7 Ways to Respond to Verbally Aggressive People

7 Ways to Respond to Verbally Aggressive People

aggressive peopleLifestyle

ADVERTISEMENT

Facing a verbally aggressive person can make you feel immediately defensive, which is perfectly normal, but there are 7 more healthy, harmonious and mindful ways to respond.

7 Ways to Respond to Verbally Aggressive People

Like a wild, rabid animal, verbally aggressive people come toward you on the attack, often with little or no reason. Basically, these people are adult bullies and you don’t have to take that kind of behavior from anyone.

Verbal aggression often moves into physical aggression and that becomes a scary situation. Researchers studying patterns of domestic violence among married couples found that verbal aggression is more likely to be a precursor to physical violence.

ADVERTISEMENT

If you are concerned about someone who has been verbally aggressive toward you, take action now. These situations can lead to domestic or workplace violence. Consult with human resources in the workplace, the National Domestic Violence Hotline or the police to get help in handling a potentially violent situation.

1. Choose not to respond in kind.

Responding to anger, which is what verbally aggressive people are expressing, with anger in your own voice is pointless. It gets you nowhere. They are already angry and now you are too.

verbally aggressive people

2. Choose not to take it personally.

Verbally aggressive people usually speak with hurtful words. Rather than being saddened by the painful words, realize that words cannot hurt you. You have a choice about how you respond. Taking their angry words personally only makes you feel bad and doesn’t help them feel better either.

positivity

ADVERTISEMENT

3. Respond with caring.

In a study of psychiatric nurses who worked with non-physical methods to de-escalate a verbally aggressive patient, nurses who could identify an escalating situation then followed these steps to help the patients to come back to a calm state.

ADVERTISEMENT

* Check the aggressive person’s level of aggressiveness on a scale of 1 to 10

* Attempt to understand the meaning of the aggressive behavior

* Connected with the aggressive person

* Matched a solution intervention to the person’s needs

You can use these same strategies to attempt to deescalate an aggressive situation.

* Check their level of aggressiveness. Ask yourself if based on their actions they are just a little upset or if there is potential for injuries caused to either the angry person or others.

ADVERTISEMENT

* Don’t wait to call for help if you think someone could get hurt.

* Listen to everything the angry person is saying and rephrase it back to them to make sure you understood them correctly.

* Use language like ‘I understand why you would be upset’ or ‘I can see how that would be frustrating for you.’

* Ask the aggressive person for a suggestion to fix the problem or offer your own solution.

ADVERTISEMENT

4. Allow them a safe place to express their emotions.

From our article 5 Signs Someone is Manipulating You, you may recall that manipulation is a trait of passive aggressive people. Avoid being manipulated by recognizing the aggression for what it is, anger. If you’ve done nothing wrong, don’t let the angry person force you into an apology.

What a verbally aggressive person needs is a place to vent their angry frustrations where someone will listen, empathize and try to find a win-win solution for both parties. Let the angry person know that you are willing to listen but only if they calm down so you can talk at a normal volume.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
ThankThank you! Your free book preview is in your email. If you don’t see it immediately, please check your spam or promotions folder.