Posted by: lucylastic | March 31, 2008

Don’t talk to me like that!!!

How assertive are you?  Assertiveness is ‘being direct, honest, courteous and respectful while interacting with others’, (apparently) and I like to think I am all of these things.  But I think it really does depend on who I’m talking to.  I am not always honest – that isn’t to say I am actively dishonest – but I do choose what to reveal, (don’t we all).  I have been told that I am often too direct, I have to admit I am not one for beating about the bush, but that’s where the courteous bit come in – I get to the point swiftly, but politely, if I occasionally omit a please or thank you, it is because it’s already implied in what I say, (really).  I have the misfortune to work alongside someone who is downright rude; often unprofessional and frequently aggressive.  It’s not nice, the atmosphere changes palpably when this person hoves into view and any time they are out of the office the vibe is noticeably more relaxed, more productive and more efficient.  

But dealing with aggressive behaviour isn’t easy – even if one is equipped with an assertive approach.  The truly aggressive are often uninterested in dialogue and extremely unreceptive to any sort of feedback.  So it’s an uphill struggle.  I was taught to use ‘When, feel, because’ constructs, (e.g. when you shout at me in the middle of the office for no reason, I feel humiliated and small, because it doesn’t allow me to put my side of the argument and makes me feel foolish in front of colleagues) – but these only work when the person at the end of the sentence is playing ball – the ‘I don’t care what you feel, just do it’ rejoinder effectively closes down the conversation and leaves the individual with nowhere to go.  If anyone has any tips on how to deal with this sort of person, feel free to add to the comments section! 

I am now 9.5 days away from leaving Dyson forever.  My contract is at an end and my plans to clean up the world of vacuums are unfinished.  But watch this space.  A new job will surely be coming soon 😉



  1. No advice really for dealing with aggressive people, except to adopt the Machiavellian approach of “loving your enemies,” which they find very disarming. Anyway, you’ll be shot of this person soon enough which can only be good!

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