How To Respond To Intimidation?

Have you ever run into arrogant and intimidating people? I bet I am not alone in this situation. But the real issue here is how to respond to intimidation and intimidating people. What is the best way to handle a situation like I am going to talk about and be the bigger person for it?

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So today we will talk about how to respond to intimidation. You want to cower down and run but that is not the best solution. It is not your fault but the actions of another person but how you deal with all of it is what you will have to take responsibility for.

People are an enigma to me. I tend to get upset with them when they treat me with disdain, but later, when I think through the episode, I try to understand why someone would treat another so poorly. The examples I will use here today are rather sad because each one of them involves a medical caregiver from doctors to nurses and everything in the middle.

word nurse

first situation

I will give you just a slight example of what took place with the first situation involving a medical caregiver, a physician. My husband and I attempted to set up primary care in a new location. We went to a highly recommended physician. I have yet to figure out why this person was so perfect.

With our first visit, he mocked me and treated my husband with grave disrespect. Now, why would he do this? At first, I thought it was because he felt he was better than we are because he is a doctor.

But I have known many many good and kind doctors, and we are friends with some of the best doctors a person can ever meet. None of those think they are better than others. Then I began to think about why a person would act as this doctor did.

word doctor

second situation

I had faced a life-threatening medical issue a couple of years past and thought I may be facing the same situation again. So reluctantly I went to the ER. Upon arrival to my room, I had a nurse who was rude and intimidating from the moment she stepped into the ER bay. She appeared to work hard trying to provoke me to anger. I did reasonably well at first but I did digress as my visit progressed. I took on a passive-aggressive role.

One minute I was telling her what I needed as a patient and the next I was in tears and fearing what she would do to me next. That was a sad state of mind for an ER nurse to take as a patient.

But the real question here is why did she feel the need to treat a person in this manner?

Why does anyone think they are better or above anyone else? I believe it leads back to a lack of self-esteem. Maybe she had been abused and had to put others down to build her self-worth. Or maybe she had a mental illness that hindered her coping ability. Regardless of the cause, I did see her using coping mechanisms to help her deal in the workplace.

What Are some coping mechanisms?

  1. Anger
  2. Denial
  3. Blame self
  4. Helping others
  5. Using past pain to grow
angry girl on orange fire

Anger

Many victims who have had abuse in their lives use anger as a tool to protect themselves. If they stay angry, they will not have to face the issue. It allows them to transfer their pain onto another person through continued abuse or treating others as if they caused the problem.

 Denial

Have you ever heard an abuse victim say they don’t remember what happened or they didn’t remember until later in life? Sometimes the pain is too much for their brains to comprehend, so they push it way back inside of themselves and try to forget.

 Blame Self

Many abused children will believe way into adulthood that they caused the abuse. They hang onto the fear and blame themselves because it is safer to assume they caused it. If they admit it is not their fault, then they have to acknowledge that someone they loved harmed them.

Helping others

Some people use their abuse to talk about and help others with the same issue. Yet some go into the helping profession because it helps to relieve the guilt associated with what took place. Helping others gives them a sense of goodness and wholeness.

using the pain to grow

Using past pain to grow

Then there are the rare group of abuse victims who use the pain from the abuse and decide to overcome. They want to feel good about themselves and set out to heal themselves and forgive the abuser. This group is approximately 1% of victims.

I have to believe the best about these people who act like they are better and treat others poorly. There is only one group that I would have to exclude from this belief. That is the narcissist — the one who knows what they are doing and wants to continue hurting others.

The nurse

Let me talk about the nurse first. Most would say that a person who is mean should not be allowed to practice in a field to help others. Why I even said that myself. But how does a person who is angry and wants to appease their pain stay away from helping others?

I believe she is the perfect example of a person who deals with their abuse with anger, denial, and helping others. She must be bewildered to be so angry and yet not admit it is from abuse. Then she attempts to help others so she can feel good about herself only to hurt others in the process.

the doctor

I believe this fella is in denial and blames himself. He tries not to remember what has happened. He is a doctor, after all. In the process of blaming himself, he feels so guilty that he puts others down to appease his pain.

How To Respond To Intimidation

Let’s talk about this million-dollar question with 2 ways of responding and lastly the best way to respond to intimidation.

  1. Cowering down
  2. Strike out
  3. Take the high road

First, you are human and will probably feel intimidated or angry at first, just as I did. But there are different ways to look at the situation. As victims all over again, we also have coping mechanisms.

Cowering down

When you are intimidated, it is normal for you to feel that you must have done something to cause it. It was your tone of voice or the way you spoke or the words you chose. So no wonder the person mistreated you.

strike out

With the pain you have been through, you strike out in anger. What the person said and did to you cause you to feel guilty all over again and pushed the low self-esteem buttons. How dare they do this to you?

sign high road

take the high road

Adopting a mature approach is the most difficult. When someone mistreats you, there is a reason, and it is not you. It is OK to stand up to them but in kindness. It is OK to set your boundaries and not allow them to treat you poorly.

Then it is time to try to understand why they may have talked to you in a demeaning manner. Understanding does not mean you allow it. It does mean that with the knowledge you have, you can let it go and realize how miserable the other person is. They have not worked through their issues as you have. They are stuck in an area for the rest of their lives because they chose not to overcome it.

Then you have to let go and walk away. Again you didn’t cause the problem. You didn’t cause the pain, and you can’t fix them.

summary

There are so many different people in this world. You won’t all like each other. But if you hang onto situations and dwell on them, you will not heal either. You are responsible for your journey in this world and not for the road others choose to take.

Now it is time to pat yourself on the back for the excellent job you have done the healing. Move on and continue to grow from past pain and the pain others try to transfer to you.

No one is better than another. No one has the right to treat you wrong, but there will always be those who feel the need to do so because these type of people can not face their life unless they do.

The types of people I came across this past month are in all professions. If you have a story to share, we would love to hear it. 

Please leave all questions and comments in the comment section below. Do you have some ideas on coping mechanisms I may have missed?

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8 thoughts on “How To Respond To Intimidation?”

  1. I love this article. It is hard to know how to respond to intimidation in some cases. I do agree that often, it’s best to let go of some situations from the past to be able to move forward truly. It’s true that if you have a more clear view as to why someone is acting in an intimidating way towards you, it is easier to deal with it. 

    Reply
    • Yes, it is more comfortable at times when we know why someone is acting irrationally towards us. But it doesn’t make it easier for us to handle it maturely. I do hope these suggestions help. 

      Reply
  2. Being a caregiver is so rewarding, but also I see with astonishment how so many caregivers are so annoying. They seem not to understand the privilege they have in their hands. Being able to help others in need could be compared to planting a seed. Whatsoever we sow, that we shall also reap.

    Reply
    • It is definitely a privilege to help others. But the ones who take advantage of it are far less than the ones who cherish their gift. You are so right when you say, “Whatsoever we sow, that we shall also reap.”

      Reply
  3. I loved this article about how to respond to intimidation; it was so empowering and soothing.  Nothing is more infuriating than a person acting like a pompous ass who is mean and disrespectful. It just gets under your skin and can ruin your whole day. 

    I loved your thoughts about the matter, and it is true. Usually, people who treat other people this way are hurting inside. 

    I try to believe they have had a bad day and overlook their behavior. I will give them the benefit of the doubt and let them and their comments pass. I try not to lets their actions affect my mood or my peace. 

    Mean people that are in your life regularly are more challenging to deal with, and I LOVED your tips for handling it. Thanks again for the insight. 

    Reply
    • Every situation is different, but I do hope these tips help when you find a need to use them. Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again. 

      Reply
  4. Your situation is so sad to hear. Those that should be caring and loving as medical caregivers are the first ones to be disrespectful. I can relate to your experience with this doctor. On occasion, being with all my family, I had a similar experience with a very annoying fellow.

    Reply
    • It can happen at any time. The good thing is that most caregivers are kind and caring. It is the few who make everyone look bad. 

      Reply

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