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Arguing back
September 19, 2003
1:10 pm
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unhappy camper
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I have never been good in an arguement. I get hurt and angry and think of what I 'should have' said a few days later. I always do that.

I can't face an angry person. Right now there is someone mean who has attacked me. They are wrong and miserable and love to attack. But I don't know how to handle it?

If I try to stand up to them they escalate and end up beating me down. Then it feels even worse.

What do you do when someone is mean and unfair to you?

Just taking it and slinking away isn't right.

Trying to think of something brilliant to shut them down is hard at the heat of the moment.

September 19, 2003
1:18 pm
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artist 2
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Some people might say to a mean comment, "That might have sounded nicer if you had said... "

Usually fueling the fire doesn't resolve anything. Showing a calm and composed face to anger will difuse every time.

You could also say, "It might be more fair if we were to... (do such and such)" Never use the "if you did" or "if you said" - just puts them on the defense.

The goal is to calm them, difuse their anger so you can get what you want. Fair treatment. Puts you in the adult shoes, thus retaining your integrity.

September 19, 2003
1:19 pm
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artist 2
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Just realized I contradicted myself. I guess the point is to be calm and not show anger with anger. Just from experience, blaming the other person just makes them angrier.

September 19, 2003
1:32 pm
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sixfootblonde
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I am usually really bad at reacting back to people, matching anger for anger/sarcasm. The best reaction I've had when in your shoes is the time I told a then-coworker "I'm not doing this with you, this is childish and when you're ready to calm down and discuss it, I'll be here. I'm walking away right now because this is going nowhere." I was the bigger person, plus it really ticked her off that in front of everyone, it made her look quite foolish that she had been hollering. 🙂

Stand your ground, definitely stand up for yourself but don't stoop to this person's level. Be quietly firm. Good luck!

September 19, 2003
1:58 pm
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bel
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Well I dont like to argue back but I will if I have to. If someone is mean to me I ususally get really nervous but will tell them something short.

And I too think I should have said this or that but by then its to late.

I do stand up for myself though.

September 19, 2003
3:23 pm
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Saddo
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Those who anger us conquer us !

September 19, 2003
3:59 pm
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Ladeska
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Want to role play with this one? While it is fresh? You be the person and I'll be something close to how you should respond. Want to do that on the role play thread?

September 19, 2003
4:14 pm
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Saddo
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Ladeska
Wot do you mean-and where is the role play thread

September 19, 2003
4:27 pm
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unhappy camper
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How about next week? I want to forget it for this weekend. Thanks for the offer. I'll take an arguing rain check please?

Ladeska....you said recently that you had some problems that you did not want to share here.

Without telling what is was....how is it going? I hope it's getting better whatever it is.

September 19, 2003
4:32 pm
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Ladeska
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Okay UC, that's fine, just thought I'd offer. Well, my problem is working itself out, I'll put it that way. Some things in life have many angles, are very complicated and time has to pass in order for certain avenues to present themselves. I'm pretty good at working puzzles, it's just sometimes I have to be a bit more patient and I'm very pro-active so that's hard for me. (smile) Thanks for asking though!

September 23, 2003
1:00 pm
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eve
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Any argument? Or just the ones that get really personal and intentionally hurtful?

Arguments and conflict generally are not too bad, because it is normal that people want different things and arguing is a way of finding a compromise that should ideally suit every party involved. Often in this kind of argument it helps to ask a lot of questions to understand the problem, find out what is important to each person, find out what could be possible solutions, find out if you understood the other person's opinion and intent correctly. If you feel hurt, you could ask for clarification, and you could/should state that you feel hurt and how come. For example "when you say that you find this party boring - do you mean the place or the people? What is it that you would like differently?" or "hey, if you find this party boring - I feel like I should feel bad about that, because I organized the party. I really tried to invite interesting people and I love the music - what would you have done differently?".

If people really get personal, or intentionally mean - I'm often speechless and just go away. Afterwards I try not to be angry whith myself, because I couldn't come up whith a good answer immediately (that's not easy). But my mind keeps chewing these things and sometimes I come up whith just the perfect reply - just two days late. Normally I then get very hard on myself, and angry that I didn't think of this answer in time. But now I try to really choreograph the perfect answer in my mind - how it would have felt, would I have dared to say it, how would people have reacted. And I do this until I have a movie in my mind that really does feel comfortable. And I try to put into my memory how it feels to be there, have just the right answer to assert myself, or the perfect remark to make the other person see their mistake whithout making them angry, or how to handle an angry response in a calm and collected manner. I hope that this will make me feel more at home in conflict situations, and help me the next time.

September 23, 2003
3:13 pm
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Jeanine
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Hope I'm not butting in. I have the same problem - great comebacks just a little too late!!

One thing I think we should remember is that some people get off on putting other people down. They say things that reflect what's in their hearts & it's pretty ugly. You can't think of anything because you are not like that. I think your silence speaks volumes in most cases. These people are not worth you fretting over - believe me.

I know it's hard to know when to stand up for yourself & when to just ignore it - after all you don't want to be a doormat (I've been there, too). You can't predict what they're gonna say neither so it's hard to think in advance of a good comeback. So don't be so hard on yourself. If you don't think of one don't kick yourself over it - just remember this person is a miserable person & not worth losing any sleep over. I also truly believe that what goes around will come around.

Hang in there, , & stop beating yourself up.

Cheers 🙂

September 23, 2003
3:31 pm
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Anonymous
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What works best for me is to feel, really FEEL inside the indifference. Anything I do if I feel threatened, backfires. When I'm truly indifferent, anything I do works.

Today someone told me at work how much he had enjoyed himself laughing at my colleague and me from the side when we had a hard time with our guest customers. I thought: how small can a person be to advertise his own poor soul in such a way? I felt total indifference, didn't care about his poor spirit at all nor did I feel bad about myself. I said "so you had a good laugh at the expense of people who were having a rough time" in a flat, indifferent tone. He immediately apologized.

September 23, 2003
8:40 pm
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unhappy camper
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That sounds like a good tool.

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