Off The Record
These 5 Steps Will Shut Down Aggressive and Abusive People
There are all kinds of people in the world. Some are kind, some are avoidant, some are helpful and some are aggressive. This post is about those aggressive people in your life who you find it hard to deal with. The degree of aggression might vary from situation to situation and person to person.
The question is, who do you call aggressive? See, there are various reactions to any situation.
If there’s a conflict and someone deals with it violently in order to protect their own interests or gain something at the expense of others, this person is being aggressive. For these people, talking your way out or dealing with conflicts peacefully isn’t an option – it’s almost like they know no other way but aggression.
If you can’t spot an aggressive person, take help from the following indicators to recognize them.
– They won’t welcome or attend to your point of view and input
– Whenever you approach them, it usually ends in an edgy situation
– They barge in when you are talking and they start talking loudly to prevent you from speaking
– You feel drained after talking to them. It’s like you are energetically and emotionally exhausted
– Often, when you are with them, you feel like they are crossing the limits.
It’s not like you have an option of avoiding them. You can’t. They are a part of your life just like everyone else. So, here’s how you can learn to deal with them:
1. You don’t lose your cool
Yes, of course, dealing with an aggressive person will spark anger within you. You will feel frustrated and irritated but how would it help the situation? It will only make things worse, so you try stay calm. Do the following activities:
– Take a deep breath. Focus on the air you inhale and exhale. Imagine the exhaling air as your anger coming out
– Distract yourself. Have some water or start using your phone. Try diffusing the building tension
– When you aren’t a violent person, you know you will regret ranting. Think about it. Think about what this situation will feel like later if you give in to the violence
2. Be honest with them about them
The situation will bother you so there is no need to pretend otherwise. In fact, call it as you see it. Tell them they are being unnecessarily aggressive. However, ensure your tone and use of words are empathetic. They are angry and you don’t want to aggravate the situation by pointing them out in an offending way. You would want to say things along the lines of: “I understand this is upsetting” or “I’m sorry, can I say something which might be helpful?” or maybe even “Could you please lower your voice”.
If you point them out early on, they will become more aware of their situation and more open to what you have to say. It will help manage the conflicting state of affairs.
Try to understand them by putting yourself in their shoes. Try to figure out what upset them so much without judging them beforehand. Ask yourself these questions:
– What do they have to lose?
– What would I do if I were in their place?
– Is the person generally short-tempered or there is something else bothering them which called for this burst of anger?
Interesting article: One Day Buddha Walked Through A Village. When A Very Angry Man Insulted Him Buddha Calmly Said…
4. Be authoritative
Yes, you have to empathize but it doesn’t mean you can allow them to be aggressive. They both go hand in hand. So, while you are trying to understand their situation, make sure you do share your opinion and stand your ground. Do not allow this person to dominate the discussion. Also, when you talk, keep your voice slow and steady so that they don’t feel the need to talk loudly in an attempt to interrupt you. Remain courteous and ask them to be just as respectful. If the situation aggravates, show assertiveness and more force to let them know you are running out of tolerance.
Aggression is an emotion and a powerful one. An over-riding emotion such as anger really clouds a person’s judgement and they lose sight of the main idea, the reason why it all started. Hence, if you focus the conversation on what’s important, you will guide them back to thinking and reasoning. Here’s what you can say:
– “All that matters is that…”
– “When we look back at this situation in a few years, we’ll laugh!”
Try making them laugh. It will disarm them.
Featured Image Source: Evgeniy Anikeev @ 123RF.com