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Aggression Management: Communication Framework

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Aggression Management: Communication Framework

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Discuss about the Aggression Management for Communication Framework.

Behavioural Communication can be described as the psychological construct that has an influence in differences exhibited by individuals when expressing their thoughts, needs, or feelings. More specifically, behavioural communication refers to the tendency of people to express their thoughts, needs, and feelings through behavioural impacts or indirect messages (Ivanov & Werner, 2010).  Any behaviour or the absence of it when it is expected, may be perceived as being communicative if its intention is to convey a message. The behavioural communication construct is viewed as an individual differences variable. What this means is that some people tend to engage in behavioural communication more than others and do so unconsciously or consciously inspite of the them having the option of using verbal communication(Ivanov et al., 2010) This paper will look at aggression management; the characteristics of aggressive communicators; and strategies of handling intimidating, controlling, and aggressive peoples. The case scenario 1 is used in discussing the framework
Communication Framework
The communication framework that will be discussed in this paper is aggression management in relation to case scenario 1. This framework is appropriate as it offers strategies that the nurse can use in dealing with the aggressive relative. Ni (2014) offers some strategies that a person can utilize in handling an intimidating, controlling, and aggressive person. The strategies proposed include maintaining composure, keeping options open and maintaining one’s distance, depersonalizing and shifting from being reactive to proactive, knowing one’s fundamental human rights, putting the spotlight on the aggressor to reclaim one’s power, displaying superior composure, and setting consequences to compel the aggressor to cooperate (Ni, 2014). In this scenario however some of the negative strategies are inapplicable for example , displaying superior composure, and setting consequences to compel the aggressor to cooperate. By avoiding these negative strategies, the nurse will be able to put at bay any further confrontations and aggressive behaviour and the necessary communication will be made with regard to the young man’s health status and what the hospital staffs is doing about it.
Scenario Analysis
In the scenario, a young man is brought to the ED having sustained serious head injuries from a fall. The patient goes into a coma and is on his way to be transferred to the ICU. It is during that time that the nurse goes to inform the patient’s relatives of his health status and meets a couple who she presumes to be the siblings to the patient.  The relatives become aggressive and demand to be told why the hospital had not provided them with any information via phone about the patient’s condition. They also invade the nurse’s personal space and go ahead and poke her at the shoulder as they shout at her and talk rudely. This is a display of aggression which is described as behaviour that is harmful which is in violation of social conventions and includes deliberate intention to hurt something or someone. Aggression is sub categorized into two areas that are homogenous and which are founded on statistical analysis such as factor analysis. The two main sub types of aggression are referred to as covert and overt. Overt aggression is expressed outwardly and is the open acts of confrontation such a fighting physically, bullying, or verbal threats (Putallaz, Grimes,& Foster,et al., 2007). On the other hand, as the name suggests, covert aggression is more surreptitious and hidden and includes acts such as arson, truancy, and stealing (Simon, 2010). In this case scenario, the relatives  to the patient exhibits covert aggression as they invade the nurse’s space and pokes her on the shoulder as he talks to her.
The two sub categories of aggression can be classified further as either maladaptive or adaptive. Adaptive aggression is viewed as appropriate and occurs in the interest of protection of one’s integrity or for the survival of an individual (Mind and culture, 2011). An example of an adaptive aggression would be a child who steals food out of hunger in order to eat, or a young person who engages in fights to protect his possession from being stolen by bullies. On the contrary, aggression that is maladaptive does not defend or protect an individual rather, this form of aggression occurs where social cues antecedents are lacking and takes place in various diverse contexts(Pappadopulos, E., Rosato, N. S., Correll, et al., 2011). The frequency, intensity, and duration that the aggressive behaviour takes place are also often disproportionate to the apparent cause of the aggression(Jensen, Builtelaar, & Pandina et al., 2007). In this case scenario, the relatives are exhibiting maladaptive aggression where their reaction to the situation is not in proportion to the apparent aggression. The reaction by the relatives is not in their own defense neither does it seek to protect them, rather, they become aggressive to relay a message which they could have done with alternative verbal communication.  
Social boundaries are violated by aggressive behavior (Healthline, 2016; Buckholtz, 2015). This is exemplified in the scenario when the relatives begin to poke the nurse’s shoulder. The aggressive behavior can be secretive or obvious (Whitson,2013). The relatives make their aggression obvious by talking loudly, rudely, and invading the nurse’s personal space.  Aggression is a subject that is complex mainly because what one person perceives to be acceptable behavior in expressing frustration and anger may be contrary to  another person’s perception. The theory of frustration-aggression proposes that frustration drives aggression and infers that individuals will most likely respond with aggression to situations that hinder them from attaining their goals (Grinell, 2016). The relatives in this case scenario were frustrated at not getting what they considered sufficient information with regard to what happened to the patient, the patient’s current health status, and any other relevant information. Some of the emotional expressions of aggression include: feelings of powerlessness and frustration; impatience; anger; restlessness; hostility; anxiety or depression;  and feelings of being upset(Lakeland Behavioral Health, 2015). The relatives were hostile, impatient, angry, and frustrated and expressed these emotions by talking loudly and rudely to the nurse in addition to getting physical with her. The downside of such aggressive behavior is that it leads to severed relationships as people tend to avoid confrontations with aggressive people. The relatives of the patient were talking loudly and were heard by others; the most likely thing that will happen is that the hospital staff will avoid any contact with them in an attempt to avoid any embarrassing situations arising.
Effective Communication for Aggression management
Three strategies will be most appropriate in this case scenario and which the nurse can apply effectively. The first is to maintain her composure and not get upset at the unwarranted aggression meted on her. Aggressive people tend to push people to the edge in an attempt to hurt and anger them to react (DeWall, Baumeister, & Stillman et al., 2007).  By so doing, an aggressive person will seek to take advantage of the recipient and exploit his/her weakness( Denson, Capper, & Oaten al., 2011) .By being less reactive, the nurse will be able to use her better judgment in handling the situation. The nurse can count from 1 to 10 before giving an answer to any questions she is asked and avoid saying what she may later regret (Ni, 2014). If she does feel extremely upset, she can tell the relatives that she will get back to them with the answers they are seeking.
The second strategy will be to keep her distance as well as options open (Ni, 2014). Time is of essence to the nurse and not all aggressive situations are worth spending unnecessary time over. Unless anything valuable or informative can be added to the conversation, the nurse should not spend any time than necessary with the patent’s relatives. Keeping her distance and avoiding any form of engagement unless it is of highest priority should be the step the nurse takes. If the relatives persist in following her around after the initial meeting, the nurse can look for other options such as talking to her supervisor and explain the situation; her personal well-being should be the first priority. Once she is able to create the healthy distance, the third step will be to depersonalize herself and become proactive rather than reactive.(Ni, 2014). The nurse can do this by trying to view the situation from the patient’ relatives’ perspective. The nurse will inform the relatives of any notable or significant changes or information at the right time and do so in a brief but detailed way. By so doing, she will cover all important points in the short brief to minimize the chances of too many questions and heightened emotions by the relatives. Also, by giving the relatives only the necessary details in a timely manner, she will ease their anxiety and at the same time, the relatives will eventually learn that it is not necessary for them to continuously aggravate themselves or others at the hospital.
Every person is different but what is common among all people is communication. How one chooses to communicate a message is upon one’s discretion. What one perceives to be acceptable behaviour in expressing themselves while communicating, can be viewed as being offensive to another person. While there are those that may choose to be passive communicators, there are those who are aggressive and often break social barriers. In this case scenario, the relatives of a young man demonstrated aggressive behaviour in expressing their frustration toward the hospital’s information dissemination with regard to the young man’s health status. This paper has offered some strategies that the nurse can adopt in dealing with aggressive people. The three strategies recommended include maintaining her composure and when she feels overwhelmed, she can excuse herself and inform the relatives that she will get back to them with more information. The second step is to keep her distance and options open. She should consult with her supervisor if the situation gets out of hand. The final step is to depersonalize herself and become proactive; giving vital information at the right time to the relatives.
Buckholtz JW. (2015). Social norms, self-control,and the value of antisocial behavior. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences. 3:122–9.
Denson TF, Capper MM, Oaten M, Friese M, Schofield TP.(2011). Self-control training decreases aggression in response to provocation in aggressive individuals. Journal of Research in Personality. 2011;45:252–6.
DeWall CN, Baumeister RF, Stillman TF, Gailliot MT.(2007). Violence restrained: Effects of self-regulation and its depletion on aggression. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 2007;43(62–76).
Grinnell, R. (2016). Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 19, 2017, from https://psychcentral.com/encyclopedia/frustration-aggression-hypothesis/
Healthline (2016). Aggressive Behaviour. (Retrieved on 19th April, 2017). https://www.healthline.com/health/aggressive-behavior#overview1
Ivanov, M & Werner, P (2010) Behavioral communication: Individual differences in communication style. Personality and Individual Differences: 49(1), pp. 19–23
Jensen P. Builtelaar J. Pandina G. Binder R. Reyes M. Management of psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents with atypical antipsychotics. Eur J Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2007a;16:104–120.
Lakeland Behavioral Health (2015) Aggression Effects, Signs & Symptoms. (Retrieved on 19th April, 2017). https://www.lakelandbehavioralhealth.com/co-occurring/aggression/signs-effects-symptoms
Mind and Culture (2011). Is aggression adaptive? (Retrieved on 19th April, 2017). https://mindandculture.wordpress.com/2011/01/23/is-aggression-adaptive/
Ni, P (2014). How to Successfully Handle Aggressive and Controlling People. (Retrieved on 19th April, 2017). https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/communication-success/201409/how-successfully-handle-aggressive-and-controlling-people
Pappadopulos, E., Rosato, N. S., Correll, C. U., Findling, R. L., Lucas, J., Crystal, S., & Jensen, P. S. (2011). Experts’ Recommendations for Treating Maladaptive Aggression in Youth. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 21(6), 505–515. https://doi.org/10.1089/cap.2010.0128
Putallaz, M., Grimes, C. L., Foster, K. J., Kupersmidt, J. B., Coie, J. D., & Dearing, K. (2007). Overt and Relational Aggression and Victimization: Multiple Perspectives within the School Setting. Journal of School Psychology, 45(5), 523–547. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsp.2007.05.003
Simon, G.K (2010). In sheep’s clothing: understanding and dealing with manipulative people. A. J. Christopher & Company .Arkansas, US.
Whitson, S (2013) Confronting Passive Aggressive Behavior: Strategies to identify and change hidden hostility in a relationship. (Retrieved in 19th April, 2017). https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/passive-aggressive-diaries/201305/confronting-passive-aggressive-behavior

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