I have suffered from the need for validation from a young age. Wanting a person's approval, I often acquiesce in situations where I might actually disagree. Recovery has taught me that I can be triggered by domineering personality types and that I can handle any situation as long as I stay calm and practice spiritual principles.
Physiologically, I am no different than any other person who reacts in a high stress environment. Like a man confronted by a sabre tooth tiger, I will either fight or flight (run) when faced with this stressor. Same goes for conversations with difficult, overbearing people. In early recovery, I first had to learn how not to drink in the face of such triggers. Many years later, I am working how to remain calm and access my faculties in such situations. I don't want to just not drink, I want to grow up.
I can see my progress. I used to automatically shut down when a bullying type of person raised his or her voice and made demands. My silence said I could be pushed into submission. My submission led to shame and more fear. Even though I didn't drink, I still felt bad about myself for accepting unacceptable treatment and not speaking up for myself.
Just today, a never satisfied physician from my biggest account at work let me know that unless I found a solution to his insurance contracting dilemma, he was going to stop using my company's incredible product. His account amounts to 13% of my total territory volume. I was driving a car and could feel myself become agitated. A small voice within said, "Stay calm, assure him that you are hearing him and let him know you will take his problem seriously.".
After I hung up with the doctor, I shared my reaction with my business partner at work. She said you did well, but maybe next time someone puts the pressure on while I am driving, simply ask the person if I can meet with them in person to discuss the matter further.