How to Handle Difficult Behaviors
Boredom (getting a rise out of others becomes a sport), habit, dementia (misperceives and can't be rationalized with)
What to do:
Realize that your loved one knows better than most how to push your buttons! This can only be annoying to the extent that you let it get to you. Remind yourself that this is just the other person's coping mode; you can't always change it, but you don't have to take it personally.
Tell yourself, "Here we go again," but avoid showing annoyance or bickering back and forth.
Stay calm, but refuse to go further in cases where the issue is a necessity. For example, you can't drive the car unless she buckles up. You won't fix breakfast until he takes his medication. Explain that these are nonnegotiables.
If your loved one has dementia, know that arguing is especially futile because the person is cognitively unable to follow rational thinking. Find out more about dealing with aggression and dementia.