Coping with difficult people: Part 1: The hostile- aggressive

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The first Part of difficult behavior is the hostile-aggressive. The book divides this main category into 3 subcategories nicknamed by the author. The Sherman tank, the Sniper, and the exploder, I am going to describe each one and use different techniques to cope with such behavior:

The Sherman tank: The person acts abusively or intimidating and uses sharp comments and personal attacks to prove his/her point of view

How to cope :

  • Give them a little time to slow down.
  • Do not worry about being polite; get in any way you can.
  • Get their attention by calling them by name or sitting or standing deliberately.
  • If possible, get them to sit down.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • State your own opinions and insights firmly.
  • Do not argue with the other person’s words or try to cut them down.
  • Be ready to be friendly.
The Sniper: Instead of direct confrontation or criticism, the person chooses to comment in secret to others negatively about others’ acts or thoughts that the person doesn’t like.

How to cope :

  • Smoke them out. Don’t let social convention stop you.
  • Provide the Sniper with an alternative to a direct contest.
  • Don’t capitulate to the Sniper’s view of the situation. Get other points of view.
  • Do move on to try to solve any uncovered problems.
THE EXPLODER: The person is enraged and barely in control of their action when provoked or opposed.

How to cope:

  • Give them time to run down and regain self-control on their own.
  • • If they don’t, break into their tantrum state by saying or shouting a neutral phrase such as
  • “Stop!”
  • • Show that you take them seriously.
  • • If needed and possible, get a breather and get some privacy with them.
See also  Understanding the FIRO Model: A Guide to Interpersonal Relations

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