It is a known fact that we will all have to face conflict at one point or another but dealing with an aggressive person during a conflict can be pretty draining. You will want to know how to diffuse the situation with such a person without making things even worse.
Here are signs you are dealing with an aggressive person.
1. They interrupt you or shout you down and prevent you from speaking.
2. They do not even want to listen to your point of view.
3. You feel like they are crossing boundaries
4. You feel tension whenever you interact with them
5. You feel mentally and emotionally exhausted after interacting with them
If you know someone who does these things or makes you feel these ways, then you ought to know how to handle things. Here are five useful tips.
1. Keep calm
The worst thing you can do when dealing with an aggressive person is to be aggressive too. Fighting fire with fire will only lead to more tension and spur the person on even more. Stay quiet, take deep breaths and find something else to diffuse the tension before you continue.
2. Point it out
Sometimes, people can be aggressive without knowing it. So, early on, when you feel the aggression starting, point it out. Saying something along the lines of, “could you please lower your voice?” or “there is no need for stress here, we can figure it out,” can let the person know he/she is crossing a line and needs to reign in their emotions.
The fact that a person is aggressive does not have to be about you. Put yourself in his/her shoes. How would you feel if you were the person? Is he/she worried about losing something? Is he/she dealing with challenging situations that are making them defensive or worried?Empathising will help you understand what is going on and how to address them.
4. Be assertive
Just because you are trying to understand the person does not mean you should become a doormat and let them walk all over you. Stand your ground. Be firm and be in control. The more controlled you are, the more likely the person realises he/she is out of line. Do not let them transfer the aggression to you until you both lose control.
5. Focus on the issue
When a person becomes aggressive, he/she has the tendency to forget what the discussion was even about. They could deviate from topic and if you let this happen, you would both end up veering off the issue at hand, leading to more stress and confusion. Whenever and aggressive person deviate, reign him/her in by saying something like, “All that matters is that…” and so on.
What other tips do you have for dealing with an aggressive person?