In the beginning, the universe was created. This made a lot of people very angry, and has been widely regarded as a bad idea.
— Douglas Adams, “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” (via panatmansam)
We’ve all been there. Somebody is yelling at us. Their face is red and contorted with anger. Anything you say is taken as an argument. What are we to do?
Well, we must understand some basic things about human behavior. In primates, without language, communication is transmitted through the group by vocalizations, body language and facial expressions. This is why primates have so many independent facial muscles. Vocal tone is very important, more so in a hostile dispute than the words spoken. Our pets understand tone rather than words. It is that fundamental.
We are programmed by evolution to respond to these cues automatically. So, when you are attacked verbally it takes great effort not to become engaged in the hostility. What can we do?
- Do not respond. When you are under an angry attack communication has ceased. No amount of reason or calm logic is going to get through. Instead it will be taken as a challenge and thrown back at you.
- Leave if you can. Your pride may prickle at this since it will seem like you are “backing down”. If you feel this then you are already engaged. Push though it and leave the room. If they follow then leave the house.
- Refuse to engage. It will not always be possible to leave. So, stay disengaged. Look away so you do not see the aggressive body language and facial expressions. You are programmed to respond to these things so if you avert your gaze they lose power over you.
- Do not argue. Not even to say “I am not engaging you in this”. It will only enrage them further. Do not add fuel to the fire by taking a superior or pitying attitude. Stay as impassive as possible.
- Exercise your compassion. You know your attacker is soul sick. They are suffering. They want you to suffer too. They think that if they pass along their anger to you it will make them feel better. It won’t. Treat them like a sick friend.
- Expect escalation. At first your antagonist will increase the pressure by yelling louder, banging doors even tossing things around. Just ignore this behavior. At this point they are behaving in a primitive primate manner. They will tire themselves out after awhile.
- Remember if the attack is unsatisfying for them they will stop. Your attacker is getting something from the attack. Releasing tension. Releasing aggression. If they do not get the satisfaction they want they will stop.
- Do not take anything they say personally. Words which are false are just so much wind in the trees.
- Avert your attention. Say a mantra, focus on something else and avoid the poison of their words. They want to blame you for their pain. If you respond with harsh words, they will feel justified.
- When it is all over. Forgive and forget.
☯ Samsaran ☯
Sam, I have been in married for 28 years. We have 3 children, ages 23, 16, & 15. The 23 year old is disabled and requires much attention, but he is working toward independence. My husband traveled for work for many years. I basically raised our children alone. When he was in town, my husband spent a lot of time drinking with his friends. Two years ago my husband began working out of the house. This has greatly disturbed my family’s flow. My husband cannot relate to our children. When I attempt
To meditate he becomes angry. My parenting style is very different from my husband’s. I am nurturing. My personality is laidback & mellow. I share social & media time between the kids equally. I have indepth conversations with each child to discuss their feelings, goals, futures, etc. and I explain how others think to help them process the world. My husband is very domineering, ridged, & impulsive. He is quick to anger & thinks “sorry” fixes everything. Our 23 & 16 year olds have strained
Relationships with their father, much of which stems from their perception that he treats me too harshly. I have had cancer and a stroke, neither of which their father supported me through. I have been very supportive thru illnesses & deaths in his family. But when the shoe is on the other foot he does not support me. My husband knows that I am under great stress due to my own father’s failing health. He keeps picking fights & now talks of divorce. At 50 yrs old, I’m afraid to leave. UR thoughts
Your choices are simple leave or stay. You have already said that you are afraid to leave therefore you must stay. One thing is certain and that is this man will not change for you. He may change for himself but not for you. He clearly knows that he has the power in the relationship. Divorce is a weapon he wields against you.
I assume that you have tried communicating with him openly and frankly. Perhaps couple’s therapy might be in order. If you stay then you must accept that he is how he is and then formulate a strategy to insulate yourself from his negativity. You must stop engaging egos with him. You must get past this fear. You are not trapped. You CAN leave if you wish to do so. So long as you live in fear, so long as you believe that you are trapped then he can lord it over you. The moment you realize that you are FREE then his power vanishes.
Do not let him engage you in fights. Stay calm and leave the room. When he is angry or hostile just look at him as a man who is drunk on his own brain chemicals. Never listen to anything he says about you. Walk away. Don’t fight back. Prepare an escape plan in secret. Talk to a lawyer. I am not saying to leave him. I am only suggesting that you gain some measure of independence and knowing your legal options is a good first step.
I wish I could tell you how to change him but the fact is that we cannot change anybody and the attempt is nothing but wasted energy.
Be free in spirit if nothing else.
๑ Samsaran ๑
What a useless man! Why are you afraid of leaving him? I’m just a kid and in no position to give this sort of advice, but I’d get rid of that ass ASAP and go where I can have some peace of mind. Your children would support you 100% I’m sure! He obviously does more harm than good to the whole family.
I just have zero tolerance for this kind of shit, probably because of my own father’s macho, domineering “everyone does what I say!” attitude, that he used to enforce with brute force and violence.
But karma has a way of dealing with these human dirtbags, rest assured! Now he has some sort of illness that atrophied most of his muscles; and he can’t even walk without an assistive cane. These men think they’re so cool and powerful up until they become physically weak, then they suddenly realize they need us, and they develop a kinder, more peaceful attitude, to ensure that we’re gonna feel sorry for them and assist them.
Back then I’d just give him a few big, heartfelt punches in the face to shut him up, then leave him to die alone and rot, festering in his own psychological filth. I got especially mad when I saw him hitting my mother; I would have smashed his head against the walls.
But thankfully I was smarter than that. Even as a small kid I realized that violence won’t stop violence, only make it worse. And I’ve always been able to control my urges and emotional outbursts. Whew!
Simply ignoring their bullshit and leaving when it gets too smelly works wonders. I guess things take care of themselves in the end, but it’s important to have some peace of mind. If you can’t leave, then at least find a way to become mentally and emotionally immune to the filth.
WHY DO THEY ALWAYS SLICE THEIR PALM TO GET BLOOD. do you know how many nerve endings are in your hand?!?! why don’t they ever cut the back of their arm or their leg or something omfg
me everytime a character in a movie has to get a few drops of their blood for some ritual bullshit (via jtoday)
WHILE WE’RE AT IT, why do people try to cross those skinny bridges over lava/chasms/whatever by walking upright. IT’S CALLED CENTER OF GRAVITY. get on your hands and knees and crawl across that thing. HUG IT. SCOOT YOUR BUTT ACROSS. “but i look stupid!” lalalala but we’ll avoid that ~dramatic moment~ where you almost fall over and die because your damn fucking self wanted to look COOL
and stop yanking IV lines out of your arms the minute you wake up in the hospital
That is a broadsword, why are you fencing with it
There is a freaking door right there. Stop smashing through windows, damn it.
yes, mr. action hero, I am aware that running dramatically from the baddies at breakneck speed is important, but know what else is important? NOT GETTING SHOT. RUN IN A FUCKING ZIGZAG PATTERN ON THE OFF CHANCE THAT THE MOOKS WERE NOT COACHED IN MARKSMANSHIP BY THE IMPERIAL STORMTROOPERS.
Oh, hey, you there, sneaky hero-type breaking into any place for any reason? WEAR SOME FUCKING GLOVES. They’re called fingerprints, dumbass. You have them and you’re putting them all over the fucking place.
If something really fucking huge is falling on you, don’t FUCKING RUN ALONG THE LENGTH JUST TAKE LIKE TWO FUCKING STEPS TO THE SIDE
wEAR A FUCKING HELMET OBERYN YOU LITTLE SHIT
that is sO NOT HOW THEY TAUGHT YOU TO DO CPR HOW ARE YOU NOT KILLING THE OTHER PERSON HOLY SHIT