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Artful Negotiation: Mastering the Game of Hostile Interactions




Let's get straight to the point! The burning question here is how can you get what you want from a hostile person by using only flat neutral tones and non hostile body language?


Dealing with a hostile person can be challenging, but the combination of non-hostile body language, flat (neutral) tones, and effective communication skills can go a long way in diffusing tension and potentially even helping you get what you want. Here's a general guideline:

  1. Stay Calm and Centered: This is important because if you remain calm, you're more likely to think clearly and respond effectively. Breathe deeply, and try to clear your mind of any negative thoughts.

  2. Use a Flat or Neutral Tone: An even, measured tone can help keep the situation calm. Avoid escalating the situation by raising your voice, showing aggression or irritation in your tone, or being sarcastic.

  3. Maintain Non-threatening Body Language: Body language is a major part of communication. Keep your posture open and relaxed, avoid crossing your arms, clenching your fists, or making any sudden movements. Maintain eye contact but avoid staring intensely, which can be perceived as aggressive.

  4. Listen Actively: Even if the person is hostile, try to hear them out. Understanding their point of view and acknowledging it can often diffuse hostility.

  5. Express Empathy: Once they've shared their perspective, express understanding and empathy. This doesn't mean you have to agree with them, just show that you understand their feelings and perspective.

  6. Assert Yourself Calmly: After listening and expressing empathy, communicate your needs or wants. Use "I" statements to express your feelings and needs without blaming or criticizing the other person. For example, instead of saying "You never listen to me," you might say, "I feel ignored when I try to discuss this matter with you."

  7. Offer Solutions or Compromises: If possible, propose a solution or compromise that meets both your needs. This shows your willingness to cooperate and work towards a resolution.

  8. Be Patient: Changing the dynamics of a conversation, especially with someone who is being hostile, can take time. It may not work immediately, but don't let that discourage you.

  9. Set Boundaries: Politely but firmly define your limits and expectations to the other person to establish a respectful conversation.

  10. Use Positive Reinforcement: Praise or acknowledge the person when they exhibit behavior that promotes positive dialogue.

  11. Avoid Confrontational Words: Words like 'must', 'should', 'need' can come off as demanding and intensify hostility.

  12. Ignore Provocations: It's often best to let any insults or jabs slide and not respond to them, as this could escalate the situation.

  13. Stay Focused: Try not to let the person distract you from the topic at hand.

  14. Repeat Your Requests: If the person tries to deflect or ignore, politely restate your needs.

  15. Use Visual Aids: If possible, use charts, graphs, or written lists to clarify your points and avoid misunderstandings.

  16. Speak Slowly: Speaking too quickly can be interpreted as being nervous or defensive.

  17. Speak Clearly: Enunciate your words to ensure they understand what you're saying.

  18. Try Not to Justify: Over-explaining or justifying your requests can give them more room to argue.

  19. Breathe: Take slow, deep breaths to remain calm and centered.

  20. Pause Before Responding: This gives you time to think and them time to absorb what you're saying.

  21. Don't Interrupt: Allow them to finish their thoughts, even if you disagree.

  22. Stay Firm but Kind: Don't allow the person to bully you into submission, but remain kind while standing your ground.

  23. Don't Take It Personally: Remember that their hostility likely has more to do with them than you.

  24. Use their Name: Using the person's name can make your communication seem more personal and respectful.

  25. Ask Open-ended Questions: This can encourage them to express their thoughts and feelings, and can help you understand their perspective better.

  26. Don't Make Assumptions: Don't assume you know what the person thinks or feels. Ask them to clarify if needed.

  27. Limit Body Contact: Touch can be misinterpreted, especially in a tense situation. Keep a respectful distance.

  28. Avoid Absolutes: Avoid using words like "always" or "never", which can increase defensiveness.

Remember, everyone is unique and reacts differently, so you may need to adjust these strategies based on the specific person and situation. And again, always prioritize your own safety; walk away from the conversation if it becomes threatening or abusive. Sometime, it's best to remove yourself if necessary.


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(c) 2023 Christopher Meyer Law Firm, PLLC All Rights Reserved The information on this video is for general information, entertainment and educational purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney client relationship Please call (281) 845-2472 if you have any questions about this disclaimer.

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