What to Say When Someone Is Angry

Anger is a common emotion that can arise in any situation. Whether at home, at work, or in a public place, we might encounter an angry person. Sometimes it is easy to calm them down, but in some cases, it is hard to know what to say. In this guide, we will discuss some effective ways to handle a person who is angry and help them calm down.

Stay Calm and Listen

The first step in dealing with someone who is angry is to stay calm. When someone is angry, they might become aggressive or hostile, which can intimidate you. It is essential to remember that anger, like any emotion, is natural. Take yourself away from the situation and take a deep breath. Once you have composed yourself, listen patiently to what the person is saying. Repeat any essential points of the conversation to ensure that you understand it correctly. When we actively listen, it lets the other person feel heard and helps in diffusing their anger.

Be Empathetic

Another effective approach to calm down an angry person is to show empathy. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and understand why they are angry. Acknowledge their feelings and show concern towards them. By doing so, they will feel that you understand their emotions, which will help them to calm down. When you empathize, you create a non-judgmental and safe environment for the person.

Offer a Solution

Sometimes, people get angry when they feel trapped in a situation, and they don’t see an escape route. One way to de-escalate the situation is to offer a practical solution. Depending on the situation, you can provide a few solutions to the person, and allow them to choose the one they are comfortable with. Offering an alternative helps redirect their negative emotions and provides them with hope of resolving their problem, giving them something positive to focus on.

Take a Break

If the angry person doesn’t want to listen to what you have to say or a solution doesn’t appear, it’s time to take a break. Sometimes, people get so overwhelmed with anger that they are not ready to listen to anyone until they have calmed down. When someone is too angry, they tend to miss the objective, and that may result in saying something they might regret. Respect their space and let them cool down. Take a few minutes to yourself and come back when they have calmed down.

Speak Kindly and Respectfully

Last but not least, speak kindly and respectfully. Speak your words with kindness and avoid using abrasive and harsh language. Continue using a soft tone, even when the other person raises their voice. Being respectful and kind can help you gain their trust and create a more friendly environment. Never make it personal and avoid making assumptions.

Don’t Take It Personally

When someone is angry, they might say things that can be hurtful. It’s crucial not to take these words personally. Recognize that the person’s anger is directed at a situation or an incident rather than at you.

Validate Their Feelings

It may be helpful to validate the person’s feelings. Acknowledge their anger and let them know that their feelings are important. This validation can prevent the person from feeling dismissed or misunderstood, which can often exacerbate the situation.

Use Body Language

Your body language can also play a significant role in calming an angry person. Display open body language, such as uncrossed arms and a relaxed posture, to show that you’re open to listening. This can help the person feel comfortable and understood.

Avoid Interrupting

Avoid interrupting the person when they’re speaking. Interruptions can escalate their anger and make them feel unheard. Allow them to express their feelings completely before you respond.

Keep a Calm Tone

Maintaining a calm and steady tone of voice can help diffuse the situation. Even if the person raises their voice, try to keep yours calm and collected. This can help influence the person to match your tone and calm down.

Use “I” Statements

Use “I” statements instead of “you” statements when addressing the person. This approach helps to express your feelings and perspective without escalating the situation.

Avoid Negative Body Language

Negative body language like crossed arms, eye-rolling, or sighing can exacerbate the situation. Instead, maintain a neutral or positive body language that shows you’re receptive to the person’s feelings.

Practice Active Listening

Active listening involves repeating back what the person has said to ensure you’ve understood correctly. This can help the person feel heard and understood, reducing their anger.

Avoid Pointing Blame

Avoid pointing blame at the person. This may escalate the situation and make them feel attacked. Instead, focus on the situation at hand and how to resolve it.

Seek Professional Help

If the person’s anger seems unmanageable, it may be time to seek professional help. Therapists and counsellors can provide strategies and techniques to manage anger effectively.

Avoid Confrontation

Avoiding confrontation can be beneficial in diffusing the person’s anger. If the person becomes hostile or aggressive, it’s important to stay calm and avoid retaliating.

Give Them Space

If the person needs some space to cool down, give it to them. Pressuring them to calm down or resolve the situation immediately may only escalate their anger.

Respect Their Feelings

Respecting the person’s feelings is vital in dealing with their anger. Even if you don’t agree with their perspective, it’s important to validate their feelings.

Be Patient

Patience is key when dealing with an angry person. It may take some time for them to calm down and express their feelings clearly. During this time, it’s important to remain patient and understanding.

Seek to Understand

Try to understand why the person is angry. By understanding their perspective, you can address the root cause of their anger and find a solution.

Practice Non-Judgment

Practicing non-judgment involves accepting the person’s feelings without trying to change or fix them. This can help the person feel accepted and understood, reducing their anger.

Reinforce Positive Behaviour

Reinforcing positive behaviour involves praising the person when they express their anger in a healthy and constructive way. This can help encourage positive behaviour in the future.

Avoid Defending Yourself

Avoid defending yourself, as this might escalate the situation. Instead, focus on understanding the person’s perspective and finding a resolution.

Show Compassion

Showing compassion to the person can help them feel understood and valued, reducing their anger. This involves demonstrating empathy and kindness, even when the person is angry.

Conclusion

Dealing with an angry person can be a challenge, but calming them down can help find a solution to the problem. When someone is angry, listen patiently, and show empathy towards them. Offer a solution if you can, but don’t force it. If someone is too angry, give them some space and come back later. Remember, you are not responsible for their emotions or actions, but by using these tactics, you can help them feel heard and supported.