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“You stupid *%~#&^<!!! 


     What the hell’s the matter with you?  Can’t you do anything right?  I gave you this paperwork to get done a week ago!  Your brother’s just like you, the lazy #$%^.  This– PLUS you being late everyday– is gonna cost someone a job here, and it ain’t gonna be me!  I should just punch your face in!”    

     “Oh, yeah!  Well, I got news for you, @&&#%>*!  I got more brains under my fingernail than you’ve got in your whole body!  Just who do you think you are anyway?”

     “I’ll show you who I am, >%$#*~~!”


     Fists fly.  Blood spurts.  Injuries.  Police.  Ambulance.  Jeeze, and it started out to be such a nice day!



     Let’s look at a better response (instead of reacting!):  first, take a deep breath; second, paraphrase in your own words what you think you heard and then separate and sort out the issues and pieces.  (People who are upset will bunch together a whole string of complaints and throw them all out at once in a verbal bombardment.) 

     Try instead:

     “Whoa!  If I understand you correctly, you are feeling upset about a number of things, including past-due paperwork, my brother’s laziness, me being constantly late, and concerns about job security?  You may be right.  But if you’ll just give me a chance to explain my side of it, you may find a better solution than punching me or having me fired.  Will that be okay, to talk these points with you?  You can always swing away later if you don’t like what I have to say.  Fair enough? [If you don’t get a go-ahead, restate it all over again, slowly and calmly and sincerely; look him in the face, but don’t scowl or glare!]

     “I have to confess that I misplaced the paperwork last week when you asked me to drop what I was doing to help you with that last-minute shipment.  I was so tired after that, that when I got home, I just forgot about the papers.  I’m sorry.  I’ll do them immediately. 

     “I can’t help that my brother gives you the impression he’s lazy, and I can’t speak for him, but I think if you’re not pleased with his effort, he needs to hear that from you directly.  

     “I am late everyday because months ago, you asked me to stop at the post office box on the way in.  I can come in here first and then go back out if you like; whatever you want. 

     “I don’t want to put either of our jobs in jeopardy, and I will do whatever you ask to make sure there’s no chance of that.  

     In other words, use deep breathing to control your emotions, speak calmly, rationally and be as accommodating as possible without sounding patronizing.  To “pull the fuse out” of the explosives, be persistently “adult” and objective and unemotional in your responses. 

     Take each complaint one at a time and offer a solution (or ask for clarification if the points are muddy).  Maybe, you’ll still get punched in the face, but probably not as hard as it might have been with the initial threat!  And, hey!  You might work your way out of the mess and even end up on good terms.       halalpiar 

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