At times, international students come across the hostile-aggressive attitude of local students. In a multicultural environment, you can expect students to manifest unpleasant behaviour for various reasons.
Reasons Behind Aggressive Behaviour
Some students have emotional or behavioural issues, while some may develop disorders due to domestic problems. Irrespective of every situation, you need to keep your calm and do not get overboard.
Main Causes of Aggression
Following two factors are the primary causes of aggression in students:
Low self-esteem: When students do not receive love and proper attention in their surroundings, they often consider them less worthy in the society, and this may result in agitation and aggression, says the famous researcher J.M. Medick.
Lack of Social skills: Sometimes, students lack skills that are necessary to handle adverse or stressful situations and that also cause aggression.
How Aggressive Students Behave?
Primarily, three categories define the aggression-hostility of the students verbal hostility, physical hostility/assault, and vandalism. Students who fall in these categories tend to harm others physically, emotionally or by becoming revengeful.
Verbal aggression refers to arguing continuously, passing harsh remarks, threatening, abusing, taunting and teasing. Aggressive students may demonstrate physical aggression through fights, spitting, and sudden throwing of material to inflict harm to their opponent.
Even some students may bite others out of aggression. Vandalism also includes theft besides damaging the property. So, international students must gain as much information as they can about the aggressive behaviour of the students so that they could take preventive measures.
Strategies to Deal With Aggressors
Following are the effective strategies to deal with the aggressors:
Respond Peacefully but Confidently to an AggressiveStudent
Deal with aggression firmly and decently. Try to resolve the matter verbally, and consider physical restraint as a last resort. When you deal with the aggressive student, be mindful about your verbal and non-verbal language. Even if they are yelling at you, keep calm. Give them a chance to express the reason behind their aggression without stopping them.
Once they finish yelling, show a considerate attitude toward them by acknowledging their feelings. Do not cross your arms; similarly, do not point a finger or threaten them because these actions from your side may enrage them more. Your cautious attitude may serve as the fire extinguisher.
Try to Give the Hostile-Aggressive Student Time Out
Gently asks the violent student to leave the scene and sit away from others. Convey them the message that they are posing a threat to a peaceful environment, so it is in everyone’s best interest that they isolate them from an unpleasant situation.
Alternatively, you can arrange a chair for them and ask them to sit quietly. It may cool down their temper to a more significant extent because angry students may realize their mistake after sitting comfortably. If they do not show a willingness to sit on the chair and continue behaving in a disruptive way, they still do not lose temper.
Once the Aggressive Student Calms Down, Talk to Them in Person
The hostile student may expect you to reciprocate, but your gentle and non-aggressive attitude may surprise them all of a sudden. Show confidence through your gesture that you do not fear their aggression, nor do you want to confront them violently.
This gesture will deliver a strong message, and the violent student may cool down. Once they start reviewing their behaviour, you will have a chance to talk to them privately and make them realize their mistakes. Your persistent non-violent response to an aggressive behaviour would act as a cooling agent.
When they start conversing with you in a normal tone, you both may be able to develop mutual understanding, and you may end up becoming a friend of previously an aggressive student.
Do Not Force Students for an Apology
When the student is in a state of anger, do not force them for an apology as it may worsen the situation. Even if you think the aggression is for the wrong reason, deal with the situation tactfully.
Reply to them with reason, and if your heart is urging you to reciprocate the aggression in the same way, do not do this. Keep behaving rationally. Show the character, look into their eyes to give them the impression that you are just abiding by the ethics.
Your patience will prompt your opponent to revisit their behaviour. Once you succeed in settling the dust, convey to the aggressor directly or indirectly about their hostile attitude. The gentle way of pointing out their mistakes may prompt them to apologize to you.
Analyze the Reason for Conflict Once the Conflict Comes to An End
When the conflict is over, sit with the aggressor and start analyzing the cause of conflict or anger. In a peaceful environment, reconciliation is easy. As a result of your calm and composed attitude, the aggressive student may tell you their side of the story, which may include some psychological or family issues. In this way, you will empathize with them and propose some appropriate solutions.
Benefits of Responding to Aggression Calmly
The calm and composed behaviour and attitude of international students will build their image positively among their classmates. Even your teachers will deem you an individual who always believes in resolving the conflict. Vision- the building is an essential factor while studying and working abroad.
Individuals from various cultures will start valuing your ability to avoid conflict. Decision-making skills also improve when you react calmly to an unpleasant scenario because composure and calmness give you an inner strength to reach a rational decision. In contrast, abrupt reaction or anger would not allow you to reach a logical conclusion.
The core weapon of dealing with aggression is calm and composed behaviour. Do not reciprocate aggression in the same manner; otherwise, the situation would escalate.
To reconcile with an aggressor, it is essential to reply peacefully but firmly to give them the impression that you do not fear them; instead, you are just ethical. Once the aggressor calms down, talk to them in person and make them realize their mistake without offending them.