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Stress Mastery: The Art of Coping Gracefully by Ph.D. LAUREL BRUCATO, Ph.D. DOMINIC BRUCATO, Ph.D. JUAN R. ABASCAL

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Asserting Yourself with Aggressive People

One big source of stress, whether at your workplace or in your personal life, is having to deal with aggressive, unreasonable, or nasty individuals. When dealing with such people, it is common to feel as if you have no control and to become angry and aggressive yourself. The following pointers should prove useful for handling encounters with aggressive people.

  • Make ample use of empathic assertion. Try paraphrasing what you have heard the person say or commenting on the feelings that are being expressed in their demeanor. For example, simple comments such as, “You sound like you are feeling very angry,” or, “This is obviously very upsetting for you,” can help an angry person feel understood, and in some ...

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