Deal with intimidating people

Does someone you know bring out these feelings in you?

The purpose of this "persecution" tactic is to weaken your group’s ability or desire to act. REFUSE TO DEAL WITH LEADERSTreating leaders of your group as nuts, or trivializing them as a bunch of “ufo crazies” or “extremists.” This is designed to reveal weakness in your leaders and to isolate them from the other members of your group. ISOLATE THE GROUPGetting public officials, community leaders, or opinion makers (newspaper editors, for example) to criticize the group’s actions, make false accusations or paint its leaders as crazy radicals.They might be used to getting their way and have strong personalities, she said.“[T]hey may not see that their behavior creates emotional distancing in their relationships — unless someone speaks up.”So how do you speak up? According to Farris, let the person “talk — but not dominate — the conversation, and validate what you hear.” For instance, you might say: “I can see how you feel that way,” or “What I hear you saying is …” If they feel heard, they might relax a bit, she said.In the previous piece about being assertive with people who intimidate you, we talked about clarifying your values, starting small and shifting your thinking about the intimidating person.That is, we can change our perception of the person, so we no longer feel intimidated by them. Today, we’re talking about other tools you can use.

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