Dealing with verbally aggressive people is scary. Isn’t it?
Researchers have identified that people who express verbal aggressiveness, do so with the objective of controlling and manipulating others through language. Verbally aggressive people attack the self-concepts of other people rather than, or in addition to, their positions on topics of communication.
Over millions of years of evolution, the human body has learned to react with ‘fight or flight’ in the situation of emergency. Your body automatically goes into this survival mode when you come face to face with an angry person. Feeling defensive is perfectly normal. But there are many more ways in which you can deal with these situations effectively.
Dr. Sanjay describes verbally aggressive people as wild animals with the human tongue. You can also describe these people as adult bullies who have no regard for human life. Verbal aggression, more often than not, shifts into physical abuse which is a very concerning situation. In a study, it was found that among married couples who faced verbal aggression from the partners 80% were more likely to face instances of physical abuse as well.
Related: The Signs of Verbal Abuse
If you are facing verbal abuse at your home, at your workplace, or somewhere in public you should and you must not take it.
These following 7 steps will help you in dealing with verbally aggressive people:
1. Choose Not To Respond In Kind.
Never respond to an angry person with anger. It will take you nowhere and rather you will be stuck in the situation from where you will not be able to think your way out.
2. Choose not to take it personally
Remember, that these people might use very hurtful words. But it will be very smart of you if you will consider that the other person is suffering himself and is not able to think clearly about what he/she is speaking. You should choose your response very carefully.
3. Respond With Care
Psychiatric nurses who often face people who get very abusive verbally follow these simple steps, which helps them to prevent the situation from escalating and helps the patient to come back in the state of calm.
Ms. Nora describes the steps as follows:
– 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
– Match a solution intervention to the person’s needs
You can use these same strategies to attempt to de-escalate 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.
– 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.”