Dealing With Angry People



6 Secrets to Dealing with Angry People

It would seem that it is becoming more difficult to go through even a day oftentimes without some knowledge on dealing with angry people-especially if you spend your day in the work field. Anger-which is not actually an emotion but rather a reaction, stems from unresolved emotional issues.  Most often they involve some type of fear, hurt or other unhappiness.

Angry people are hurting people who have either 1) not, 2) do not know they need to or 3) can not work through the issues at hand. In dealing with angry people it is important to realize this in order to be effective. A healing balm (compassion) goes a lot farther in aiding a wound than does vinegar (acid tongue).  So, to begin with, if you have wronged a person apologize, if not try these six secrets.

The first secret to dealing with angry people is: Do not react.  An action always carries more weight than a reaction.  Don’t defend yourself.  Consider that person may have gone through something stressful already and the last thing they need is you adding to their ‘day’. Consider this person needs to see a face that offers no malice.  Also, retaliation means there is some hidden or unresolved issue you haven not dealt with as well.

The second secret is to listen and hear.  If the anger is a mask hiding what is really being felt by the person, then dealing with angry people by ignoring or minimizing their feelings will only make matters worse. Do not just listen; also hear what they are saying.  The old adage states we respond to the feelings rather than the issue itself. Begin by saying: I can see that you are angry and I am sorry that you are unhappy/hurt over this.  In this way you are telling them you are not seeing this as their fault.

Believe it or not, this knowledge will take pressure off them so that they will not feel forced to stay in the angry state.  Because anger is a reaction it has a way of ‘taking over’ and even though we do not want to be angry or lash out we can not stop due to our inability to control the hold anger has on us. Helping to defuse any inability a person might have to help themselves through their anger is the third secret to dealing with angry people.  Angry people actually want help.

Number four would be to try not to ‘solve’ anything that has an emotional root-especially not in a few minutes.  First of all the anger will not hear logic.  If anger is stemming from emotion it will only connect with the emotional. Calm the hurt, the fear, the unhappiness when dealing with angry people-issues are almost always secondary.  Instead, ask the person why they are angry with you.  More often then not, they will say: Well, it’s not really you I’m angry with.  This admission in itself can open a door of communication.

If you are actually being attacked by someone always remember natural instincts can be ugly. Ask for time when dealing with angry people of this type is the fifth secret.  In dealing with angry people spouting off in return will only give them future ammunition-especially when dealing with someone who is a part of your personal life. When someone comes against you say: Okay. I see what you are saying. Let me think about that. This can work in two ways. 1) It lets them know it is important enough for you to think about, and 2) the down time will give the other person time to think also.

Number six and the last secret in dealing with angry people is to ask them what you can do or how you can help in the situation. Both questions are telling them you do not want to add to their troubles.  They say: I want to help.  It calls for a solution from him or her.