It takes a lot of patience to calm an angry person. When a person starts to smell the mustard, you may make them even more nervous by telling them to calm down. However, you can help him by knowing how to listen to him and by offering him distractions. But when the anger becomes explosive and unpredictable, walk away instead of trying to reason with that person.
Part 1 of 4: keep calm
Step 1. Avoid confrontation
When someone finds themselves about to explode, you're only going to make it worse by getting angry too. Concentrate on staying calm or the situation could quickly turn into an argument. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't show emotions, but you should take steps to control your own emotions.
You can be able to stay more neutral by forgetting your ego and not taking things personally. It may be natural to respond to an angry person by defending yourself or your reputation, but it is important to remember that it is not possible to reason with an angry person until they have calmed down
Step 2. Try not to get defensive
When someone is so upset that they can't speak in a normal tone, it's easy to absorb their negativity and feel defensive. When you communicate with someone who is angry, you need to realize that their anger has nothing to do with you. Separate that person's feelings from your own feelings so that you can help them without feeling that their anger is directed at you.
Step 3. Stay in the present
Angry people will often dig up situations or conversations from the past, especially if they are trying to get you into their anger. Try to counter it by staying focused on the present and finding a solution to the current problem. Do not allow yourself to feel anger over past events.
If the conversation seems to be getting closer to past events, try saying something like, "We can talk about this later." I think it would be better now to focus on what is really making you angry and find a solution to that problem. Let's take things in order”
Step 4. Stay calm and silent
If someone yells at you or tells you what's going on in their heart, you may decide to let them do it for relief, but the best thing you can do is stay calm and say nothing. If you do speak, keep your tone low. If you prefer to remain silent, try to keep a neutral facial expression and open body language. You will have more control of yourself if you do not respond to the bait the angry person throws at you.
There is a difference between letting someone have their say and becoming someone's punching bag. If someone berates you, insults you, or unfairly accuses you of being the reason for their anger, you should tell them that you understand that they are frustrated and you would like to help them, but in order to do so, they should not take it out on you
Part 2 of 4: let down the anger
Step 1. Apologize if you know you are at fault
If you've done something that angered the other, maybe they just need a sincere apology. Apologies are not a sign of weakness. They only show that you care about how the other person is feeling. Think about the situation to find out if you did something wrong, and if so, tell her you're sorry. Sometimes that person just needs to hear your excuses to calm down.
- If you don't feel like you've done something wrong, don't apologize in order to calm the angry person.
- Here's an effective example of an excuse: “I'm sorry you spent your retirement savings to go on vacation with me to Hawaii. I don't know what got into me and I understand why you are angry. We will find a solution ".
Step 2. Don't tell him to calm down
A person who is really angry follows their emotions and no longer has access to the rational part of their brain. You're going to hit a wall, and you might even add fuel to the fire by asking it to calm down or be sane.
Step 3. Know how to listen
When people are raw, they want to know that someone else understands them. Really listen to what the other is saying. Look him in the eye, nod and ask questions to learn more. You might help this person calm down by allowing them to talk and feel heard.
Of course, there are times when angry people don't want to be asked questions and they might feel so angry that they might not believe someone can understand them. You can try to do the best you can, but if she doesn't feel like talking to you about how she's feeling, don't force her
Step 4. Validate how the other person is feeling
Everyone gets angry from time to time. Sometimes anger can even mask another emotion, for example an injury, embarrassment or sadness. Whatever the reason for this person's anger, listen to them and respond to them by validating what they are feeling (without necessarily agreeing with them). You should avoid judging this person, as your judgment through your words and body language could indicate that you are not supporting them.
- You can validate how the other person is feeling by saying phrases like “this must be difficult” or “I understand that you may be feeling frustrated”.
- There are also phrases that will not help him, for example "you should give up" or "I went through the same thing and I got out of it".
Step 5. Show him empathy
You can show empathy by understanding the other's point of view, feeling the distress they are in, and showing them that you can relate to what they are feeling. You can empathize with an angry person by showing them that you are listening to them and that you understand what they are talking about.
- To empathize with an angry person, try to summarize the source of their anger. You could say, “If I understand correctly, you are angry because you feel like you have to take care of all the chores around the house”.
- You might want to say, “I understand how you are feeling,” but be aware that this can sometimes make the other person more angry. He might then believe that no one really understands what he is feeling.
Step 6. Brighten up the situation with humor
You will need to fully understand the situation or know the angry person to know if this approach will work. Humor can effectively fight anger because it changes chemical processes in the body. A joke or funny remark about the situation can make you both laugh and brighten up the situation to help the other get out of their anger.
Step 7. Give it some space
Some people like to talk and others prefer to deal with their emotions on their own. If the idea of discussing what's going on seems to make the other person even more angry, give them plenty of time and space. It takes at least 20 minutes for most people to calm down when they are angry, but it may take longer for others.
If you think the other person needs some time alone, you could say, "I understand that you're angry, but I feel like I'm not helping you get better, that's why I will leave you alone for a few minutes. I'll be there if you want to talk afterwards”
Part 3 of 4: find a solution
Step 1. See if you can help the other person get better
If the source of their anger is about a problem you can solve, maybe you can help. If that person is calm enough to be able to reason, offer solutions and help them put a plan in place that will help them correct the situation.
In some cases, it is not possible to reason with an angry person this way. Judge the situation and ask yourself if you should wait until the person has calmed down to listen to some sanity
Step 2. Focus on the future
It's important to focus on the present to deal with anger-related emotions, but you need to help her think about the future to find a solution. It can help the other person to think rightly and focus on the improved outcomes of the situation rather than their anger over some past or present event.
Step 3. Help this person accept that there may not be a solution
All problems or situations that make a person angry have a solution. If so, it's important to make him understand that he needs to work on his emotions in order to move on.
Part 4 of 4: Knowing when to leave
Step 1. Walk away if you can't keep calm
If that person is doing everything they can to make you angry, you should walk away if possible. Your anger will only make the situation worse, which is why you can prevent the situation from escalating by walking away.
Step 2. Know how to recognize abuse
Anger and abuse are not the same things. Anger is a human emotion that must be managed. Abuse is an unhealthy and potentially dangerous way of interacting with others. Here are several situations that indicate abuse and not anger.
- Physical bullying (whether or not leading to physical violence).
- The other wants you to feel responsible.
- The other insults you or belittles you.
- The other is trying to sexually submit or control you.
Step 3. Find a safe place for yourself if the going gets tough
If you are dealing with someone who is having trouble managing their anger and you are concerned for your safety, drop everything and go to a safe place. Domestic violence is a vicious cycle and if the abuse occurs once, there is a good chance that it will continue to appear. It is very important that you make yourself and your family safe, physically and emotionally. In France, you can call 3919. Here are several signs that indicate a situation of abuse.
- You are afraid that you will not make the other happy.
- This person humiliates you, criticizes you and puts you down.
- This person has a violent and unpredictable temperament.
- This person accuses you of their abusive behavior.
- This person is threatening to harm you.