There are people who are completely unable to control themselves. They snap, they shout, they start blaming everyone around them, and they demand that their point of view on the situation be accepted immediately.
Of course, anyone can show emotion, we are not robots. But we are talking about those whose reactions are disproportionate to the complexity of the situation. We are talking about those who always use these tactics.
Why do people snap at others in communication?
Here are a few of the main reasons:
- Unstable psyche;
- He/she is used to the fact that it works with most people;
- He/she feels better when he “blows off steam” in this way.
Note that most such people do not behave this way with everyone, but only with those who are on an equal footing with them, or are inferior in status or depend on them in some way.
- A customer unfairly lashes out at a salesperson;
- A manager berates a subordinate for a long time and makes himself/herself wound up even more;
- Mother/sister/friend gets mad at the more patient daughter/sister/friend;
- A colleague takes his frustration out on others.
I think you will continue this list on your own, everyone has their own shining examples.
What to do with such people?
The golden rule for dealing with toxic, nervous, aggressive people is to minimize contact with them. That is, you should try to interact with them as little as possible, leave the territory, ignore them.
But, unfortunately, it is not always possible.
Where do you walk away from a relative? Or from a customer who came to your office? Or from a colleague, with whom you spend 8 hours a day at the neighboring desk?
So in some cases, this technique helps:
Silence + Stare.
It is convenient because you don’t have to think up any special phrases. You don’t have to try to argue, to shout too much, thereby wasting your nerves.
Another undeniable plus is that you don’t go to conflict, you don’t spoil your relationship with this person. Yes, it happens so that we are forced to communicate with him afterwards as well.
There are two more subtle points about using this technique. If you want to saddle the person a little, to put him in a stupor, just look intently, long, do not take your eyes off. Tilt your head once in a while, change the turn of your head a little.
The main weapon against the aggressor is calmness and to leave the facial expression unperturbed.
Personally, such a move always helped me when dealing with a colleague when I was still employed by the same company.
She and I were on equal structural footing. At general meetings she could stand up, yell, drool, and her eyes would fill with blood, even though the occasion was trivial, more like a discussion. Our supervisor was a peculiar lady. She predatorily looked around and waited for the “massacre” to begin. So you could not expect any help from her either – she was not going to pacify her.
Just being silent, looking at her like a fool, calmly and without reaction, always helped. She would then calm down on her own, and it was possible to have a dialogue.
What to do in situations where we have no right to ignore?
Cooling the ardor of an aggressor on whom you depend in some way (for example, when a client, parent, or boss resents us) is somewhat more difficult. But there are working tactics here, too.
The main task of counteracting the conflict in this case – it is not ignoring, but joining. That is, it is important for you to try to demonstrate to the person that you empathize with him, emotionally join his indignation, but… this is beyond your experience/knowledge/abilities. You can’t help with advice here, and you’re not prepared to further the discussion on this topic.
When you are attacked by such an aggressor, just keep quiet. Then look at him a little at him and then avert your eyes to the side. You can tilt your head down a little. If it’s a client: raise your shoulders and slightly raise your palms (this is the gesture: “I’m with you, I understand you, let’s cool down and deal calmly”).
The main thing here is not to develop a dialogue in the tone of the client, not to interrupt, not to “pour oil on the fire”, but simply to let the person speak. Often it will be enough for your opponent that you have realized the complexity of the problem.
There is another effective technique for communicating with nervous people, but you will need to learn how to control facial expressions as actors.
The essence of the method is as follows: When you are yelled at or insulted by a nervous man you need to make a face expression as if you were listening carefully to everything he tells you and you are very (just crazy) interesting! This tactic is very good at disarming aggressors (because they don’t know how to find fault with you and just shut up).