Typically, most of us manage Dominant types by staying out of their way. We avoid confrontation, avoid saying how we really feel, and often tell them what we think they want to hear. We rationalise our avoidance by complaining that the Dominant person is insensitive, aggressive, impatient, and arrogant. We complain about these “faults” but maybe they really aren’t faults at all. Maybe they are strengths.
Dominant people are often called insensitive, and it is assumed that he/she doesn’t care about other people’s feelings. It isn’t that they don’t care. They just aren’t aware! This means that the Dominant person is so focused on tasks that feelings aren’t even on his radar screen. The ability to be totally focused on a task is a strength. When a task focus is over extended it becomes insensitivity. It isn’t personal. If you are being overrun, you have to learn how to speak up.
This is where the problem starts. People don’t want to get involved in confrontation. They keep quiet, or they speak in vague terms, or they avoid altogether. None of these strategies work. They enable the Dominant person to keep on being insensitive. It is far better to calmly and firmly speak your mind while making direct eye contact. If they react with intimidation you have to stand your ground. You don’t need to yell or get upset. Calmly and firmly speak your mind. The more you do this, the more respect you will command from the Dominant person. Don’t lie and don’t make excuses. If you are right, express your confidence that you are right. If you are wrong, admit it and say how you will take care of it.
It is important to add that presenting yourself as a victim often backfires. Most Dominant people have little patience with victimhood. Instead of focusing on how we think the Dominant person has hurt our feelings, we would gain more by clearly speaking our expectations.
Dominant people want results. That’s why many of them are impatient. It is certainly a strength to be results oriented. When we feel pushed too hard we can be best understood by saying something like: “I know you want this yesterday, and I am doing all I can to get it done fast. I have to tell you that your interruptions and constant asking me if I’m done yet are slowing me down. Let me do my job and I’ll keep you posted.” Directness and honesty are the way to a Dominant person’s heart and mind.
What many see as arrogance is confidence over extended. If a dominant person is being arrogant we don’t need to teach them a lesson. I would suggest the opposite approach. Compliment the Dominant person on their confidence and express your concerns. For example you might say: “I respect your confidence, but I need to see some more data before I feel comfortable making this move.”
Most Dominant people respect others who stand up to them, who are direct, and who get things done. Your ability to accept Dominant people for who they are, rather than resisting them, will strengthen your ability to deal with them effectively.
If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment. – Marcus Aurelius