Stand Up For Yourself Without Being A Jerk

What’s up everybody? This is Charlie from
Charisma on Command and today I want to help you deal with people in your life who are
being passive aggressive. You can use this from anyone, from a friend, to a co-worker,
someone that you just met at a bar or a party. One simple caveat that I’ll give you. This
will work but be careful when using this on people who have leverage over your life, for
instance, your boss. Because, as you’ll see, one of the steps in several of the steps,
is to call it out, walk away, and basically remove that person from your life; difficult
to do if it’s your boss. So we’ll have other strategies for dealing with conflicts when
it’s with superiors. But this is one that you can use in many, many situations. That said, this is an interview with Robert Downey Jr.
He’s doing a press junket for Age of Ultron, and in this interview, the interviewer, out at left field, starts asking him questions about his drug history, his relationship with his
father, stuff that is just inappropriate and directed to get a rise out of him. So, I want to start where the interview is still
copacetic, still cool, and you can watch it evolve in the first 15 seconds. And you see that look on his face? We often
have this moment where we can tell that something is coming. There is a trap about to be sprung.
Somebody’s about to unleash their passive aggressiveness on us. Robert just kind of
have to wait and take it because it’s not aggressive aggressive, and this really is
step one. What I’ll say here is look at the eye contact
to come. Robert continues to look right back at this guy, while he can hardly hold his
gaze. The important thing here is something that you can take, is that when someone is
being passive aggressive with you, oftentimes, they do not have the guts to be outright aggressive.
They’re trying to hide that. So just by looking them in the eye with this steady gaze, you
can often deter that, right? They will, many times, backtrack on what is said. Not the
case on this interview but a great step one. Hold strong, steady eye contact. Let that
person know that you know what’s going on without saying a word. And you see that? That’s just like a piercing
gaze that he has. He’s letting him know that he knows what’s going on. So, interestingly enough, and this is actually
what I recommend you do, you’ll notice that he’s answering the question at pretty much face
value, which is what you’ll often want to do when you sense that someone is being passive
aggressive. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Many times, that eye contact will deter them.
They’ll stop being passive aggressive or you just might have misinterpreted. So rather than jump down someone’s throat
right away, or constantly be creating conflict, give them, for one try, the benefit of the
doubt. Answer their question, do what they’re doing at face value. Notice this here. This is what I call a warning
shot. So he’s giving him the chance to stop going down this line. He’s explained to him
that he has no idea how to even begin answering this question, the guy persists. So right
here, you will see, he gives him a good-natured warning shot. And then, again, still back to good-natured… This is important. Oftentimes, when people
are being passive aggressive, they’re trying to box you in with some sort of question to
where your options in answering suck for you either way. What Robert Downey Jr. is doing
here, rather than just answering his question, is reframing it in terms that he can come
out of it as the way that he wants to be perceived, right? He doesn’t want to say Liberal this,
Republican this, Democrat that, that is not a path he wants to go down. So he takes the time to reframe the question
as “You know what? I was young. I don’t even know what I meant. I could guess at what I
meant; who freaking knows?” So he’s basically discounted this question
by reframing it there. We’re gonna jump ahead now, this continues. Actually, let’s let it ride
because it’s fun to watch he just fall apart. And, if you want, this is just a study in
what nervous body language looks like. This guy knows exactly what he’s doing. Watch the
jittery hands, the lack of eye contact, he’s sitting far back in his chair, he’s just like fidgeting
all the time. This is what nervousness looks like. So, clearly, he’s getting upset. He sees,
he’s given this guy the eye contact. He’s given him the benefit of the doubt. He’s even
given him a warning shot, and this guy continues, so what does he do next? He’s going to call
it out, and just listen for what comes after this. Again, this is the first time that Robert
has been anything less than good natured. He is saying in a very clear way, “You’re
obviously nervous. You know what you’re doing. I know what’s up. Get through this.” And stuttering and staring, the guy continues
to go, so right now, if you watch his chest, Robert Downey Jr. is breathing very, very
heavy. He is entering like fight or flight mode, which is common when somebody comes
at you, even if it’s not in a physical way. This is clearly a pointed attack. He is trying
to get a rise out of him. He knows what’s going on. So you see, he starts to breathe
deep, he goes into fight or flight. Some people might freak out here, but, notably, he doesn’t. And this is the most overt call-out. This is step
three for where you’ve gone through– you’ve given them the eye contact, you said you know
what’s up. You’ve given them the benefit of the doubt. You’ve done the warning shot. You’ve
overtly called out the foot or whatever it is. He, very clearly, in plain English, says,
“What is going on here?” This is appropriate if you’ve given the person so many subtle
warnings with the passive aggressiveness. “What are you doing?” is a perfectly fine
question in this situation. Maintain eye contact. See what the guy says. And that’s it. Walk away. This is the big
thing and this is why I said that it can be tricky to do when you’re with your boss or
something like this. You do not need people in your life who are going to behave like
this. You do not have to sit through and stomach any sort of passive aggressive attack on you,
even if it doesn’t feel like an attack or look like an attack on the outside. This person,
with the way that they have interacted, is trying to get a rise out of you. Do not freak
out. Do not take it. Remove yourself from the situation once you’ve called it out. And
you can look at it, he does it in a very fine, friendly, good-natured way. He doesn’t walk
away screaming, cursing at the guy. That is the way to handle this situation. And then this guy looks at him like, “What
an idiot you are,” and he is. So, hope that has been helpful. The steps, quick recap are:
If you sense someone is being passive aggressive, hold eye contact. Second, maintain the benefit
of the doubt; maybe it’s just a weird question, maybe you’re interpreting it the wrong way.
Third, give them a warning shot. It can be like, “I don’t know why we’re talking about
this, but…” and then you continue on. Fourth, call it out. You need to say, “What are we
doing here? What are you trying to do?” And then, if they don’t stop, remove yourself
from the situation. So, that’s a little way to deal with passive
aggressiveness in many situations of life. I hope that has been helpful. If it has, please
subscribe to the channel. We’ll be doing more videos like these, and of course, if you want
to get more of this that isn’t on the channel, we always make this offer at the end of our
videos. We have an hour’s worth of free Charisma Breakdown. Robert Downey happens to be included
in there. It’s part of a course that we actually sell, but you can get this bonus piece right
now, today, for free, no strings attached. Just click the link that I will have here
and sign up. I hope this has been helpful and see you soon
in the next video.