Adversity and Aggression – The Right Way To Deal With It

The Right Way To Deal With It| Jeremy Bin

In the last article, we went through some of the not so great moments in conflict. Now that we’ve rid ourselves of the common bad habits, let’s start from scratch and build our instinct towards adversity in the right way.

How to manage aggressive behaviour in the office

Enjoy the Aggression

You are a 21st century individual; not every challenge is meant to lead to a fight. We all bust on our friends and give them a hard time for the smallest things because it is fun. Strangers, therefore, should be treated simply as friends we haven’t met – keep the small smile on your face and treat them like long time friends. Take conversations lightly until you’re sure your opposition is actually escalating into seriousness. Bust them back, tell them ‘I expected more from you’. In the context of an interview, it’s often a technique employed by the people across the table to see how well you handle adversity. Enjoy it, banter back without compromising your respectful tone, and you’ve passed.


Make Them Show Their Hand First

If the conflict is clearly not in the name of fun, then it may be time to prep yourself. First and foremost, maintain your ground. Be confident in your ability to rise above the situation and keep your head about you. The mediocre lose it once they get out of their comfort zone, the extraordinary embrace difficult situations. If someone throws an obvious insult or a hostile statement at you, your reaction should be as follows: keep the smile on, turn and face them square on, say ‘excuse me?’ and expect a response from them. Rarely will someone have the courage to throw the same insult twice. Ask yourself this: why be baited by someone who is clearly having a bad day and is simply looking to drag your fantastic day down with him? If they really are picking a genuine argument, then we move on to:


Show Them Respect

Retaliation is a child’s game. People who come into a conversation from a position of strength never feel the need to fight back – they respect the people who stand up to them because those people are few and far between. When you find yourself in a situation that is escalating too far, simply pat the person on the back, say ‘you’re confident buddy, I respect that’. You’ll come off as the high status person in their mind, and they will treat you with respect from that point on. Or you will confuse the hell out of them. Either way, it’s a win-win.

Cold Anger, Not Hot Anger

If you haven’t seen Pulp Fiction yet, Samuel L Jackson shows us just how to resolve high tension, possibly deadly conflicts (

What we are trying to get at here is that while there are plenty of Ari Gold-like hot tempered people in this world, they are almost never the ones that solve conflicts the right way. ‘Well’, you might be asking, ‘Ari himself solved gargantuan problems in phenomenal ways, what’s so wrong about that?’. Yes, he definitely did. But those specific moments that made him the agent he is were also the exact ones in which he turned absolutely ice cold and evaluated exactly what needed to be done before doing it. Then, of course, he would explode into his socially ridiculous behaviour.

When thrown into absolute adversity, grow cold, not hot. Think being stranded on a desert island. Throwing a tantrum and complaining about how life is unfair is not going to be very helpful to your situation. Beginning to plan for your resources and survival is the way to go. Likewise, when it is clear someone is picking a fight, or a superior is screaming at you with all the necessary spittle flying your way, clear your head and get ready.

Up next, we will explain the three courses of actions that will be your golden ticket next week.

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