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My Step Dad Is Making Me Extremely Anxious and Intimidating Me

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He seems to be breaking me down mentally. My step dad hates me and tries to make me uncomfortable when I’m in the same room as him, he will make lots of gestures that are not natural and very deliberate and do it in the corner of my eye and I can’t help not be conscious of it and it annoys me as I won’t look at him and he will do slow/fast gestures in patterns and then suddenly do something different as I don’t know what to expect. This makes me feel uneasy and I know he intentionally does it and knows what he is doing and also make lots of noises like clicking his fingers, yawning, playing loud music on his phone and then stopping and suddenly starting it again. How is achieving this effect and intimidating me? (From England)

My Step Dad Is Making Me Extremely Anxious and Intimidating Me

Answered by on -

A.

Your step dad doesn’t sound very mature or emotionally sound. When he does these things, I would confront him. Ask him what he is doing, and does he know that they are distracting and disturbing. Let him know it is uncomfortable for you to see him do this and you wonder why he does this. Typically this sort of direct confrontation changes the behavior. If it does — or if a dialogue evolves that is great. If he continues with the bizarre behavior leave the room. Don’t give his antics any power over you.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

My Step Dad Is Making Me Extremely Anxious and Intimidating Me

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). My Step Dad Is Making Me Extremely Anxious and Intimidating Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 26, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/08/18/my-step-dad-is-making-me-extremely-anxious-and-intimidating-me/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 15 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 15 Aug 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.