How do you deal with confrontational people?

Posted in the Psychology Forum

“Feel positive today”

Since: Jun 08

Parkland, fl

#1 Oct 15, 2009
I find this board to be open, honest and tell it like it is so the question today is how do you deal with confrontational people.

My thought is always take the high road. Confrontational people are used to getting their way because they are in your face. I used to work in an emergency room and people would come in yelling/screaming thinking they would get quicker service that way. We might have put them in a room to avoid getting the waiting room upset but they never got quicker service.

I think it takes too much effort to be that angry all the time.

“Randy”

Since: Jun 09

The South

#2 Oct 15, 2009
We're all victims of attributional biases, when you get right down to it... although that doesn't make it any easier to get through a high-stress situation. In retrospect everything is easier to analyze.

Mother brings her 8 year old son to the ER for a simple fractured wrist. Mother sees a 50 year old man walk in and get immediate treatment, even though he's not in much obvious pain. Mother attributes the delay in her son's treatment to laziness or incompetence and gets hostile. Of course, 50 year old guy could easily have a history of cardiac events and be showing signs of another, but she doesn't know that. All she knows is that her son is hurting and no one is helping him.

It's easy for the mom to believe that the doctors and nurses just don't care about her son.

It's just as easy for the staff to attribute her hostility to some internal cause. She's just a mean bitch.

I'm not sure what the "high road" is, but if you mean being detached and analytical most people just don't seem to be wired like that. People seem to want to have an immediate explanatory cause for every behavior, even if it's the wrong cause. There are probably dozens of different types of attribution biases, and we use them because they're mental shortcuts. Not really about good or bad or even adaptive or maladaptive... it's just the way most humans work.

Most of this stuff doesn't really involve serious thought anyway. The mother in the example isn't really thinking about being hostile. She definitely isn't thinking about triage procedures. She's just feeling bad things (hurt, worry, etc) and seeking an immediate cause to blame.

“Feel positive today”

Since: Jun 08

Parkland, fl

#3 Oct 15, 2009
As far as the emergency room goes, that was just an example as your is. People get seen based on emergency. the topic was more about how to deal with confrontational people. For me, taking the high road is not to feed into their confrontation because it takes two to communicate so if one person is confrontational and one is not then you would hope it would defuse the situation. I always say that you cannot rationalize with an irrational person.

“Randy”

Since: Jun 09

The South

#4 Oct 15, 2009
CompleteCounseling wrote:
As far as the emergency room goes, that was just an example as your is. People get seen based on emergency. the topic was more about how to deal with confrontational people. For me, taking the high road is not to feed into their confrontation because it takes two to communicate so if one person is confrontational and one is not then you would hope it would defuse the situation. I always say that you cannot rationalize with an irrational person.
Ahhh! Well, in that case I just dilate some blood vessels and pump a little extra blood to my amygdala until they're gone! ;)

Amygdalae : Saving the lives of mean people for millions of years.

Kidding. What can you do, really? Ignore them, I guess. When you can't ignore or avoid them, just try to make the interaction as easy as possible. Or fight them, but that's rarely socially acceptable!

“Feel positive today”

Since: Jun 08

Parkland, fl

#5 Oct 15, 2009
agreed, what goes around comes around. believe in karma and the universe takes care of itself in that way
Mom that needs advice

Cincinnati, OH

#6 Feb 21, 2010
I have a situation where the person won't get the hint. Her daughter goes to school with mine and she is constantly trying to dump the little girl on anyone that'll watch her, so she can go on dates with her new husband. I was naive at the begining but as her intrusions into our life and her way of trying to intimidate me to get her way is at the point where I can't stand it anymore. I'm wanting to put her in her place and cut all communication. I've done the later, but haven't quiet put her in her place yet. She so rude and kind of a manipulative bully. I found out this week that she has preyed on 2 other non-confrontational type moms like me. I work hard everyday & take care of my kids being supportive and loving. I hate to see how low her daughter is in her priorities and I feel sorry for the little girl. Any advice on how to let her know enough is enough?

“Feel positive today”

Since: Jun 08

Parkland, fl

#7 Feb 22, 2010
you just need to not be available to her, she will find someone else to take care of her daughter this is not about changing her because you can't its about doing what you want. Whether you tell her flat out or just be busy when she needs something, she will not get the true meaning behind it but she will move on to find someone else. Agressive people prey on passive people it is the way it works, take care and hope that her daughter comes out okay.
Mom that needs advice

Boston, MA

#8 Feb 23, 2010
You are so right! I found out this weekend that she has moved on to two other moms and they are passive as well. We are all avoiding her, but I have a feeling that if she keeps it up, she's going to run into someone that's not so nice!
Will

Bryan, TX

#10 Sep 9, 2010
I deal with confrontational people by smiling and walking away sometimes, but then I can be a little challenging myself if I'm dealing with a confrontational person, just because I don't want them to under estimate my smile.
But I'm dealing with a situation where I need to confront someone in a administrative position but, its hard for me because I don't want to hurt anyones feelings or be mad tomorrow just get it over with today.
Will

Bryan, TX

#11 Sep 9, 2010
Just wrote a post need response on it. thanks
madge

Concord, CA

#12 Sep 13, 2011
OUT OF NO WHERE..I HAD SOME TWENTY-FOUR YEAR OLD BIMBO COME OUT OF HER ESTABLISHMENT AND ORDER ME TO GO INTO HER GARBAGE CAN AND PICK UP THE DUNCAN DONUTS CUP I THREW IN THERE. I SAID THAT GARBAGE CAN HAS BEEN THERE THIRTY YRS AND BELONGS TO THE PUBLIC…SHE SAID ARE YOU GONNA LISTEN OR DO I HAVE TO GET IN YOUR FACE AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS IN FRONT OF THE ENTIRE PARKING LOT(SHE WAS PERFORMING SHE DOESN'T KNOW I'VE LIVED THERE FOR ALMOST FOURTY YEARS)I SAID.“FIRST OF ALL ITS SIX-THIRTYAM AND I’M NOT GOING TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION WITH YOU…HOWEVER HAVE YOU EVER HAD A 48 YR OLD WOMAN STICK HER GUCCI PUMP UP YOUR BUTT? SHE APPEARED INTIMIDATED AND WALKED AWAY. I SAID …GET BACK IN YOUR STORE AND GO DO YOUR JOB. GET THIS: SHE SAYS GOOD MORNING TO ME. TECHNICALLY THIS WAS NOT ABOUT ME, THIS IS ABOUT HER MISERY AND HOW FAR SHE COULD GO TO RUIN MY DAY---YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER ITS THEIR MISERY NOT YOURS. YOU HAVE TO PUSH IT RIGHT BACK TO THEM AND SAY GET LOST BITACH. NOT TODAY lol
madge

Concord, CA

#13 Sep 13, 2011
in this world smiling and walking away does not always work..you have to say...get it my face one more time and i'll stick my tongue out at your mother....
madge

Concord, CA

#14 Sep 13, 2011
in this world smiling and walking away does not always work..you have to say...get in my face one more time and i'll stick my tongue out at your mother....
madge

Concord, CA

#15 Sep 13, 2011
in my experience .. its always a miserable bimbo...
not so much male-- i have a tahari suit on preparing for a seven thirty am meeting and here's bimbo face lecturing me on a trash can that's been there since i am 18 yrs old......yea ok...

like i said..she does say good morning or waves now...LOLOL
TO WILL FROM MADGE

Concord, CA

#16 Sep 13, 2011
first target to a confrontational person is your basically happy...do not think i'm saying passive..not passive..you just want to get along with everyone during the day..which is the professional way...however to a confrontational person this is prey.

confrontatioal people are unhappy, miserable and cannot be trusted...no matter how much you express trust..they will still stick it to you...its almost instinct.

you may have to speak to your superior and seek advice or help on how do deal with this very depressed person. remember they are unhappy.

hope this helps..if it does not ..then just ask the next time he starts..how'd you like my morning newspaper shoved down your throat? LOL
TO WILL FROM MADGE

Concord, CA

#17 Sep 13, 2011
these type of people know they are stuck in misery and do not know how to get out...so they blame everyone ... your happy, professional, dressed well, that's it..your gonna get it...
MADGE

United States

#18 Sep 13, 2011
another thought: confrontationl people when confronted will always say your wrong, your misunderstood, you don't understand what they mean't..this is also a sign of a mean person and
will not take responsibility for their action.

they are basically how can i say it..trash but in a manic depressive state.
JEJ

Troy, AL

#19 Jul 14, 2012
I had a mother be very aggressive and confrontational to my daughter with me standing right there. I snapped back at her using the same tone she used. She backed off but was texting the cheer sponsor and no telling who else. She sent me a text the next day apologising. I didn't respond. I know she will shut my daughter out of "the group". I mean I don't want anything to do with the Mom but I don't want issues for my daughter. Do I have a conversation with the cheer coach and or principal?

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