Being mindful about the nature of aggressive, intimidating, and controlling people can help us de-personalize the situation, and turn from being reactive to proactive.
One effective way to de-personalize is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, even for just a moment. For example, consider the offender you’re dealing with, and complete the sentence: “It must not be easy…”
“My friend is so aggressive. It must not be easy to come from an environment where everyone was forced to compete…”
“My manager is really overbearing. It must not be easy to have such high expectations placed on her performance by senior executives…”
“My partner is so controlling. It must not be easy to have grown up in a family where he was told how to think and act in every way…” (How to Successfully Handle Aggressive and Controlling People | Psychology Today)