How to Respond to a Verbal Assault without Losing Your Cool


Two Angry Men

“Often those that criticize others reveal what he himself lacks.” ~Shannon L. Adler

 I answer the phone.

And then the yelling starts. The woman on the other end lets fly a barrage of abuse.

She’s angry and upset and she’s taking it out on me. Because I haven’t sent her a text message for two days.

She wants to know why I haven’t responded and what is wrong with me. She wants to know how I can be so mean.

I don’t understand. I thought I was giving her space during a difficult time. I was also dealing with events in my own life.

I’ve known her for five years, during which time she’s shown herself to be a powerful ally, a fierce supporter, and a generous friend.

But her power has a flip side, as she’s also difficult and draining.

Forceful and forthright, she’s an expert in getting people to do her bidding.

This power had caused cracks in our friendship some time ago, and recently those cracks had become chasms.

I knew she had a string of broken friendships that had erupted dramatically when she perceived a slight.

And now it was my turn because I didn’t respond to her SMS.

Normally I hate conflict. I turn to jelly, stutter and stumble over my words, and feel guilty as all hell. I take on mo…

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