As a pup, you will be in a situation where you will have people talk to you sometimes as if you were an animal. A kind pat, speaking in a loving tone of voice as you receive affection, makes being treated like animal a pleasure. Yet the reality is there are people who are cruel to animals. Their sadism should be immediately obvious, and you can leave and avoid those people wherever possible.
What is harder to avoid is bullying from people you might trust. Expecting to protect yourself from obvious sadists, you don’t necessarily guard yourself against aggression from loved ones or those you might normally think better of pup. It is vital then that you can identify early on those who seek to bully and abuse you. These people may not be classified as cruel sadists, and they may not even be aware of their aggression or consider themselves bullies. People can for all sorts of reasons become hostile and aggressive, and as it is explained elsewhere it helps to understand what aggression actually is. You can use the techniques discussed elsewhere to help yourself talk with these people, and hopefully find a way forward where you are both okay. Violent acts of aggression are fairly unmistakeable, so what is being described in this article is the more subtle yet equally bullying form of aggression – speech.
What Is Aggressive Speech?
There’s basically two types of aggression you want to look out for pup – direct aggression and passive aggression.
Direct aggressive speaking sounds hard, hostile, and often comes across as controlling or dominating. It has no subtlety. A directly aggressive person will do one or more of these things:
- they will raise their voice, getting louder as they try to scare you. The aggressive speaker often has threatening body language as well, from finger pointing to clenched fists, to looming over you.
- they order you to do what they say, demand you listen to them, follow their instructions, and resort to insulting you when you don’t comply as they want.
- they argue with you like it’s a battle to be won. Their way to “win” is to talk over you, attack you verbally, and not listen.
The directly aggressive speaker is obvious when you experience it pup.
Just as damaging to you pup is the passive aggressive speaker. Like the other side of a hurtful coin, this person seems subtle in their expression of aggression, but their actions – in some cases inactions – are deliberate and meant to bully and coerce you. Passive aggression is not as obvious as direct aggression, but you can recognise it from signs:
- they are sarcastic and make digs at you, often pretending that it was just a misunderstanding if you confront them. The effect is to put you down, to lower your feeling of self worth and value. Sarcasm conceals their demeaning you, and the non verbal rolling the eyes, sighing in disgust, or looking disdainfully at you can have the same effect as cruel bitchiness.
- everybody hears about a problem they have with you, except you. A passive aggressive person doesn’t directly deal with the source of their problems, but instead bitches and complains about you behind your back.
- they hold back from helping you when they could, only to criticise you afterwards. Part of their way of bullying you is to let you fail at something then second guess you afterwards.
- they pretend to agree with you, but have no sincerity in it, and don’t follow through when you might expect support.
- the passive aggressive keeps score, and often has conditions and limits on everything you do. They assume they are a victim, and their memories are full of wrongs done to them with little forgiveness. You will soon enough be someone who has wronged them in their eyes.
You can’t instantly change a persons aggression, direct or not, but you can recognise it for what it is. If you allow aggressive speaking to continue towards yourself pup, you can end up in unhealthy relationships with masters or pups, where you are bullied and abused emotionally with never a fist raised. Words do hurt over time, they damage you self esteem and confidence. This is why aggressive speech is dangerous to you. Recognise it when it is happening, so you can use strategies to deal with it, or avoid the person all together.