How to handle “That Guy” Methods for dealing with aggressive and controlling people.

By July 19, 2015 Self Help No Comments

How to handle “That Guy:” Methods for dealing with aggressive and controlling people.  One of the most difficult kinds of people to handle are aggressive, controlling people. Unfortunately, most of us will be forced to confront such people at least on a semi-regular occasion. Whether it be at work or in our social lives, knowing how to properly handle interactions with these types of people is important to leading a healthy and fulfilling life.

Using an intelligent approach that can reflect aggressive and controlling behavior away from yourself is useful when encountering such people. Through these 7 useful tips, you can learn how to both cooperate and create a sense of mutual respect in people who tend to act in an aggressive and controlling manner:

1. Keep Your Distance

While it’s important to know how to handle aggressive and controlling people, some people are best avoided altogether. The only time you should interact with these sorts of toxic personalities is when it is required of you due to work or social obligations. Keep your options open in these cases, by having some sort of out or person you can reach out to for assistance in case things become heated and unruly.

2. Never Allow Them to Disrespect Your Fundamental Rights

Confronting a person about disrespecting basic tendencies of acceptable social conduct can help diffuse a situation. Aggressive and controlling people often fail to realize how unacceptable their behavior is, so pointing out to them in a calm manner may help them to become more agreeable.

Here are a few of these fundamental rights you should never allow someone to violate:

  • The right to get what you paid for.
  • The right to express your feelings, needs, and wants.
  • The right to say “no.”
  • The right to be treated with respect.
  • The right to avoid mentally or physically harmful situations.
  • The right to hold a different opinion than others.

3. Do Not Become Flustered

It is easy to lose your cool when dealing with negative people, but keeping your wits and cool about you is of utmost importance. Nothing makes a situation worse than both parties becoming heated and angry. Such situations can lead to unfortunate situations that both people may end up regretting.

Additionally, aggressive and controlling people often find power and satisfaction in pushing people’s buttons. By not allowing them to do so, you take their main power over you away from them. No other tip on this list is as important as this one.

4. Try Not to Take Things Personally

In the moment, it can be useful to detach yourself emotionally from the situation. You should not allow yourself to be mistreated in any scenario, but by detaching for a moment you may be able to handle the scenario more effectively and reach a better outcome. Try being proactive instead of reactive in any situation where you come into contact with an aggressive and controlling person.

Detaching yourself can also allow you to see the other person’s perspective for a moment. In some cases, you may find that their problem has some legitimate basis, and you can adjust your own behavior to help alleviate the current stressful situation. After all, respect is almost always a two-way street.

5. If Appropriate, Try Using Humor to Defuse the Situation

A few brief laughs or a light attitude can do a lot to make a situation less tense. Humor is one of the most powerful communication tools we have as human beings, and allowing your sense of humor to come out can almost immediately make a situation less stressful. Breaking the tension in the air can allow the naturally aggressive and controlling person to let their guard down for a moment, allowing a more constructive communication to begin taking place.

6. Make Consequences Clear

In particularly heated scenarios, it can be important to remind the person you are clashing with of the scenarios of their actions. If they are being inappropriate or aggressive, you can remind them that it is putting them in danger of negative consequences, such as reprimands or work or damaging a relationship in their social circle.

7. Ask them to Access their Behavior

Putting a spotlight on the behavior of the aggressive or controlling person can help them realize that they may be in the wrong. If nothing else, it will help you gain power over them by refusing to allow them to dictate the situation. Do not fall into the trap of allowing yourself to be scrutinized without placing responsibility and awareness onto the shoulders of the aggressor.


Ultimately, dealing with aggressive and/or controlling people comes down to being an excellent communicator. IF you can communicate in a way that decreases tension and maximizes a mutual sense of respect between you and another party, you will be able to lead a more stress-free and happy existence. Inappropriate, aggressive, or controlling behavior is never acceptable, but knowing how to combat it can come in useful in many scenarios.

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