Even if you as a person rarely get angry in your everyday life, you can never guarantee that you’ll never run into someone else who is angry. And when that happens, will you ready to deal with their anger in a healthy way? Or will you simply get caught in the moment and get angry yourself in response? The reality is that anger only really truly manifests itself with the angry person interacts with others around them. Being able to deal with others who are angry is very important and not only can help the other person become less enraged and more reasonable, but can also at the very least protect you from harm coming your way due to said person’s anger. This guide gives you everything you need to know about how to deal with angry people around you.
Do Your Best to Stay Calm
This is one of the most important things to do when dealing with an angry person. A natural response to yelling and screaming may be to yell and scream back in response. This not arises as a natural coping mechanism, but also to try and gain equal footing in the conversation. However, despite it being a natural response, yelling and screaming back will only make things worse. The best thing to do is to stay calm at all times, or at the very give off the appearance that you are calm. In fact this arguably unnatural response will throw the angry person off guard and they can potentially lower their voice (even just slightly) to more closely match your volume. It is basically a subtle way to encourage them to lower their voice as well.
The reason this is so important because the volume of your voices literally sets the stage for how the entire conversation will go. If you guys are both yelling, you will get nowhere fast. But if you stay calm thereby encouraging the other person to do the same, you have a much better chance to have a rationale and reasonable conversation with them.
No Insults. Ever.
Insulting the other person is almost a guaranteed way to make them even angrier. It is an easy way to “attack” the other person and how insults will bring them down, but obviously that is never how it plays out? Unfortunately that is a natural response mechanism that people use every day, to no avail.
The hardest part about following this rule is the fact that so often do insults come as impulses. Without even thinking, we may just burst out with an insult even and then immediately afterwards realize it was a mistake to have said it.
Do not be confrontational
Like we’ve been alluding to, being confrontational with the other person will only make them angrier and less responsive. Instead, you should try to frame your thoughts in less combative ways. Instead of focusing on persistent behavioral traits they have when they are angry, focus more on the now and try to allow them to feel sympathetic. For example instead of saying how the person is always yelling at you, just ask them to please stop yelling at you right now. Instead of saying how they are always so impatient, ask them to please be patient with you. And note the use of the word please. That will help dispel any tension in your statements.
Even if your thoughts about their persistent behavioral traits are 100% true, it does you no good to bring them up in the middle of a heated conversation. You can always bring up those observations later on (assuming you know them well enough). But bringing them up in the heat of the moment not only does no good, but just makes things worse.
If they are angry at you directly, do your part to resolve the issue
A lot of times we deal with generally angry people, or people we run into in the wrong place or at the wrong time. However, there is also the case where someone is angry at you directly. If this happens to you, it is very important to figure out internally whether their anger is justified. If you did them a wrongdoing, such as spilling food on them in a restaurant, then acknowledge not just that it was your fault, but also the severity of the wrongdoing.
The reason you need to do this is to ensure that if you did do something wrong, you make sure to apologize and take whatever steps are necessary to diffuse the situation in a reasonable way. In our above example, this doesn’t necessary mean doing anything other than apologizing. But that needs to happen at the very least to make sure you are doing your part to have an honest conversation. If you rear-end someone on the other hand, making sure you make clear that you will pay for the damages goes a long way at immediately diffusing the person’s anger towards you.
Disengage if necessary
Depending on the situation, you may need to find a way to disengage with the person. Most commonly, this is the right thing to do when you feel that there is no positive resolution to be found, or simply no point trying to converse with them any longer. Going in circles is just a waste of everyone’s time so walking away is actually doing both of you a service. If you know them personally simply say that we can talk about this later, and hopefully they will be calmer then. Or if it’s a stranger, you can simply walk away and be done with it. Again, engaging with someone for no reason has no point.
Alternatively, if you feel that continuing to talk to the person is putting yourself in danger, do not hesitate to walk away immediately. This is especially true when you know the other person and know that they have a history of aggression if not outright violence. And even if you are talking to a stranger, the signs are all there if they appear to be on the verge of violence, so you can walk away from that whenever you feel it necessary for your safety.
Don’t Let Angry People Get the Best of You!
Despite how much of a pacifist you may be, you cannot control when angry people end up engaging with you, whether it was due to your own doing or someone else’s. And although dealing with angry people is not a fun experience in the slightest, using these tips above will help you maintain control of the situation and keep it from escalating any further. Even though you can’t help dealing with angry people, you certainly can keep them from getting the best of you in the process!