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Keys to manage the irrational behavior of others

Keys to manage the irrational behavior of others

October 21, 2020

Normally, when we want to change the annoying behavior of others we use punishment (hostility, bad forms ...), but you should know that this is not the best way to get others to change.

Recently It has been shown that reward or reinforce the desired behaviors is much more effective than punishing the ones we want to eliminate . That is why it is convenient that we show ourselves happy and praise the other person every time that person behaves in a desired way (or even when he approaches it).

How to manage the irrational behavior of others?

But it is not enough to praise the other when the other approaches or reaches the desired behavior, and It is necessary that we also use another technique combined with this . This technique is extinction, which consists in not responding or paying attention to the irrational behavior of the other person. Therefore, to try to reduce or increase any behavior it is necessary to intercalate the reinforcement of desired behaviors and the use of the extinction with the undesirable behaviors of the other.


It may be effective that we selectively attend or ignore what the other communicates to us: for example, not giving any response (not even non-verbal) to its unpleasant or offensive unjust manifestations, and respond with interest and kindness only to its reasonable expressions or constructive

1. Disarming technique

When we interact with someone irrational it is sometimes necessary to show an empathic attitude, for this we will follow some steps:

First step : Stop the tendency to get angry yourself too: In those moments you must take care of what you say to yourself. Think that although the other is very irrational, you have the right to say some nonsense like the one you just said. And that does not force you to alter yourself too, but you can choose what you think and what you do ... (if necessary count to a thousand to have a good disposition of dialogue).


Second step : Try to understand his point of view: Let him speak, listen to him and explain his point of view if he wishes. If you do not understand the content of what you say, keep asking questions but ask them empathically asking for details and asking if you have understood correctly. Asking questions and asking for details helps to avoid making the mistake of "guessing what the other thinks" with the consequent risk of making mistakes.

Third step : Show yourself in agreement as much as possible: To calm a person who is very upset, we should show ourselves in agreement with her as much as possible: in everything, in part, in her right to see things like that, or in what is logical that she is irritated, given your perception of things.

Fourth step : When calm, explain your point of view and try to find solutions to problems. To be able to think about things to solve the created problem, you have to be relaxed, then it is time to expose things as you see them (without showing empathy with your opinions and feelings), and when there is a real problem, you can help and look for solutions to minimize the likelihood that this behavior will recur in the future.


2. Ignore your anger

If you see the other person very angry and verbally aggressive with us It is good to say that "we will only talk to him / her when he / she calms down (or we calm down)” . If the other person does not pay attention, we use the striped record, repeating it as many times as necessary, with this we avoid entering into a chain of aggressiveness and violence, on the part of both.

3. Downtime

Is about tell the other "we'll talk later, when you're (or let's be) more calm " (with tone of voice and serene and firm body language) and go to another place, until your anger or that of the other person passes and you can talk quietly.

4. Separate the issues that create confusion

When our interlocutor tries to defend an irrational or manipulative attitude by intermingling issues that do not come to mind and that can confuse us, it's useful to tell him that we do not want to intermingle things . For example, if they ask us to do a job that we do not want to do and they mix that request with the fact that we are not good friends, we can say that one thing is our friendship, that we can appreciate in many ways, and another is the fact that Let's do the job he asks us to do.

5. Write what you want to say

This form has the following advantages:

  • We can order the arguments , review them and that they are clearly expressed and highlight the ideas that you consider most important, without the other person being able to interrupt us.
  • The probability of ambiguities appearing is reduced and misunderstandings (typical of non-verbal language).
  • It helps us avoid tense situations , when we believe that the other person will react badly at first, but then reflect and attend to reasons.

This type of writing must have a positive tone, take into account the other person, be clear, and not too extensive.

6. Defend you firmly if necessary

Being assertive also means that we have to defend ourselves firmly from people who can harm us . This can involve moving away from them or putting limits to demand that our rights are respected.

To be firm without being aggressive you must follow the maxim of defending yourself using "steel gloves and silk cuffs", that is, to defend yourself firmly from them, but without altering ourselves more than convenient, without losing the forms and without showing more roughness of the that is necessary to achieve our objectives.

All these examples must follow the following maxim: "Nobody will respect my rights if I do not do it myself"


Anger Management Techniques (October 2020).


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