Has anyone ever unloaded on you verbally? What did you do to defend yourself? Did you lash back? Did you raise your voice? Did you assume that it was about you?
People may lash out at you verbally for many different reasons. They’re having a bad day. Their boss unloaded on them. They didn’t get that promotion. They had a fender bender on the way to work. It’s not always about you. Reacting as if it were about you can make a bad situation worse.
It’s a good time to use your listening skills – ask questions. A few simple questions can clarify the situation, allowing you to choose an appropriate response. If it’s really not about you, then a sympathetic response may be much more appropriate than an angry response. Even if your questions don’t clarify the situation, asking them will give you a little time to think and react with wisdom rather than impulse.
What questions should you ask? Watch the video.
Good points … It’s always great to have readily available tactics to employ under such circumstances. Across my experience — not to suggest a constant flow of folks darkening my door with the intent to do harm! — a few constants have proven effective [provided I was wise enough in the moment to engage them]
– Listen intently & respectfully [as you suggest … more effective than yammer’n!]
– At the point of a lengthy pause, disarm with a calm question … “Are you done?” or [perhaps less annoying] “May I speak now?”
– Maintain a calm & respectful demeanor
– Ask more questions, seeking to understand