ONe WAy to Deal With Yelling and Screaming

One way to deal with yelling and screaming

Recently my wife was in the hospital for some surgery. On the second day there we got to talking to one of the patient care technicians and she told us a story about an abusive patient who had recently yelled and screamed at her. The fact that the patient was abusive was regrettable, but what was fascinating was her way of dealing with it.

Rather then yelling back or getting defensive she made something like the following statement. “ I was having a good day before I came in here to help you and I intend to continue to have a good day after I leave. So I am going to leave now and when you can decide to talk to me like a human being then call me and I will return.” (by the way that is what the patient eventually did with an apology)

We will all experience abusive people in our lives - parents, siblings, spouses, bosses, patients, etc. The key is how we decide to deal with them. Do their attempts to send an I’m okay and you’re not message hook us into doing something that we will later regret, or do we have a way of dealing with it like this nursing tech.

I have no doubt that this was not the first time she had to say something like that and regrettably it will likely not be the last, but hats off to her way of responding. It was Adult, not accusatory, and self-protective. I don’t think you could ask for much more in such a situation.

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