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How to Best Deal with an Angry Person

Here are some suggestions on how to deal with an angry person based on proven therapeutic principles and strategies.

  1. Stay Calm: When dealing with an angry person, it's essential to remain calm yourself. Anger can be contagious, and responding with anger or frustration will likely escalate the situation.

  2. Active Listening: Give the person your full attention and listen actively to what they are saying. Avoid interrupting or becoming defensive. Show empathy and understanding by nodding or using verbal cues like "I see" or "I understand."

  3. Validate Their Feelings: Let the person know that you acknowledge their feelings. You can say something like, "I can see that you're really upset, and that's understandable." Validating their emotions can help de-escalate the situation.

  4. Avoid Blame: Refrain from blaming the person for their anger or making judgments. Instead, focus on the issue at hand and try to understand their perspective.

  5. Maintain Boundaries: While being empathetic, it's essential to set and maintain boundaries. Let the person know that while you're willing to listen and help, you won't tolerate disrespectful or aggressive behavior.

  6. Use "I" Statements: When you express your thoughts and feelings, use "I" statements to avoid sounding accusatory. For example, say, "I feel uncomfortable when you raise your voice," instead of "You're always so aggressive."

  7. Offer Solutions: If appropriate, suggest possible solutions to the issue. Be open to compromise and problem-solving. Ask for their input and collaborate on finding a resolution.

  8. Take a Break: If the situation is getting out of control and emotions are running high, it's okay to suggest taking a break. This can help both parties cool off and return to the conversation with a clearer head.

  9. Maintain Safety: If the person becomes physically aggressive or threatens harm, prioritize safety and call for help from the appropriate authorities if necessary.

  10. Follow Up: After the immediate situation is resolved, it's a good idea to follow up with the person to ensure that there are no lingering issues and to offer support if needed.

Remember that dealing with an angry person can be challenging, and it's not always possible to resolve every issue immediately. It's essential to prioritize your safety and well-being while trying to assist the other person in managing their anger constructively. If the person's anger is persistent and causing harm, it may be necessary to recommend professional help, such as therapy or counseling.

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