We offer training on verbal aikido, accelerated learning, expert
modeling and non-verbal communication. We teach our Verbal
Verbal Self Defense
Perhaps you react to difficult people or verbal abuse like a
warrior, when you feel strong enough to stand and fight. Or maybe
you immediately become passive, like a beaten dog. Your reactions
may depend on your perception of the power difference between the
abuser and you. Fight or flight.
Verbal self-defense is about your attitude and your relationship
skills. If you can stay emotionally mature and remember that many
attacks are pleas for help, you to tolerate or even
enjoy responding to difficult people, with compassion and
without sympathy, in ways that fit your sense of life.
. Difficult Employees
. Hiring, Firing & Inspiring
Sooner or later, probably sooner, you will
experience some of the following:
- Direct attacks
- Deception and bluff
- Confusing communication
- Verbal and nonverbal objections
- Victim games: blame, excuses, justifications
Whether or not a person is being deliberately difficult is not
as important as how you deal with it. When it happens, you won't
have enough time to find this page. Instead, we can coach you
develop mental and emotional reflexes to have the resources that
you need - before you need them.
. Client Abuse
. Abusive Relationships
If you hear something that you dislike; you may assume that
the communication is false, or not worth listening to, and stop listening.
If the communication might be important, listen carefully anyway,
until you understand what's being communicated, and why. This is especially
true when children talk.
Your confusion may be honest and spontaneous - and your confusion may
be the goal of a subtle attack (this is common in interviews and
interrogation). Confused people may respond childishly. Explore what
exactly is being asked and try to recognize if the communication
was deliberately confusing.
Examples of confusing communication include:
- Someone says "Yes" and signals
"No"; or vice versa
- Someone says "Yes, but ..." to
your ideas or suggestions
- Someone gives you false, inadequate or too much
Confusing communication may especially occur if:
- Someone has a hidden agenda
- Someone blames you for being difficult
- Someone imagines that you are someone else
Our Verbal Aikido workshops and systemic coach training offer you
many ways to clarify confusion. We can help you stay resourceful in
Some people will directly lie to you about important issues.
Your child didn't eat the chocolate. Your partner wasn't at
a party last night. This car only had one owner. The house is
not in a flood zone. Your government will tax other people for
your benefit ...
- Someone deliberately misleads you
- Someone withholds important information
- Someone pretends to know more than they know
One possibility is to tell your simple truth and
ask for clarity:
- "Based on what you have told me ... "
- "If that is true ... what else are you implying?"
- "How can I check that you are telling the truth?"
You have many other choices that we cover in our training.
This may be important whenever you want a
decision. You ask your partner to go with you to the opera, and your
partner says "No", or perhaps worse, says "Yes,
dear" while coughing and rolling the eyes.
- Someone verbally objects to your statement or
- Someone non-verbally objects to your
statement or idea
Our coach training provides the skills for coaches, counselors and
therapists to assist difficult clients by dissolving objections within
In older times, a leper had to carry a bell to warn others of his
or her approach. Although leprosy is now controlled by medication,
another disease has its warning bells. Immature people who wish to
avoid responsibility use four time-tested bells: Blame,
Excuses, Justifications and Complaints.
Many people who play these destructive victim
games are entangled or codependent with their parents,
partners or children. One way to find truth is to ask for details: "You
say that you are late because you had a puncture? Which wheel was
it? Did you change it yourself or did you go to a garage? Which garage?"
. End Codependence .
Direct Verbal Attack
- Someone criticizes you overtly or covertly
- Someone attacks your behavior, beliefs or values
- Someone undermines your identity or sense of self
Assume that criticism is a poorly stated wish for your benefit,
regardless of evidence to the contrary. Make space for your attackers to
defend you! Assume that criticism supports hidden agendas.
(In our talks and classes, many would-be
critics end up telling other people how effective we are).
Assume that an attacker gets some benefit out of attacking you and,
if it seems worthwhile to you, uncover those benefits. These useful or
even essential skills for team leaders, human resources professionals and
managers. These skills are part of our
systemic coach training.
Chronic Verbal Attackers
If you pause and notice what's going on, you can
better use your resources. You may not like the attacker nor enjoy
the attack, but you may find much better choices than fighting
- They may be entangled with other people
- They may know no other way to communicate
- They may abuse or criticize themselves MUCH worse than you
Difficult people are often living out their parents' conflicts. Knowing this,
you can sculpt your communication style.
Parry the Attack
You always have choice. Some sad choices include:
- Retaliate - "How DARE you say
that to me!"
- Ignore - "I will pretend that
you didn't say that"
- Plead - "You
KNOW I don't have time to discuss that now!"
- Retreat - "You are right -
I am an idiot - have mercy on me!"
These reward attackers with your resourceless
reactions, and may encourage attackers to abuse you again. Other choices can show your attacker that you are mature, adult and
resourceful. You can motivate them to communicate resourcefully, or to take their foolishness elsewhere.
Our verbal aikido offers a vast array of skills for
difficult situations - if you are not obsessed to teach strangers
your version of politeness. Our training offers you many ways to
stay resourceful while responding to important difficult people
in ways that fit with your goals and the relationship type.
Note: using verbal aikido in intimate
relationships can damage intimacy.
Interrogation & Hostile Interviews
This refers to heavy verbal attacks, including hostile interviews,
attempts to punish you or cult-like behavior. Your defense against
may include silence, getting professional legal representation or
Contact us to change your habitual reactions
to verbal attacks
Counseling & Soulwork Training
I thought you were just
another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.
Plagiarism is theft. Copyright ©
by Martyn Carruthers. All rights reserved.