Working with Aggressive People

Manage with success verbal assailants, dirty diggers, hotheads, knowledge wardens, unresponsive aggressors and wafflers
4.7 (42 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a
course's star rating by considering a number of different factors
such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the
likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,234 students enrolled
91% off
Take This Course
  • Lectures 22
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level Intermediate Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
Wishlisted Wishlist

How taking a course works


Find online courses made by experts from around the world.


Take your courses with you and learn anywhere, anytime.


Learn and practice real-world skills and achieve your goals.

About This Course

Published 4/2015 English

Course Description

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.

What are the requirements?

  • Just enjoy the course. Nothing else is required.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • 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.

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is for business and public relations professionals, managers and executives, but mainly for services and front-line workers.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

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


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.


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

2 questions

Understand course objective, content and structure.

Section 2: Active Aggressors
1 page

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.


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.


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.


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.


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:


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.

1 page

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

4 questions

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

Section 3: Passive Aggressors

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.

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.


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.


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 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.


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.

5 questions

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

Section 4: Next Steps
1 page

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


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

1 question

Learning reinforcement and further course development


Courses at 90% Discount for student who completed this course.


More discounted courses

Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed

  • Loading
  • Loading
  • Loading

Instructor Biography

Before Udemy, Sorin developed and delivered on management, project management, computer literacy, human resources, career development, soft skills for employees and even corrections incidents management.

Currently working as a prison service consultant, he is a certified trainer and project manager, holding a master degree in International Relations and Policy Making and a bachelor degree in Law and Public Administration.

Sorin coordinated during the last 10 years projects in the areas of rule of law, regional development and human resources.

He has more than 10 years of middle/senior managerial experience within the civil service (justice, corrections, internal affairs, training), private sector (project management, consultancy, training) and NGO (industrial relations, rural development).

Sorin is also a certified International Computer Driving License (ICDL) tester and trainer for the United Nations Peacekeeping Missions, certified Human Resource Professional and a Public Manager (professional degree).

Ready to start learning?
Take This Course