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How to Respond to a Rude Player

How to Respond to a Rude Player
Psychology, Diplomacy

Article Rating:::: 14 Ratings :::: Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Suppose you are playing online Risk and a player starts to behave rudely in the game. For example, in the chatbox he states that: “You moron, why the hell did you do that?”, or, “%^$ newbies! They haven't got a clue how to play. %%%^&^ get rid of them!” and similar aggressive remarks. If you say “I don't like the way you chat”, or “I am not happy with your tone” or similar statements, it is likely that you start a long argument that will only make you more upset and the game less enjoyable.

It turns out that there is a simple technique you can use to completely turn the table around and put the ball in your opponent's court. An angry player is likely to make mistakes and you should avoid to become angry yourself. The solution is as follows. 

You need to get him to 'own' the problem. So, rather than using 'I', use 'you'. Tell him, “Are you having a bad day?”, or, “You seem to be on edge today?”, or “Did you have a bad experience in a previous game?” and so on. Basically, instead of taking responsibility of his claim, you make him own the problem. If he is angry or upset, then it is his problem, not yours. As soon as you start talking with I, you go into a defensive mode which he can attack again and again. Instead, you should ask him what is his problem, not that you have a problem.

Always focus on your opponent not yourself. Resist the initial emotional response. Get over the ego to respond harshly to a rude person. Instead, take advantage of their weakness; that they are unhappy about something. They have a problem, not you. In short, avoid taking ownership of the problem.     

A close look at online Risk games can teach you a lot. Players tend to become angry and upset when they are under attack. When all is well, they tend to be quiet and get on with their game. However, as soon as they are attacked, some players start to initiate negative propaganda saying how bad others play. Of course, other players are just as interested to win the game. This seems to be more pronounced when experienced online players (with hundreds of completed games) are confronted with new players (with just a few games played). An experienced player tends to consider himself superior and cannot see himself getting eliminated sooner than the new players. This leads to frustration and an onslaught of propaganda.

If you are a new player, you should avoid a direct verbal conflict. Just mention that the experienced player is not acting rationally and is making these remarks due to his own poor position. If he accused you of bad gameplay, you should never attempt to justify your own position. Remember, it's his problem and he has to deal with it. An aggressive player would thrive on your justifications, since he can easily reply with "But, ..." The longer the conversation goes the better for him. He may easily get you annoyed and achieve his objective; i.e. to get rid of you. Fortunately you can avoid all of this, by not participating in the argument.

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Sam   By Sam @ Tuesday, October 23, 2007 2:34 AM
Thanks for that info. I prefer to ignore him, because i hardly look at the chat box.

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I am a board game and Risk game enthusiast. I like thinking and talking about strategy in games which has led me to the creation of this website. Although Risk is a classic, I feel one can never get tired of playing this game. Read about what I think of the game and I am always eager to know what you think.

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