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How to Handle Angry People

by Pete on June 12, 2013

The world is full of cranky, irate, cantankerous people who can bring your spirits way down. Whether that person succeeds in bringing you down relies completely on how you react. Of course, reacting well is easier said that done. Here are some things to keep in mind next time someone is throwing anger your way, so you don’t get taken down.

imagesFirst remember that PEOPLE DON’T GET ANGRY AT PEOPLE. Even when someone calls names, or when someone says the words “I hate you,” even when the recipient of the anger is actually at fault, the anger isn’t at the person, IT’S AT THE SITUATION. We can get mad at a person’s actions, or the circumstances they created, but not really at the person. Remember this when you are taking a verbal charge so that you don’t take it personally.

Also remember that anger doesn’t have to be rational. We don’t think straight when we’re angry. In fact, your judgement HAS to be clouded to a degree in order to feel anger. DO NOT try to rationalize a person out of anger, that will only make them angrier. The only way to receive anger is in a neutral way. If you act subservient or act angry back you will only incite more anger.

Once you receive it neutrally, acknowledge it as justified. Anger may not ever be rational, but it’s ALWAYS justified. All emotions are justified and irrational. A person doesn’t need a reason to feel something, emotions just happen. Usually when we emote angrily, all we really want is acknowledgement. Something like “I get why you’re angry…” or “It’s totally reasonable for you to be upset…” is a great way to start the dialogue. If this is hard for you to accept, think about all the time you get angry. Did you really have it together.

Usually acknowledgement is enough to let someone “run out their charge.” If it’s not, then you can share your honest opinion of it. Just remember to state it neutrally, and don’t try to fix it. Problem solving doesn’t work till both people are relaxed.Remember you are the only person who can control your emotions. If you keep calm, you give permission to everyone around you to handle themselves too.

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