Dealing with an angry wife or spouse can be challenging if you’re not prepared in advance with how to respond. If you choose the wrong way to react, you could make matters worse.
So, if you’re dealing with an angry spouse, coworkers, friends, or employees, here are a few suggestions you can use so you’ll know…
What to Do (and Not to Do) When Someone Else is Angry.
Because anger is associated with aggression and violence, and because relatively few of us grew up with a healthy model of how to handle angry feelings, anger is scary for most Americans. It’s probably why so many people avoid conflict at any cost; Heaven forbid someone should get angry!
Yet anger is a human emotion like any other, and it belongs to the spectrum of emotions that may be experienced from day to day. So chances are that someone you know will get angry around you at least sometimes.
Here are some tips to help you understand and deal with their anger:
Listen to an angry person’s account of why they are angry, even if you don’t agree about the facts. When someone is exhibiting anger, it’s not the best time to try to have a rational debate. Just concentrate on hearing them out.
Try to see the situation from their point of view, and let them know you understand. Feeling misunderstood and disagreed with at the same time will keep their anger in place. If you let them know that you can see where they’re coming from, you will go a long way toward helping them over their anger.
Remove yourself from the situation if you see the person is getting out of control. Your personal safety is more important than being polite. When in doubt, clear out!
There are also some DON’TS when dealing with someone who’s angry:
Don’t tell the person to calm down. Have you ever seen that work? It just makes them angrier, because it’s clear you’re not listening.
Don’t allow their anger to ignite yours. An angry person may say things that rile you in an effort to get you as angry as they are. Focus on understanding their feelings, not on what they say about you.
Don’t try to shame or ridicule them. It will only fan the flames of their anger (and justifiably so!).
Don’t attempt to engage them in a debate. They’re not in the mood and you’ll waste your time. Save the accuracy and the facts for a cool-headed discussion.
Do NOT take on an unnaturally soothing, calm tone. This does nothing to soothe or calm an angry person. It simply makes them more aware that you don’t understand them and are trying to manipulate them.
Anger doesn’t have to be scary, but trust your instincts and get away if you believe the angry person may get out of control. Remember, when in doubt, clear out!
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