How To Deal With Difficult And Aggressive People

angry fire

Some people have strong personalities and are direct in their communication. They can often be interpreted as domineering, aggressive, confrontational, demanding, hostile, or even abusive. How DO YOU take care of yourself when dealing with this personality type?

Don’t take it personally. These folks generally treat everyone the same way. Others may be intimidated or feel bullied and you may as well. Perhaps they act this way because of how they were raised. Perhaps they just like confrontations. Regardless of their motive, you can reduce your personal stress by considering some of the following ideas.

First off, don’t react! While this is easier said than done, you will maintain your critical thinking rational mind if you maintain your composure. This way you have choices and you can problem solve. If you react emotionally you are often going to end up feeling unhappy and even angry. Practice NOT reacting. Reference to your body and consider taking a deep breath. If your body is tense your autonomic nervous system is beginning to activate its fight or flight mechanism for your protection. Trust your body and respond appropriately.

If you feel violated you probably are. Others may judge you as too sensitive but others don’t live in your skin. Setting limits on others’ aggressive behaviors is a powerful way to take care of yourself and say NO without later feeling guilty. It is essential that you feel you are being treated with respect. You are entitled to a different opinion from the person who is being nasty to you. Always protect yourself by knowing and trusting your gut. If you feel you are being attacked verbally, consider leaving the situation and letting the other person know why you are leaving. This is setting appropriate boundaries so you feel safe emotionally and physically.

This is part of relationship work. Take it seriously. If you find yourself ruminating over and over about the same encounter you had with this person earlier in the day, you got triggered and are still processing it. If this happens over and over again with the same person, consider individual or couple counseling. Your happiness, health and well-being are primary.

Posted on September 8, 2014.

by Howard Brockman, LCSW





No comments yet


Mental Health Self-Test

well being
Are you considering making an appointment for counseling or psychotherapy? Are you ready or vacillating? Psychology Today has a 16-question self-test to help you determine your readiness for a first appointment. It will take you about 10-minutes but it could be a life saver. If you want to consider this here is the link:


Posted by Howard Brockman, LCSW

May 8, 2014


No comments yet


Psychotherapy or Psychiatry?

kids n drugs

Is psychotherapy falling away to the evolving new “life-enhancing” drugs that science is now promoting for improving our well-being? Is it actually more effective to take your daily pills instead of confronting the challenges of daily life with curiosity and openness to change? Check out this article that discusses these issues–it will help you to decide what path is best for you.



No comments yet


Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease


The following article from the Daily Beast describes new research that indicates proper diet and exercise significantly eliminates the chances for developing the dreaded brain disease. Check out this link.


Posted by Howard Brockman, LCSW

August 22, 2013


No comments yet


Depression, Mindfulness and the Inner Critic


There is a great deal of current research about how various meditation practices actually change the brain in positive ways. This is incredibly exciting and with the help of functional brain scans, researchers can see in real time what parts of the brain are stimulated and calmed through these practices. Parts of the brain related to higher brain function have been measured and have actually increased in size from these meditation practices. This is called neuroplasticity.

Some meditation practices teach how to concentrate on one specific image or mantra to help focus the mind. An important and emerging meditation technique is associated with Buddhism and is called Mindfulness. It is actually being integrated into many Western psychology practices not just because of its effectiveness but because it does not require people to embrace a belief system different from what they already have.   Continue reading »


No comments yet

Back to top