Different Aggressors: Different Approaches

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There is a lot more that can be said on this topic and I would recommend a book by Shawn T. Smith entitled Surviving Aggressive People: Practical Violence Prevention Skills for the Workplace and the Street for more information on this topic.  We are living in a day where violence is happening all around us.  It’s a great idea to learn to pick up cues and understand which action may be best in a situation and may even save your life. For this short article, I am going to talstopk about 2 types of aggressors: the expert aggressor and the desperate aggressor.

The Expert Aggressor is a type of a person who views violence as the preferred option. They are interested in social or material gain, in taking something that does not belong to them. They tend to attack those who are suitable victims and choose those who offer the greatest chance of success. They use “testing rituals” to determine the willingness of a victim. Some people will tolerate being attacked more than others. Those who are too trusting, kind or loving make the best victims. There are some very good techniques in the book to keep the Expert Aggressor from going too far.  At any rate, this type of individual needs strong boundaries and the situation will only be safe when you use them.

The Desperate Aggressor is one of the most common and is someone you might encounter in a work situation who feels that they have run out of options. “Violent crime in America is often spontaneous: someone loses their temper and the results are tragic. When an otherwise rational person reaches a high level of emotion, when they perceive no solution to their problem, then violence–normally not something they would even consider–may seem to them like their only option.” These aggressors don’t like to feel helpless and seek to regain their feelings of control. They are poor at problem solving and often another person who is skilled can help them to restore their composure. The book gives [ File # csp2098901, License # 2590991 ] Licensed through http://www.canstockphoto.com in accordance with the End User License Agreement (http://www.canstockphoto.com/legal.php) (c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / lisafxsuggestions in concrete form on what to say and how to do this. In general, Desperate Aggressors display verbal and physical indicators of stress. They might feel cornered, panicked and ashamed.  This type of person may benefit from compassion and de-escalation skills in this kind of a moment.  Listening to this person during the extreme and unusual outburst could really help in this type of situation.


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