Growing up, I used to verbally lash out at my mom a lot. I was always angry at something but I never really understood why. The reasons for my anger were many and I won’t even bother listing them out. In this article, I’ll be sharing with you how to deal with angry people without pissing them off even more.
I’m past that stage now though and now I’m not so hot-headed. But, every now and then, I’ll come across angry people who acted just like I used to.
I’m writing this article for anyone who’s been on the receiving end of someone’s anger. As someone who’s dealt with anger issues in the past, I hope these insights will be of use to you.
Things not to do
When dealing with an angry person, there are a lot of things to say. Some things might sound good in your head but they end up just being terrible for the situation.
Here’s a few things that you definitely shouldn’t do when you try to deal with angry people.
Never tell someone to “calm down”
Telling someone to calm down regardless of how angry they are won’t help at all. The only thing it actually does is make them even more angry and annoyed.
When someone is emotionally charged, their mind isn’t working as it normally would. It’s easy for someone that’s angry to take offense at the smallest things. If you tell someone to calm down, they’ll just end up saying something like “I am calm”. If you say “there’s no need to get angry”, they’ll toss out an “I’m not angry” type thing.
Angry people can be very defensive and they’ll easily taking things the wrong way.
Don’t stoop down to their level
You might feel the urge to act in the same way as the person you’re dealing with but I urge you not to.
By stooping down to someone’s level, all you do is open yourself up to even more attacks. This will only make the situation escalate and it won’t prove to solve anything at all.
On the other hand, if someone is physically attacking you then I think you’re entirely justified in trying to defend yourself. In this case, your best option is to try to get away from the dangerous situation as quickly as you can.
Never challenge their anger
Challenging their anger means confronting the person directly to the point that you’re standing in front of their face while taunting them. Honestly, I’ve seen this happen so many times that it’s almost laughable how people think acting tough with an angry person is a good way to handle a situation.
By all means, defend yourself when they’re attacking you physically but don’t taunt them and tell them to “swing first”. You’ll just make a quick trip out to the hospital if you do. And, it really isn’t worth hurting yourself to deal with an angry person physically.
Don’t take their words personally.
I know it’s hard not to take offence when someone is calling you names and cursing your family and friends but you’ve really got to hold back.
When someone is pissed off, they just want to lash out at other people and spread their hate. They care little about the repercussions and they just want things to happen their way. At times, this can mean calling someone a pussy or saying their mom’s a bitch or something of that nature.
Don’t take offence and just laugh at how small minded they are. This is what I normally do when I deal with angry people and it’s both entertaining and effective.
This means you think of things objectively and just force yourself to be the better person.
I’ve dealt with many threats in the past and a lot of people have challenged my “manliness” to try and get a rouse out of me. While socking someone in the face would have shut those people up a lot faster, the aftermath would have been more severe too.
I find that it takes an even higher level of maturity and “manliness” to rise above a situation and just ignore the bullies trying to push you around.
Don’t try to change the subject.
It might seem like a good idea to move the topic onto something that isn’t related to someone’s anger but, believe me, it usually doesn’t work.
When people are pissed off, they just want whatever is pissing them off to be resolved as quickly as possible. By trying to change the subject on them, it can be seen as you ignoring their issues.
What you should do
Figure out the cause of their anger
The first step in trying to deal with angry people is to figure out why they’re angry in the first place.
Seriously try to find out what is making someone upset so that you can figure out the best way to deal with them. You don’t need to hear their whole life story but at least get a rough idea as to why they’re upset.
Sometimes this means saying things like “I understand you’re angry. Help me understand why you’re so angry so that I can be of more assistance.” so that at least they understand that you’re trying to make things work for them.
Even if you end up finding no way to help appease their anger, at the very least, they won’t get more upset because they feel like you don’t care about their issue.
Sometimes, all an angry person wants is to just feel like someone cares about their problem.
Put yourself in their shoes
Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It’s walking in them for a mile to see how they perceive the world so you can understand what’s going on.
At times, the anger someone feels is justified and there will be little you can do to make their anger go away.
For example, if you work at a store where there’s a line that hasn’t moved for 2 hours then you probably won’t be able to say anything to make your customers feel better. No matter how many times you apologize for the inconvenience, those people don’t care about your words. They just want to get out of the store with their items and move on.
Stay as calm as possible
Learn to become a very good listener. Sometimes the less you say, the more it actually helps.
As I mentioned before, angry people just want to lash out and they’re not in the mindset to care too much about how their actions affect others. If someone is hot-headed, you need to be cool-headed. Never allow someone’s actions to sway you and make you stoop down to their level.
If someone is yelling at you, stay calm and remain silent. Your mind could be racing and your heart pounding but don’t ever lose your cool. When you remain calm, you’re forcing yourself to think through things objectively.
This will benefit you when dealing with an angry person tremendously. If you lose your cool you’ll just find yourself in a situation where you’re trying to play “chicken” with someone that’s out for trouble.
Let them lose to their anger but never let yourself to succumb to it as well.
Kill them with kindness
When all else fails, you’ve really just got to put up it. There are times when time is the only cure for anger and nothing that you say or do will calm someone down. Sometimes people just need to think things through and this requires time.
Sometimes you just have to smile and tell them to have a good day while wishing them the best of luck. It might not make their day any better but at least your day won’t be spoiled.
Think of it like this: You have $500 in your wallet but you end up losing $0.01 somewhere, somehow and you don’t know when it happened. Do you obsess over that minor hiccup or just be happy that you still have the remaining money?
Don’t let your encounter with angry people ruin your entire day. They’re just a minor hiccup to your day and you shouldn’t let them get the best of you.
Have these tips on how to deal with angry people been helpful? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.