Challenging Aggressive People In A Working Environment or Not

Challenging Aggressive People In A Working Environment or Not

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The other day I had to work on a project where for the most part everything seemed great. Then there was a time where I was needed as a person who was given the responsibility to instruct us on what to do started giving instructions. Noe she messed up it seems as she mixed up my name with another person. So when she instructed me on what needed to be done I knew there was an error as the role she was describing wasn’t my responsibility.

I think I knew why she mixed up the names because I ended up switching roles with another person due to a last minute change and she was probably reading off a sheet that had the original plans before. So, I just mentioned what I was supposed to do and described the reasoning why I think she had it wrong. This was the crazy part afterwards. She then started to talk to me in a condescending way where instead of acknowledging she made an error she changed the topic to aggressively asking me if I knew what my job was. For example, imagine a person impolitely saying “You need to do this. Understand?” kind of attitude.

I have actually seen this type of behavior many times and from my observation it comes down to the person not wanting to feel like a fool per se for making an error. It’s almost the equivalent to someone slipping and instead of just acknowledging it as a simple accident they then get aggressive with anyone that saw it claiming it was their fault they slipped as an example. Or worst, completely changing the topic to then try and harass someone else.

Makes you wonder, would you do anything in this? A big part of me wanted to oust this person for being so unprofessional. There were even people who witnessed this and couldn’t believe what they were seeing. But then the other part of me was saying how it would probably hold up the production due to this incident if I escalated it and so based on that alone I decided to let her get away with it. What would you so in these situations? I guess the lingering thought is who knows how many other people she does this too which can’t be good.

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