5 Tips For Talking To Angry People
Have you ever felt paralyzed when confronting someone who is very angry with you? Was this a situation where the person was extremely angry and you weren’t sure what the best way to handle them was?
Though having to talk to an angry person isn’t ideal, there are multiple “do’s” and “don’ts” to become familiar with. The very first one is to acknowledge when a situation is dangerous and when it is not.
For the situations that are not dangerous, here are some tips and insights into how to properly talk to an angry person.
Don’t Escalate With Them
It’s easy to fall into the trap of mimicking an angry person’s actions. You may feel inclined to raise your voice as well and unintentionally compete with their emotional release. This is not wise because it allows the other person to continue to escalate their emotions, resulting in a potentially harmful situation.
Keep an eye on what you are doing with your hands and facial expressions as well, since you may send nonverbal signals that may be misinterpreted.
Validate Them (within reason)
Though you shouldn’t lead them to believe that their behavior is permissible, it’s important to let the person know that you are listening to them. What’s happening is that the person is releasing a flood of emotions the best way they know how, so if you want to calm them down, validation of their release is crucial.
To do this, say things like “I understand why you’re upset” or something along the lines of “okay.” This method gives the other person fewer reasons to lash out verbally.
Think Before You Speak
Do your best to be patient with what you decide to say. Think through all of the consequences of how you may react verbally to this person, and if you don’t have anything good to say, then wait.
Keep your approach to the person calm and quiet. Because this does not match the tone and approach of the angry person, they may start to mimic your actions just as you could mimic their anger subconsciously.
Even if the other person doesn’t seem to match with your calmness, be patient and maintain your composure anyway. It may take longer for the angry person to completely vent their emotions before they eventually calm down.
Don’t Go It Alone
Whenever possible, seek help or support to prevent harm to yourself or the other person. Group situations tend to be more controlled and are typically a safer environment for handling this tense emotions.
Even if help is not a possibility at that moment, plan ahead what you need to do to find help. Be prepared for the worst scenario, and be sure to seek professional help if the situation calls for it or persists.