feeling it, according to the article, "Developing Emotional Awareness," published on If you are in the presence of someone who makes you uncomfortable, being in tune with your emotions and the physical sensations in your body will give you the much-needed insight into why you feel this way. This can help you resolve the feeling rather than stifle it. For example, if your co-worker puts his arm around you as you are walking back from lunch, you may notice that your shoulders stiffen. Shrug away and say, "Hands off."

2 Express Your Feelings

You might be afraid to speak up if someone is doing something that makes you uncomfortable. Keep in mind that he may not know how you feel. Revealing your thoughts and feelings can smooth the way to better communication, negotiation and compromise. For example, if your friend tells you details of his romantic relationships that you'd rather not hear, let him know it makes you uncomfortable. In the future, he may be more likely to choose different topics when conversing with you.

3 Prepare Yourself

From time to time, there may be someone who brings up past events you'd rather forget, asks unnerving questions or makes critical comments. If you know you are going to see them, prepare yourself ahead of time so you are able to take control of the conversation, according to the Woman's Day article, "Gracefully Deal With Uncomfortable Questions." For example, don't let your brother see how much it bothers you when he compares his daughter's honor-role grades with your son's C average. Simply say, "We both have so much to be proud of. Daniel just made the basketball team." Then toast him, smile and change the subject.

4 See You Later

There will be people who are unable to take social cues from others and they make most people uncomfortable. If you have already tried other approaches in an attempt to be polite, limit your time with this person or walk away if necessary. For example, if you like to walk alone through your neighborhood after work, change your time or route to avoid a neighbor who continues to join you uninvited.

Karen Kleinschmidt has been writing since 2007. Her short stories and articles have appeared in "Grandma's Choice," "Treasure Box" and "Simple Joy." She has worked with children with ADHD, sensory issues and behavioral problems, as well as adults with chronic mental illness. Kleinschmidt holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Montclair State University.