Assertiveness Training - How To Contend With Aggressive People

Dr. Purushothaman
October 1, 2013

At some stage in our lives, almost everyone is going to have to work with aggressive colleagues, especially in the workplace. Aggressive folks have a tendency to express themselves and respond in a manner that infringes upon the rights of others, and when you neglect to stand up for yourself they will take advantage of you.

Although it is daunting to even contemplate opposing an aggressive person, it's much more difficult to tolerate it for extended periods of time. The more let them exploit you, the more harshly they are going to react toward you since they think that it gets them what they want. On the flip side, when you resist them by being assertive, it suggests that you deserve their respect and also that you will not be taken advantage of.

Assertiveness Techniques For Dealing With Aggressive People

Here are some assertiveness techniques that can help you to handle difficult colleagues:

1. Do It From A Place Of Power

What a lot of people do not understand about difficult people is that these people are actually severely lacking in self-confidence. Consequently, they try to hide their insecurities by being aggressive and controlling toward other folks. Instead of thinking of them as being an intimidating threat, imagine them as a naughty youngster throwing a fit just to acquire what they desire. Just by making this little mental adjustment, you can deal with any possible conflict from a place of strength and not weakness.

2. Stay Relaxed And Reasonable

The most counter-productive thing you can do with a difficult co-worker is to lose your cool and respond in an aggressive manner yourself. Instead of letting their conduct to provoke you, do your best to stay relaxed and collected. Breathe deeply and slowly and collect your thoughts before coming up with a reply. When you do so, you'll manage to think more clearly and rationally.

3. Don't Hesitate To Confront Them

In conclusion, one of the best assertiveness techniques available for working with aggressive people is Negative Inquiry. Negative Inquiry means prompting the difficult people to shed light on a remark by using a question. This is an illustration of Negative Inquiry:

Matt: You are so irresponsible!
Jane: Exactly how am I irresponsible?

By questioning the initial remark instead of flat-out going against it, you lower the apprehension in the confrontation. At the same time, the other person must now explain themselves to you, rather than you having to stand up for yourself against them.

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