10 Ways To Deal With An Aggressive Colleague—As Told By A Psychologist

Suruchi Patwary , 15 Dec 2020
Aggressive Colleague By Mangostar | www.shutterstock.com
Aggressive Colleague By Mangostar | www.shutterstock.com

It’s always a difficult and uncomfortable situation when you have to deal with an aggressive person. But when that aggressive person is actually a colleague or a co-worker, it becomes even trickier to deal with. You have to maintain a professional demeanor while dealing with their aggression. And if you’re going through a similar situation and don’t know what to do, Psychologist Anagha Bhave has some tips for you. Below we’ve listed down 10 ways that Anagha suggests will help you deal with an aggressive colleague. Check them out!

1. Be Assertive

When communicating with an aggressive colleague, try to be assertive. Even if that’s not how you talk to everyone else, be sure to be assertive when dealing with an aggressive coworker. Anagha explained the reason behind this and said,

Aggressive people tend to dominate or bully a passive communicator into submission.

2. File A Complaint

Pay attention to if this person’s behaviour is affecting the quality of your work. If the answer is yes, you should consider filing an official complaint with the human resources department. Your work performance should not be affected because of another employee and if that scenario arises then you can definitely let HR know about it.

3. Maintain Distance

Just because you both work at the same company doesn’t mean you have to be around each other. If the said colleague is not a part of your immediate team, you should definitely maintain distance intentionally. This will allow you your peace of mind and won’t let their actions bother you as the communication is minimum.

4. Manage Your Expectations

You have to remember what you expect won’t be the outcome always. Even though you’re assertive with them, it does not mean your assertiveness will change them. So, don’t expect them to just change. Instead, focus on creating boundaries.

5. Don’t Take It Personally

Dealing with an aggressive colleague can take a toll on you. Especially because of the things they might say in anger. But you have to remember that it is something that they need to deal with, it has nothing to do with you. Avoid internalising the mean things they may say out of anger.

6. Take Help Of Humour

Apart from not taking it personally, what can also help you in dealing with it is humour! Whatever they say to you that’s hurtful, just try to laugh it off. Don’t think about it too much, just laugh it off and forget it there.

7. Find Allies In Your Colleagues

Although, not with the intention of poisoning their minds against the aggressive person. But with the intention of finding a safe haven and someone to confide in. It will actually help you feel better and less stressed about the situation.

8. Maybe It’s Not Only You

If you observe them and come to realise that this is their general demeanor, then there’s a good chance you’re probably not alone in receiving their aggression. Coming to terms with this will help you in not taking their behaviour or words to your heart.

9. Remember It’s Just At Work

You should also remind yourself of how you only have to deal with them at work, i.e. in a limited capacity. It’s only when you’re at work. This will help create an emotional detachment for you and help you remember your ability to tolerate or accept it. Once you’re out of the office building, you don’t have to deal with it.

10. Look Inward

All that being said, one should also not shy away to take a step back and look inward. Are you missing your contribution/actions that trigger their aggressive reactions? And if it’s something that you can work on, that’s a better way to get around the situation.

Apart from these 10 ways, is there something you swear by when dealing with an aggressive colleague? If so, then do share it in the comments below!

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