How to deal with verbal aggression

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Verbal aggression is not an easy trait to deal with. Things can go really bad when you have to live or deal with people who are verbally aggressive on an everyday basis. Treat the situation with finesse and maturity and you can surely find ways to deal with it tactfully.

Be firm and stern

When you are met with verbal aggression that is very severe, use your voice in a firm, but calm manner to stop the person from the abuse. Stand up for yourself and ask him to back off and shut up. You can use gestures like holding your palm up front to reinforce the sharpness of your tone. If the verbal abuser finds that you can be aggressive as well, he might back off with this single action. Ensure that you stare him right in the eye and do not flinch or be affected by what he says. The minute he sees that you are being affected, he will gain confidence and become persistent. Practice these moves in front of the mirror if you have been meeting with verbal aggression on a frequent basis. This will give you enough confidence and ease in handling such situations without much effort.

Avoid counter attacks

Many people itch to attack back with even more aggressiveness when they are hit by abusive words. This is what makes the verbal aggression more difficult to control and external interference is needed to stop the abusers from going too far. Resist your urge to attack back. Be calm and composed in such circumstances and the person who attacks can get bored by your passiveness and retract. Keeping a cool and controlled demeanor has many advantages when you are not in wrong. The aggressive person will realize his mistake and back off. Sometimes, the person will get offended that you are not affected by his remarks and would stop the verbal aggression mid track. It could also be that people are out there to make you verbally aggressive as well to taint your reputation. Keeping quiet will break their plan and others will respect you for your cool and confident silence.

Try walking away

If the verbal aggression is getting out of hand, the best you can do to avoid a scene is to walk away from the verbal abuser. This will make him stop midway and cool things a bit. You may choose to talk to him later, when he has cooled down. If there is a serious issue between you that needs to be sorted out, it is best to wait till he cools down so that you can make him see your point and discuss how things can be improved between you and him. However, you need to identify the situations when you can walk away and when you cannot. If it is your boss or someone elder to you or a family member who has confronted you and has become verbally aggressive, it’s probably not a good idea to walk away. Things can go seriously wrong if you have done something wrong and walk away when the wronged person approaches you and become verbally abusive. The best way to deal with this is to accept his allegations calmly and tell him that you are truly regretful and intent to make amends. However, wait until he comes to his senses and regains his cool before you can discuss matters with him.

Raise your voice

Verbal aggression can sometimes be very difficult to stop even after attempting to walk away or trying to pacify the person calmly. If you are a person of authority, you can just raise your voice as high as you can to give a jolt to this person and make him stop the abuse. This however requires a lot of courage and confidence and authority as well. In most cases, it works well and the verbally aggressive person will soon leave the room. Talk to him later to sort matters out. Make sure that you apologize for raising your voice to stop the aggression.

Seek professional help

Seeking professional help is required when the verbal aggression comes from your spouse or someone who is very close to you or a colleague with whom you deal with. Living with a person who is verbally aggressive can be a difficult proposition and the way you react to it and deal with it has several limitations. If you are living with such a person, make sure that counselling is sought so that you have a mediator to sort matters amicably and arrive at a decent solution. Verbal aggression can not only leave a scar in your mind, but can also taint your name among colleagues and neighbors and hence must be dealt with adequately.

Dr Prem Jagyasi and Team (C)

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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