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Tips for Dealing with Angry People
Tips for Dealing with Angry People

Most of us encounter confrontational or hostile people every now and again. And even though your first instinct may be to act hostile back, what you choose to do can completely turn the tables. Here are my tips for dealing with angry people:

  1. Avoid them. As my martial arts teacher used to say, the first thing you do when there’s clearly going to be a physical confrontation is to get out of Dodge because it doesn’t matter who’s better at it, somebody is going to get hurt.

  2. Don’t fight back. Excuse yourself somehow, and don’t attack back. Attacking back just escalates the situation. If you criticize, mock, or show contempt (even if they deserve it), you’re only going to make things worse. If you can keep completely calm in your facial expressions, your tone, and your choice of words, it will help to not escalate the situation.

  3. Talk to them once they’ve calmed down. Think about a cat that’s cornered. When the back goes up and the claws come out, it’s not that the cat is angry - it’s scared. Usually what’s behind anger is weakness. That’s why I suggest not dealing with the person while they are angry, but instead, wait until the person is finished being upset and then talk to them about whatever was behind the anger, such as depression, fear, loss, etc. Once they are calm, just say, “You were pretty angry, and I wondered what was fueling it.”

  4. If they are consistently hostile, get them out of your life. Sometimes people just have bad days or are so overdosed with emotions that all it takes is something small to set them off, and they don’t really mean what they’re saying. However, if it’s typical for someone to explode, it’s not a good idea to have that person in your life.

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Tags: Attitude, Behavior, Friendships, Relationships, Stress, Tips
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