Intimidation Tactics designed to Control your Response

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Scroll down or click to read: 1️⃣What is intimidation?2️⃣ Are we brainwashed into obeying the opinions of Healthcare professionals? 3️⃣ Intimidation tactics examples 4️⃣ Intimidation and fight or flight 5️⃣ How to deal with intimidation?. 6️⃣ NHS Care standards Legislation

1️⃣ What is intimidation?

Intimidation or coercion is the use of any behaviour that makes you feel that unless you agree with the person or Organisation, you will be in danger of physical or mental harm.

Intimidation or coercion is generally used to scare you into submission.

Not all intimidation tactics by healthcare professionals are consciously aimed at harming you. Some are work arounds to get you to

▶️make a quick decision due to work pressures and a lack of time,

▶️ the healthcare professional being tired, unwell or feeling burnt out.

▶️ A culture within the organisation that allows this unacceptable behaviour.

2️⃣ Are we & the rest of Society brainwashed into obeying the opinions of Healthcare professionals?

We do not expect Doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers to intimidate us into obeying treatment plans &/ their opinions. However, as they are the ‘experts’ in health treatment, it is common practice to respect their opinions and treatment decisions. And, from the depth of feeling on social media, it appears that they are so used to being obeyed that they respond to any ‘disobedient’ behaviour with disbelief and veiled threats of ‘withhholding’ health treatment or the requested information to allow you to make an informed decision.

2️⃣.1️⃣ Intimidation can be recognised by the:

▶️ use of implied threats of discharge.

▶️ or closure of your case.

If you do not agree with the person or organisation.

3️⃣ Intimidation tactics examples:

▶️ The waiting room is empty and you are still kept waiting and seen later than your appointment time without an explanation.

▶️ They respond to any of your concerns or unease with a line such as ‘if we can’t reach an agreement, I will have to discharge you’.

▶️ They Bring a colleague or two into the room to ‘encourage’ you into supporting their position and or viewpoint.

▶️ They Deliberately Overwhelm you with the use of medical jargon and or Red Tape.

▶️ They Raise their voice/s during discussions. 

4️⃣ Intimidation and fight or flight

We are socialised into beleiving that when we are at our most vunerable, Doctors and Nurses will care for us and keep us safe. So the internal monologue that starts up when you disagree with the fundamental belief that Healthcare providers have your best interests at heart. Is guaranteed to ramp up your stress levels to max.

If you add the tug of war created because of the conflict between:

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▶️the rest of the population beliefs of hospitals and doctors are safe places

▶️feeling unsafe in the presence of doctors and scarred to be in any healthcare or hospital setting.

It can trigger the ‘fight-or-flight’ response. (As can any real or imagined threat.)

 Being thrown into survival mode can make you feel overwhelmed. (Survival mode is often referred to as going into fight or flight mode) so you:


▶️process and

▶️act on information differently

▶️than you would in a non threatening environment.

This inability to understand the conversation leads to

▶️more miscommunication and

▶️creates further conflict. 

4️⃣.1️⃣ As you will react in: 

▶️ ‘fight’ the ‘System’. 


▶️ choose to ‘flee’ this healthcare and possibly all health related environments.


▶️ Freeze, where you sit there in silent disbelief. Which to add salt to the wound, makes it appear as if you agree with the health proposed plan.

4️⃣.2️⃣ The stakes are high for you. As either decision can result in:

▶️ withholding of treatment from you and/or

▶️ a failure for the wrongs to be righted. Leaving you in emotional limbo and making closure and resolution almost impossible.

5️⃣ How to deal with intimidation?

As the use of the ‘intimidation’ in the healthcare settings is subtle and at odds with the belief system of society, it is so important to:

#️⃣ Start challenging the belief on social media platforms and service user forums that organisations and healthcare professionals:

▶️ Are gods and angels. They are not. They are professionals, doing a job they are paid to do. Best practice would be for both parties to view the whole process as one of active participation. Where neither party has power over the other one.

▶️ That respect and trust for professionals is not an automatic right but it is earned based on their behaviour, skills and knowledge.

▶️ That finding someone to blame does not stamp out bullying. It leads to bullying going ‘underground’ so it is harder for a third party to observe. Improving systems is the only way to improve health outcomes. See my information on the incident investigation based on the behaviour that led to the incident. This is known as the Just Culture. Where ‘Just’ is interchangeable with ‘Accountable’. Rather than the current blame and shame investigation process.

▶️ Fire the ‘it’s my way or the highway’ organisational culture and start to adopt the strategy that multiple points of view achieves the best possible outcome.

▶️ That anyone who challenges the dominant culture behaviour is unreasonable or acceptable. Questioning and making suggestions for improvement is not ‘ disrespectful’ behaviour. It is an essential part of improving safety and needs to be embraced as a vital learning experience.

6️⃣ To read about the Legislation that you are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect and you are entitled to safe care and treatment.

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