Compliments of

Compliments of alvaro tapia hidalgo via Flickr

In the Thomas-Kilmann five pronged conflict taxonomy, accommodation is considered the most cooperative, albeit the least assertive option. Briefly, this behavior entails subverting one’s own desires, and agreeing with the opposing party (even if it’s not in your best interests) in an effort to keep the peace. Accommodators are typically trampled – individuals who are walked on by the more aggressive in life.

When faced with someone else’s explosive outburst, accommodation may be a fallback position (in an attempt to avoid personal harm). Aggressors (who are assertive, but highly uncooperative) are people who think they have a right to run all over you; they are individuals who feel comfortable aggrandizing themselves at your expense. Many times, persons with decency give ground to appease this irrational force. What this amounts to is the shameless getting the stuff, with the less assertive getting the shaft. To avoid being put in a one down position, engage in the following:

  • Make people jump through some hoops before you give them your trust. If they initially come across as a person who’s out for him or herself (and/or who doesn’t care about you), things will likely get worse down the road. Inquire of others to determine their character.
  • Don’t take what people say at face value, particularly those you don’t know very well. Ask lots of questions, ask to see supporting material, and take care to protect your own interests. Bullies most certainly will not. Self-centered, thoughtless, selfish, and self-righteous, they forge ahead for themselves.
  • As difficult as it may be when facing someone out of control, stand your ground. Better yet, make sure to record the incident in case there are further questions.
  • Don’t expect that others will behave with reciprocal respect. Bullies will mow you down in the interests of serving themselves, taking no prisoners in the process.
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All viewpoints expressed by Jackie Gilbert are her own, and not of her employer.

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