Working with Aggressive People
4.2 (147 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,709 students enrolled

Working with Aggressive People

Manage with success verbal assailants, dirty diggers, hotheads, knowledge wardens, unresponsive aggressors and wafflers
4.2 (147 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,709 students enrolled
Created by Sorin Dumitrascu
Last updated 9/2019
Current price: $121.99 Original price: $174.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 article
  • 37 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • After completing this course, you will be able to work with hostile-aggressive people: verbal assailants, dirty diggers and hotheads.
  • After completing this topic, you will be able to work with passive-aggressive people: knowledge wardens, unresponsive aggressors and wafflers.
  • Just enjoy the course. Nothing else is required.

If you feel frustrated by the interactions with your co-workers or people outside your work, and you feel that you cannot fight daily aggressions, don't despair. Hostile and passive aggressors can be defeated.

This course teaches you how to handle with success:

  1. verbal assailants,
  2. dirty diggers,
  3. hotheads,
  4. knowledge wardens,
  5. unresponsive aggressors, and
  6. wafflers

both in the workplace and in your life.

We are going to analyze together 6 types of aggressors to understand their characteristics and strategies to deal with aggressors. For each type we are going to practice coping and response strategies.

The course includes video lectures, case studies, written materials and quizzes, and teaches you, in no more than 2 hours, 17 strategies to deal with the openly hostile and the sneaky passive aggressors.

So, if you are looking to improve your working environment and your life by managing aggressors, this course is for you.

Who this course is for:
  • This course is for business and public relations professionals, managers and executives, but mainly for services and front-line workers.
Course content
Expand all 22 lectures 01:42:06
+ Introduction
3 lectures 07:04

This course details the characteristics of the six most common types of aggressive people and provides effective ways you can cope with their behaviors.

Preview 02:08

Aggressive behavior in the workplace is difficult for supervisors and co-workers to deal with calmly and rationally. An effective approach is to understand the types of behavior you can expect to encounter, as well as ways to cope with each type of aggressive co-worker.

In this course, you'll learn traits of the three types of hostile-aggressive people and the three types of passive- aggressive people. You'll also explore ways to deal with these types of aggressive co-workers and supervisors on the job.

Preview 03:05

Guidelines on using Udemy's options for a better learning experience

Preview 01:51

Understand course objective, content and structure.

2 questions
+ Active Aggressors
8 lectures 51:13

Responding to aggressors. Use this job aid to assess how well you cope with hostile or passive-aggressive people in the workplace. How effective are your coping skills in these situations? Rate yourself using the scale 1=never, 2=seldom, 3=sometimes, 4=frequently, 5=always. Compare your score to the rating key that follows.

Coping Skills Assessments
1 page

Verbal assailants want to get you emotionally involved in the no-win situations they set up. Then they feel superior to you when their verbal attacks succeed.

If you get hooked and try to play their game by their rules, you'll always lose. That's because verbal assailants create the game and its rules to their advantage.

Preview 07:02

Verbal assailants exist in practically every work environment. These are individuals with low self-esteem who use derision, patronizing attitudes, or judgmental behavior to knock down others while they build themselves up. If they can, they will draw you emotionally into their no-win situations.

To avoid these no-win situations, and to create a more positive work environment, you can use three effective strategies to handle verbal assailants in the workplace.

Manage Verbal Assailants

Hostile-aggressive dirty diggers can be found in just about every workplace, and they are difficult to be around. At their best or at their worst – depending on your view – they can offend just about everyone.

Their insensitive behavior seems to come naturally to them. Any contact you have with a dirty digger will most likely be unpleasant.

Dirty Diggers

If there is a dirty digger in your workplace displaying hostile-aggressive behavior, you can use a number of strategies to cope with this individual.

Typically, dirty diggers are insecure individuals who use jokes, sarcasm, and offensive, insensitive, or disrespectful behavior when dealing with others.

To properly handle confrontations with dirty diggers, you should keep a number of points in mind, including the following:

Handling Dirty Diggers

Do you like to be talked down to, yelled at, or treated like an incompetent fool? Do you enjoy a feeling of fear, never knowing when some situation is going to blow up in your face? If you're like most people, you answered "No" to both questions.

But you may have to work with someone who treats you and co-workers this poorly – someone who is condescending, domineering, and easily enraged. People who display these hostile-aggressive characteristics are known as "hotheads." It's in your best interest to be able to identify traits of a hothead.


Hotheads exist in just about every work environment. These hostile-aggressive individuals can be condescending, domineering, irascible, and disruptive, and can have a negative effect on your workplace or team. Your goal is to cope with the hothead when you encounter him in the workplace.

You may even gain the hothead's respect if you deal with him appropriately. At a minimum, you'll maintain your self-respect. Three strategies, each of which are explained here, can help you defuse explosive situations with the hothead by dealing with him appropriately.

Dealing with the Hotheads

Brief description of the benefits drawn from applying the techniques presented in this course

Benefits of Coping Strategies
1 page

Learn how work with hostile-aggressive people: verbal assailants, dirty diggers and hotheads.

Active Aggressors
4 questions
+ Passive Aggressors
7 lectures 39:21

Some of the values of knowing how to cope with passive-aggressive people in the workplace are that you are going to:

  • feel in control of your work environment
  • maintain your professional integrity
  • deflect the behavior of your assailant.
Recognizing Passive Aggressors

Knowledge wardens exhibit a classic passive-aggressive type of behavior. You've heard the saying "Knowledge is power." Knowledge wardens have embraced that saying wholeheartedly.

They desire both power and control as a means to gain acknowledgment of their status or position. In their minds, if they have control and hold power, then others will have to acknowledge them as having great worth.

Knowledge Wardens

People can get frustrated and angry when information or materials they need are withheld from them. When this happens at work, your question becomes how to cope with the person withholding the information – a person known as a knowledge warden.

Your goal is to get the information you need to do your job effectively, no matter who is the keeper of that information.

Working with Knowledge Wardens

Talking to someone who never responds to you can be frustrating. Unfortunately, this is probably a common experience for you if there is an unresponsive aggressor in your workplace.

The unresponsive aggressor is someone who fails to give a reasonable response – typical passive-aggressor behavior for this type of person. Before you can cope effectively with the unresponsive aggressor, you must be able to recognize this person in your workplace.

Unresponsive Aggressors

Unresponsive aggressors are present in most workplaces. These are individuals who fail to give responses to even your direct queries, which is typical of their passive-aggressive behavior.

They use avoidance and silence to manipulate others and to protect their own dignity and integrity. Since unresponsive aggressors can be disruptive to your workplace, you need to identify and cope with them effectively.

Coping with Unresponsive Aggressors

The waffler will support the strongest person in the room or go with the majority, the second waffler characteristic. If you observe her in a meeting, the waffler will wait to voice an opinion until the majority emerges.

She will vote with the majority. If the opinion shifts direction, you can be assured that the waffler's opinion will shift with it. It's amazing how fast a waffler can alter his support for someone or something.


Individuals known as wafflers exist in just about every work environment. These passive-aggressive individuals want to be liked, so they try to please everyone.

But instead, they aggravate everyone around them with their indecision. In addition, wafflers tend to avoid confrontation, have a habit of agreeing with everyone, usually side with the majority, and have an inordinate need for approval.

This type of behavior can cause frustration to build in the workplace, and result in a negative attitude throughout the work environment.

Dealing with Wafflers

Learn how to work with with passive-aggressive people: knowledge wardens, unresponsive aggressors and wafflers.

Passive Aggressors
5 questions
+ Next Steps
4 lectures 01:28

A brief list of strategies to use when dealing with aggressive people.

Strategies Brief
1 page

Course wrap-up and conclusions. Thank you for your interest!

Working with Aggressive People

Learning reinforcement and further course development

Next Steps
1 question

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Preview 00:05