Aggressive behaviour is confronting and very stressful
Most of the people we meet that display aggressive behaviour are people we either know, or love, or both.
How you react can mean the difference between a fight and possible serious injury, or a peaceful interaction.
So what are some possible signs of aggression?
- Intoxication, dishevelled appearance, bizarre or unusual behaviour
- Restlessness, agitation, pacing, and fist clenching
- Muttering, swearing, shouting, jaw clenching
- Carrying a potential weapon
- Intense eye contact, standing over or invading personal space
- Hostile facial expression (scowling)
What NOT to do:
- Challenge or threaten these people
- Tell them to ‘calm down’
- Argue with them
- Rush at them
- Try to disarm them
- Tolerate violence or aggression
– If necessary and you are unsafe –
– do not hesitate – remove yourself –
Instead, here are some simple strategies to stay safe and possibly de-escalate the situation.
- Firstly, consider inviting them outside, or to another area where you can both escape from if needed. In addition, ensure there are no potential weapons that can be grabbed.
- It is essential that you stay calm, quiet, and rational. If possible, keep your hands open, palms upwards demonstrating you are unarmed. Also, and keep your facial expression neutral and friendly.
- Agree, nod your head slowly and show that you acknowledge their anger but are not buying into their emotions. Remain acutely aware of your own body language. Always move slowly.
- If possible invite them to sit down and, if safe, sit down yourself.
- Finally, be patient and repeat information where necessary. Be sure to keep communication short, simple, and clear.
It is vital to remember that after the situation has resolved itself, above all you will need time to process what has happened.
You may need some time to debrief and unpack your emotional response to the aggression.
In addition, you may need to practice keeping mentally well yourself, mindfulness as well as stress management and relaxation techniques.
Never underestimate the need for professional support after an aggressive incident
In conclusion, If you are struggling, do not hesitate to contact someone professional who can help you with this.
Lifeline 13 11 14, or your doctor, or Richmond Fellowship, or find a counsellor or other professional service to support you.
Above all remember, it’s NOT okay for loved ones to be aggressive or violent towards you. The most important thing to know is that there is effective support out there.
No one deserves to be treated badly.
Step by Step training offer a range of training possibilities so you can learn more about aggressive behaviours and other topics. We also undertake resilience, self-care and mental health first aid training.
Entertaining, inspiring and informative guest speaking is also offered by Heather Smith – lead trainer and owner.
For more training opportunities, please contact Step by Step Training to see how we can help you or your organisation.