How to Deal With an Angry Person
In my life, I have found myself many a time having to deal with an angry individual; sometimes I was that individual. These situations often begin with one side feeling slighted in some way, and in most cases, the angry person is simply expressing frustration and is looking for a solution. I have decided to adopt clinical psychologist Dr. Albert J. Bernstein’s 7-step method to dealing with an angry person and found it to be very effective. I would now love to share it with you, and hopefully, give you a way to diffuse an unpleasant situation in the future.
Step #1: Keep Calm
It’s bad enough when one person loses their calm, but when two people do – the situation can become explosive. Angry people often cannot separate their emotions from the discussion, thus preventing it from being resolved in a manner that is satisfactory to both sides. By remaining calm and collected, you’re more ly to help the other person calm down as well. Once both of you are calm, a reasonable discussion can resume. If you have a hard time staying calm, go with the old cliché – hold your breath and count to ten.
Step #2: Treat them as You Would a Child
You wouldn’t shout at a child throwing a tantrum, you would simply ignore them, and an adult shouldn’t be any different. People expect to be able to reason with the angry individual, but it doesn’t work for children, and it won’t work with an adult. Just let them get it all out until they can calm themselves down.
Step #3: Ask them to Slow Down so That You Can Help
When a person is at the point where they’re shouting and screaming, simply telling them to stop doesn’t work. It’s even more ly to exacerbate the situation. Instead, ask the individual to speak slower so you can help them. A slower conversation is a calmer one, and letting them know you want to help will contribute to them feeling validated, allowing you to continue with the discussion.