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Each week on Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke, explore different aspects of human behavior and the brain.

How To Deal With Jerks

Don’t we all hate having to deal with jerks? Everyone has some unpleasant person that they encounter frequently in life and would rather not. 

Fact is, we constantly encounter an endless variety of people with an endless variety of attitudes, perspectives and beliefs that – in all realistic possibility – will differ from the attitudes that we carry for the moment. 

This week, the Two Guys On Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke, will toss around the topic of jerks – and provide some insightful, doctor prescribed strategies for handling difficult people in our lives.  

The underlying theme in the Two Guys’ advice on difficult people? Compromise. Being open and flexible enough to agree to disagree – and walk away without getting your hands dirty – is usually the more pleasant option. Generally speaking, finding ways to de-escalate negativity makes life more pleasant.

Compromise is not the same as avoidance, however. Avoidance behavior –avoiding a person who you don’t like – is actually out of your control, even though it may seem like it isn't. You might be letting that person dictate your route around them, or your decision not to attend an event, or not speaking up in a meeting. That’s just silly. Seize back control by initiating an interaction with them on positive terms. That goes much further than just running away with your tail between your legs.

Rebecca McInroy is an award-winning show creator, host, and executive producer for KUT, KUTX, and KUT.ORG.
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