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Old 04-15-2010, 11:12 AM   #41
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Well, this thread is giving me renewed enthusiasm to ER because I will have a choice to walk away from idiots.
Yes! A HUGE benefit to ER. You are no longer obligated to deal with idiots or abusive/toxic people. Unless they are a close relative in which case ER makes no difference.

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Old 04-15-2010, 01:07 PM   #42
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I worked with a woman who had the perfect, non-verbal response to abusive people. She would adopt a very neutral expression on her face, and very slowly and almost imperceptibly shake her head from side to side (ie., moving her head maybe an inch or two) while maintaining eye contact with the person. One time she and I were in a staff meeting when our nutcase boss went off on another staffer. It was amazing to watch Boss become aware of her silent gaze; it made him very uncomfortable. (I wouldn't advise doing this to strangers, but believe me, it works wonders on friends and family!)
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:14 PM   #43
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Orchidflower, yes. Experience. Past, current, and even some to look forward to. My heart goes out to you and others that must deal with this.

I’d love to share my success in dealing with this but I can’t – no success. My spontaneous wit is inadequate; I know the right thing to say later or the next day.

Some folks are just bullies. This was common at work. I must have taken HaHa’s advice and changed my social circle because it’s not a problem.

Personal situations – the ones we deal with are the consequence of depression. When directed at me it doesn’t really do anything anymore – I just keep in mind the pain and unhappiness that these individuals suffer, then smile and walk away. When directed at people I hold most dear it motivates me to spend time with them (the offended) and express my affection and feelings for them. When directed at my children it makes me angry and then I do respond – in private and quite sharply.

Family get-togethers are, surprisingly, quite enjoyable. But there is an effort by a core group to keep things upbeat and not allow for any efforts to derail or provoke.

Talking about this with other family members has had positive effects. It makes it easier to not take things personally and it enables the core group.

We are all humans, flaws included.
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:49 PM   #44
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I think Diane summed it up quite nicely on an episode of "Cheers". Just respond with a sad smile and say, pleasantly, "You're a bitter little person, aren't you?"
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:59 PM   #45
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I worked with a woman who had the perfect, non-verbal response to abusive people. She would adopt a very neutral expression on her face, and very slowly and almost imperceptibly shake her head from side to side (ie., moving her head maybe an inch or two) while maintaining eye contact with the person. One time she and I were in a staff meeting when our nutcase boss went off on another staffer. It was amazing to watch Boss become aware of her silent gaze; it made him very uncomfortable. (I wouldn't advise doing this to strangers, but believe me, it works wonders on friends and family!)
Good one. The key is to be calm, cool and collected and don't let the bully get you flustered. This can cause the abusive person to feel uncomfortable. Another technique I've seen used when an outragious comment is made is to wait silently for a few moments then ask them to repeat or clarify the statement. Often cruel things are said in the heat of a moment and sometimes the bully realizes how foolish their comment was - particulary if everyone else is calmly observing them acting like an a$$ .
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Old 04-15-2010, 02:12 PM   #46
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You can either avoid or confront.
I vaguely remember my Internist telling me that there were three kinds of people, Avoiders, Confronters, and some third kind that I can't remember now. He brought it up in order to point out to me that I was the only 100% avoider in his practice. He said people were composed of parts of all three types. I have been an avoider since age 4, when one of my mother's friend's sons of the same age group hit me in the head, trying to start a fight. I ran from the scene and declined to go back. My father suggested that I hit him back, even harder. My response: (which my father never let me forget) Why, he'll just hit me again?

Mike D. - Avoiding unplesant people since 1958.
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:17 PM   #47
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Way to go, MikeD, avoiding unpleasant people since 1958. Most of the nastiness I have encountered in business & social situations is from men shorter than I.
Since I'm 6ft. tall & usually wear heels...well, you get my drift. Socially, I usually just giggle, then really laugh, as I walk away. Former business settings, (ER'd at 45) I'd get as close as possible to the perp. and "look down at him" expressionless, just stare a hole in him. Basically, I've just always avoided short men, cuz I figured one way or another, they are going to try to either bully me or put me down.
Last fall, after a delightful and short courtship (divorced since 87), I married the love of my life - yup, you guessed it - he's 5'7". Our fights (ooops, I mean disagreements)have been interesting. I've had to learn new skills, as my darling husband is a world champion bull rider and a 6' woman does not intimidate a man who has battled 2000 lb+ bulls! Life - what a wonderful ,interesting journey!
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Old 04-16-2010, 09:02 AM   #48
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Need to put the remarks back on the attacker. Say "How does it feel to insult your friend? Do you feel better now?"

CALL THEM ON IT !! The attacks will stop pronto.

It is always - in fact - about them (the attacker). So make it about them.
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Old 04-16-2010, 01:45 PM   #49
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Generally, I couldn't care what other people think about me. I care what my family thinks. So stuff won't bother me. I guess I tend to avoid the situation/person, instead of confronting them.

I am getting better at confronting rude/abusive people. It takes some practice, but I won't let myself be treated poorly. Therapy is helping my passive aggressive tendencies.

Strange, I never capitalized on my 6'6" height. Guess I never perfected the physical imposing techniques.
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Old 04-16-2010, 04:27 PM   #50
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When someone is rude to me, I say..."Bless your heart...you must have been weaned on a pickle. That's a shame darlin'...."

If they want to go another round with me, I give 'em my 'look' and say nothing. Sometimes silence speaks louder than words.
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Old 04-16-2010, 04:27 PM   #51
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What is the best way to handle vicious attacks on your person that are undeserved and just plain cruel/mean? Is the best way to treat these just to ignore them and leave the person alone or is it better to say something back to the person that shuts them up for good? And--if you do say something back to them--what do you say that hits the nail on the head but doesn't put you into a counter-attack mode?
I can NEVER think of the right thing to say until an hour later. Other than that, the way I handle it depends on who the person is to me.

1. (former) Co-worker: Say nothing, perhaps look a little incredulous, and go home and walk about muttering, and/or try to think of what I can learn from the situation. Then vent to any friend or message board that seems to be willing to listen to my outrage. Obviously this is not a healthy response and I am so glad to be retired and not have to put up with workplace viciousness.

2. Friend: I don't put up with this, period. The friend is history and will probably be the recipient of some choice words on his or her way out of my life. Of course that wouldn't be the case with Frank but he would never, ever treat me that way, either.

3. Relative: Only once, a dear relative said some very vicious things to me while under the influence of prescription medications and I think having mental health issues. I poured my heart out to him through tears telling him how much he means to me and how much I have always thought of him. Although he apologized profusely later, I have never since felt quite "safe" with respect to that sort of behavior when around him and I am embarrassed to admit that although I still love him dearly, I have avoided him. I probably need to stop doing that.
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