Slap strokes under the belt line: The best techniques against malicious attacks


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Text comes from: Schlagfertigkeit (2015) by Dr. Matthias Nöllke, published by Haufe Verlag, Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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What to do if you want to get ready? We will show you how you can defend and parry in different degrees of hardness.

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Dr. Matthias Nöllke Matthias NöllkeDr. Matthias Nöllke is SPIEGEL-Bestselling author and works for Bayrischer Rundfunk.

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Embrace technique

In boxing, it is considered foul behavior to embrace his opponent. Because who is hugged, can not strike anymore. And in a boxing match, the fists are supposed to fly. Unlike on the subject of repartee: Here, the verbal embrace is not only allowed, but often an excellent means to counter nasty attacks. This is especially true when the argument takes place in front of an audience, so listen to the colleagues or even random witnesses.

At first glance, embrace technology does not seem particularly impressive. Yes, it seems like you are surrendering to the attacker. But you do not. On the contrary, you steer clear of the situation - and make the other look rather bad. You want to do something like that, because you are acting against the logic of the situation: your opponent attacks you, makes an angry, possibly even an offense. As a man ready to strike, one has to defend oneself and fight back. You do not have to.

Stunning effect

It is astounding what effect you can achieve by surprisingly complimenting your drooling counterpart. This is not easy, because there must be no doubt that your appreciative words are serious. An ironic, or even malicious, undertone undermines the effect of your “hug”.

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But how can you pay a sincere compliment to someone who is throwing you rubbish? This is precisely the art of “hugging technology”, which works amazingly well. Now you shouldn't start a charm offensive that nobody will take away from you anyway. A small, not entirely unbelievable compliment is enough to really upset the situation.

Example: The king of the demimonde

A somewhat aged half-world size appeared in a daily talk show: a skinny gentleman with blond-colored hair and thick rings. The audience attacked him with malicious comments. A young woman in particular got excited. He was a "joke figure" and the like. But the skinny blonde reacted prudently: He thinks it is a shame that she says something about him. Because he would have the impression that she was "actually quite nice".

This is not exactly like the magical liberation blow. Yet this little remark had a colossal effect. The insults stopped immediately. Although criticism was still practiced, the attacks were no longer directed against his person. Judging by the fact that almost everyone in the audience was against him, he came out unexpectedly well. And this is already noticeable in an environment in which the riot is heated rather than stopped.

A small compliment

It certainly costs a little overcoming, but in a heated situation, a small compliment can truly work miracles. It does not have to be particularly accurate (as our example shows). It is much more important that you do not get caught up in the excitement in such a situation, but remain absolutely calm, sovereign and nice.

You should not get the impression that you are right or submit to the attacker. The rule applies: insults are not discussed. Rather, you can express your regret that your interlocutor remains “not factual”: “I would otherwise appreciate you as a clever interlocutor and would like to have a chat with you about how to tackle the problem.”

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Tip:

The hugging technique can do astonishing things. But you should only use it sparingly. Because it loses its effect as soon as the others have the impression: This is your “trick” to take the uncomfortable attacks at the top.

Do not let yourself be wrapped

As an outsider, you are sometimes amazed at how well this technique works. Someone attacks another, criticizes hard, and as soon as he counters with a compliment, the critic becomes tame. There is actually a certain danger in this if you yourself are in the role of the critic. When you confront your manager or a colleague and he pulls himself out of the affair. It means staying hard. You will find that it is not that easy. Sometimes it just helps to address the maneuver in question. Just like journalist Günter Gaus in conversation with politician Kurt Biedenkopf. When asked critically, he initially praised him, whereupon Gaus remarked without a smile: "I am not to be bribed by compliments either."

The good-mood switch

In connection with the verbal hugs is also a technique that is more suitable for grumpy remarks and which we want to call the "good mood switch". The point is that your sovereignty Preserve by not being infected by the bad mood of your opponent, but demonstratively with a good mood against it.

If you make a fuss, do not bounce back, but respond cheerfully or with kindness. The basic idea: you are not infected by the bad mood of your opponent. If he's going to kill her alone, you'll stay relaxed and relaxed. This is why you remain sovereign.

Example: “With the greatest pleasure”

On the plane, Ms. Dettmer folds her backrest back. A voice growls from behind: "If you raise your back a little, I can still sit!" Ms. Dettmer stops short and laughingly explains: "But for you with the greatest pleasure."

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Before you give your answer an ironic tip (“I like to do something for such nice people…”), remember: Without a tip, you can get out of the situation better and do not have to listen to other grumpy comments.

However, if you are personally belittled or even scorned, flipping the “good mood switch” is not enough. Then you should fight back harder. Because the good mood switch is a soft technique with which you can counter unpleasantness and gruff comments with ease.


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  1. Eva Zil

    Paring blows below the belt: The best techniques against malicious attacks by Dr. Matthias ... - Highly recommended oQZAumfqgs #HR #hrblogs

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