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>One of my pet favorite tips: pretend you're a research psychologist observing a patient with a rare mental disorder

I do this a lot, and can vouch for the general approach.

A tip from the trenches. When faced with bizarre and disturbing behavior, clinical psychologists will often verbalize the behavior they're currently witnessing. It's a way of helping the patient realize that their behavior is abnormal without moralizing or recoiling in horror.

Hence the pro-tip. Instead of getting indignant, just say something like "You're suggesting I actively undermined the project" or "you're smearing your own excrement on the wall".

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