The Hostile Aggressive person is one of the personality types of Difficult People. Understanding what makes them aggressive and developing coping strategies is very helpful. There is no easy solution but sometimes with care a display of violence is avoided.
This person is the bully who always needs to be right. They demean people who do not have control over them. They are often abusive, accusatory, and intimidating. They are very prone to tantrums and threats.
Frustration often triggers hostile-aggressive behavior. They can feel frustration from other or themselves.
They handle this frustration through physical and/or verbal aggression or vandalism. This behavior usually gains the person negative attention. This feeds the hostility and will lead to the next part of the cycle: defensiveness. This defensive attitude often will provoke you to aggressive behavior. This will continue until you or an authority figure ‘lays down the law’, which will temporary defuse the situation.
The result is that you are left with a feeling of failure, confusion and negative feelings towards the aggressive. Next time you interact with this person it is likely that you will respond angrily.
Both you and the aggressor are left with are left with a feeling of low-self esteem.
- Stand up the person by being assertive, but calm, by asserting your opinion. Try not to allow a fight to escalate because you will not win.
- Do something unpredictable to get their attention such as: standing up and calling them by name, drop a book, ask them to sit down and don’t sit down until they do.
Why Do Hostile-Aggressive People Act Out?
- They model behavior they have observed from parents, authority figures, peers and the media.
- Threats from supervisors, teachers, and other authority figures as well as violence among peers and the media cause mimicked behavior.
- Reinforcement of behavior occurs when peers take sides, this leads to increased hostile-aggressive behavior.
- They lack the social skills needed to deal with stressful situations. Instead of acting in an assertive manner they act out aggressively.
- The hostile person acts out of anger, reflecting a poor self-image.
- They feel like failures because they are unable to give and receive love.
- Low Self-Esteem: The hostile-aggressive person acts out reflecting a poor self-image and a feeling of failure.
- Their behavior leads to rejection by peers and family. This causes their self-esteem to plummet.
In summary most hostile people have had behavior problems starting at a very young age. They know of no method to respond to stress other than acting out. These people are very difficult to deal with, but staying calm is key to any successful interaction with them. Also understanding they are responding in the only way they know is helpful to you when dealing with them.