Season's "Jeerings" – New study looks at the best way to react to button-pushing family members

MONTREAL, Dec. 24, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — It might happen when people first walk in and take off their coats, after chugging down those first two glasses of eggnog, as dinner is coming out of the oven, or when the cranberry sauce is being passed around. Whatever the case, it will almost certainly happen: someone will drop a verbal landmine, leaving the recipient of the “well-meaning advice” or opinion hurt and angry. It might revolve around relationship status (or lack thereof), a person’s weight, or everyone’s favorite topic…politics. So how does one manage merry mischief-makers? Researchers at PsychTests have the answer.

Analyzing data collected from 12,259 people who took the Emotional Intelligence Test, PsychTests’ researchers looked at people’s most common reaction to infuriating button-pushers:

1. ESCAPE ARTISTS: When instigated, the members of this group silently but determinedly walk away from the scene of the heinous verbal crime.

2. COUNTER-ATTACKERS: This group won’t let an insult go unchallenged. Them’s fightin’ words! Like duelers of old, they’ll fire back with a hurtful jibe of their own right at the instigator’s softest spot.

3. DEFENDERS: Similar to Counter-attackers, this group will become upset when insulted, but they won’t sink to the instigators level. Instead, they’ll speak up and make it clear that they don’t appreciate being hit with such a low blow.

4. ZEN MASTERS: They won’t walk away. They also won’t yell, argue, or kick someone in the chestnuts. This group will simply take a deep breath and ignore the provocation. They may smile, they may laugh, or they may change the subject, but they certainly won’t let anyone ruin their self-esteem or their Christmas spirit.

Here’s how the four groups compared on different traits:

ZEN MASTERS ARE MORE SELF-AWARE AND CONNECTED TO THEIR FEELINGS

  • Score for Zen Masters (on a scale from 0 to 100): 72
  • Score for Defenders: 68
  • Score for Counter-attackers: 59
  • Score for Escape Artists: 66

ZEN MASTERS ARE BETTER AT MANAGING THEIR EMOTIONS

  • Score for Zen Masters (on a scale from 0 to 100): 63
  • Score for Defenders: 51
  • Score for Counter-attackers: 45
  • Score for Escape Artists: 53

ZEN MASTERS ARE BETTER AT ADAPTING TO DIFFERENT SOCIAL SITUATIONS

  • Score for Zen Masters (on a scale from 0 to 100): 73
  • Score for Defenders: 67
  • Score for Counter-attackers: 58
  • Score for Escape Artists: 64

ZEN MASTERS PICK THEIR BATTLES WISELY

  • Score for Zen Masters (on a scale from 0 to 100): 72
  • Score for Defenders: 67
  • Score for Counter-attackers: 60
  • Score for Escape Artists: 66

ZEN MASTERS ARE RESILIENT, TOUGH COOKIES

  • Score for Zen Masters (on a scale from 0 to 100): 77
  • Score for Defenders: 67
  • Score for Counter-attackers: 65
  • Score for Escape Artists: 68

ZEN MASTERS HAVE A MORE POSITIVE MINDSET

  • Score for Zen Masters (on a scale from 0 to 100): 71
  • Score for Defenders: 62
  • Score for Counter-attackers: 57
  • Score for Escape Artists: 62

ZEN MASTERS HAVE HIGHER SELF-ESTEEM

  • Score for Zen Masters (on a scale from 0 to 100): 73
  • Score for Defenders: 67
  • Score for Counter-attackers: 60
  • Score for Escape Artists: 65

HERE’S WHY COUNTERATTACKING IS ACTUALLY COUNTERPRODUCTIVE:

  • 33% of Counter-attackers said that they often feel like they are on a constant emotional roller coaster (vs. 30% of Defenders, 28% of Escape Artists, and 18% of Zen Masters).
  • 38% of Counter-attackers said that they spend hours obsessing over offhand remarks (vs. 32% of Defenders, 29% of Escape Artists, and 21% of Zen Masters).
  • 23% of Counter-attackers are ashamed of how they look or behave, which may be the reason why they are so easily triggered (vs. 19% of Defenders, 18% of Escape Artists, and 12% of Zen Masters).
  • 26% of Counter-attackers admitted that they don’t know how to react when someone is angry with them (vs. 19% of Defenders, 23% of Escape Artists, and 14% of Zen Masters).
  • 27% of Counter-attackers avoid discussing sensitive topics for fear that it will blow up in their faces (vs. 21% of Defenders, 23% of Escape Artists, and 15% of Zen Masters).
  • 31% of Counter-attackers struggle to get over failure, rejection, or disappointment (vs. 27% of Defenders, 25% of Escape Artists, and 17% of Zen Masters).
  • 25% of Counter-attackers are actually intimidated by people with strong personalities (vs. 23% of Defenders, 22% of Escape Artists, and 17% of Zen Masters).
  • 30% of Counter-attackers insult themselves when they mess up (vs. 23% of Defenders, 23% of Escape Artists, and 14% of Zen Masters).
  • 49% of Counter-attackers overanalyze situations, creating problems that didn’t even exist (vs. 48% of Defenders, 42% of Escape Artists, and 35% of Zen Masters).
  • 45% of Counter-attackers will make it a point to keep embarrassing experiences to themselves in order to avoid providing someone with ammunition to hurt them (vs.    > 36% of Defenders, 40% of Escape Artists, and 34% of Zen Masters).
  • Ironically, 23% of Counter-attackers admitted that they unintentionally offend people (vs. 13% of Defenders, 15% of Escape Artists, and 7% of Zen Masters).

“Get-togethers during the holidays can be fun, but when you’ve got a Scrooge in the family – and nearly every family has at least one – it can really put a damper on the celebrations,” explains Dr. Ilona Jerabek, president of PsychTests. “Generally, I am strong proponent of assertiveness. When someone crosses a boundary, speak up.

Even if this person’s words or actions seem well-meaning and even if they are family, do not stand idly by while you are being mistreated. Make it clear that the person’s behavior is not okay with you. For example, ‘I don’t appreciate being spoken to in this manner. If you can’t speak to me respectfully, I will no longer be attending/inviting you to these get-togethers.’ Keep it simple, get to the point, be calm but firm, and don’t apologize.”

“That being said, it’s important to learn to pick your fights wisely. If an instigator’s behavior is consistently rude, demeaning, or bullying in nature, assert yourself. If it’s hurtful but well-meaning, or if the person is just trying to get a reaction out of you, don’t jump every time you are being baited. Not only will it cause constant and unnecessary fights, you will also be giving the instigator the satisfaction of knowing that he or she got to you. Get to the root of the person’s actions. Does your nemesis like to pick fights with everyone? Is he or she perhaps plagued by low self-esteem or unhappiness and as a result, drags others down to feel better? If so, then be Zen. Laugh it off, shrug your shoulders, change the subject, or just ignore it. Wish the person a Merry Christmas and stick a candy cane in their mouth.”

Want to assess your EQ? Check out the Emotional Intelligence Test https://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/3979

Professional users, such as HR managers, coaches, and therapists, can request a free demo for this or other assessments from ARCH Profile’s extensive battery: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/testdrive_gen_1

To learn more about psychological testing, download this free eBook: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/personality-tests-in-hr

About PsychTests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists and coaches, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see ARCHProfile.com).

Media Contact

Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D, PsychTests AIM Inc., 5147453189, [email protected]

 

SOURCE PsychTests AIM Inc.

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