7 Ways to Respond to Verbally Aggressive People

man and woman fight

Source: Power of Positivity

Facing a verbally aggressive person can make you feel immediately defensive, which is perfectly normal, but there are 7 more healthy, harmonious and mindful ways to respond.


Like a wild, rabid animal, verbally aggressive people come toward you on the attack, often with little or no reason. Basically, these people are adult bullies and you don’t have to take that kind of behavior from anyone.

Verbal aggression often moves into physical aggression and that becomes a scary situation. Researchers studying patterns of domestic violence among married couples found that verbal aggression is more likely to be a precursor to physical violence.

Related Article: Dealing with Angry People: 5 Simple Tools To Resolve Conflict Quickly

If you are concerned about someone who has been verbally aggressive toward you, take action now. These situations can lead to domestic or workplace violence. Consult with human resources in the workplace, the National Domestic Violence Hotline or the police to get help in handling a potentially violent situation.


Responding to anger, which is what verbally aggressive people are expressing, with anger in your own voice is pointless. It gets you nowhere. They are already angry and now you are too.


Verbally aggressive people usually speak with hurtful words. Rather than being saddened by the painful words, realize that words cannot hurt you. You have a choice about how you respond. Taking their angry words personally only makes you feel bad and doesn’t help them feel better either.

Related Article: How to Protect Yourself From Toxic People


In a study of psychiatric nurses who worked with non-physical methods to de-escalate a verbally aggressive patient, nurses who could identify an escalating situation then followed these steps to help the patients to come back to a calm state.

* Check the aggressive person’s level of aggressiveness on a scale of 1 to 10

* Attempt to understand the meaning of the aggressive behavior

* Connected with the aggressive person

* Matched a solution intervention to the person’s needs

You can use these same strategies to attempt to deescalate an aggressive situation.

* Check their level of aggressiveness. Ask yourself if based on their actions they are just a little upset or if there is potential for injuries caused to either the angry person or others.

* Don’t wait to call for help if you think someone could get hurt.

* Listen to everything the angry person is saying and rephrase it back to them to make sure you understood them correctly.

* Use language like ‘I understand why you would be upset’ or ‘I can see how that would be frustrating for you.’

* Ask the aggressive person for a suggestion to fix the problem or offer your own solution.


From our article 5 Signs Someone is Manipulating You, you may recall that manipulation is a trait of passive aggressive people. Avoid being manipulated by recognizing the aggression for what it is, anger. If you’ve done nothing wrong, don’t let the angry person force you into an apology.

Related Article: The Power of Gratitude

What a verbally aggressive person needs is a place to vent their angry frustrations where someone will listen, empathize and try to find a win-win solution for both parties. Let the angry person know that you are willing to listen but only if they calm down so you can talk at a normal volume.


Tags: , , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS FeedConnect on YouTube

18 Reader Comments

Trackback URL Comments RSS Feed

  1. 1693051567577300@facebook.com' Daily Science & Truth says:

    Follow us to learn the hidden Truth !

  2. 675315022611801@facebook.com' Quang Quang Asa says:

    Conscious Life News…How well do your eyes actually see?, Take This Test now…y4Z6Dn1 play now ? ~> http://goo.gl/VEFQtJ

    let’s like post: Feel overwhelmed by someone who is directing their unfiltered anger at you? Try these tips.

    What do you think? Feel free to add more suggestions!…

  3. 1724837871072163@facebook.com' Shashaj Reyez says:

    I lived with a person who was very verbally aggressive and this is what my psychologist told me to do, but NEVER worked with him, so the only choice left was to leave him, as much as I still love him, I had no choice.

  4. 10154527102397788@facebook.com' Manisha Patel says:

    You do not have to dignify them with an answer or with response of any kind. Be passive.

  5. 1530307430614416@facebook.com' Leanne Mullings says:

    Hit em un the face lol

  6. 10205686876834639@facebook.com' Denise Barton Rader says:

    They have to go to sleep sooner or later….Then you tie them up in the bed sheets and beat the crap of them….

  7. 1269553453061754@facebook.com' Renee Thomas says:

    Get away from this toxic person!!!!

  8. 178145399231152@facebook.com' Cassandra Mccarthey says:

    I just get away from them take my kids and remove myself from the situation but I like Denise response better

  9. 871720276198185@facebook.com' Kerry Begin says:

    I understand how you feel ?How about punching them in the balls instead? Idiots…

  10. 1130646473636258@facebook.com' Donald Dixon says:


  11. 986292704724865@facebook.com' Hanny June says:

    When I can stay centred, I like to thank them for their gift of anger and then tell them that I don’t accept it! Works like a charm as most people are absolutely dumbfounded to have their anger acknowledged and then not accepted, they can look like they are going to expolde. Ive not had a bad outcome using this usually because people become so dumbfound.

  12. 10154786097239852@facebook.com' Wayne Bishop says:

    Leave. Problem solved

  13. 10207503110928926@facebook.com' Lauren Stephens says:

    Worst codependent advice ever… Walk away and don’t look back.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the stories on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use'...you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.

Send this to friend