Thursday, September 28, 2017

Communicate Openly and Directly Part 3

The Aggressive Style
This type of communication holds nothing back – usually at the other person's expense.  The feelings of others are discounted or disregarded, and the interaction is not characterized by respect.  The aggressive person gets his or her needs met by controlling others, dominating the situation, and manipulating others.  Aggressors literally say or do anything to get their own way, and it doesn't matter who gets hurt.  The aggressive style is used because it works!  Others give in or give up.  However, the bottom line is that any relationship based on fear, control, or guilt will never be successful or healthy in the long-run.

There are 2 basic patterns to aggressive communication, both of which involve manipulating others. The 2 most manipulative emotions are hurt and anger.  These 2 emotions are not always manipulative in every situation.  Sometimes, they are a normal part of everyday life.  We can experience hurt when we feel pain, sorrow, and suffering.  We can also experience and show anger when we believe we have been mistreated, taken advantage of, or betrayed.  However, when we use these emotions to manipulate another person to get our own needs met, we cross the line between experiencing justified emotions and using these emotions to manipulate others.

When someone is using hurt to manipulate, the goal is to make others feel guilty.  Someone who manipulates using hurt often incorporates some or all of these tactics:
  • Whines that life is not fair
  • Complains without initiating or accepting solutions
  • Gripes that other people are "lucky"
  • Dwells on the past instead of living in the present
  • Blames others for mistakes; often says, "It's not my fault"
  • Gets feelings hurt easily
  • Needs constant approval and recognition
  • Has numerous physical "ailments" that get in the way of doing the job
Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

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