05 October 2005

How to deal with an angry person

From Quick Verbal Tactics:
[A basic technique that] employs just two steps:

Step 1. A respect phrase (a statement or a question showing the other party unconditional respect). For example:
  • "I hear you. You're frustrated." [respect statement] -or-
  • "Why are you angry?" [respect question] -and-
Step 2. An outcome phrase (a statement or a question communicating a positive outcome for the other party, yourself, or the both of you). For example:
  • "I don't want you to be angry. Let's figure this thing out." [outcome statement] -or
  • "How can we achieve our goal here and minimize your frustration?" [outcome question]

Robots require only a source of energy and a series of commands to function. They're purely logical. Why are people so much more complicated? The answer can be summed up in one word: Pride."

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Anonymous said...


You have the ability to respond the way you want to - no matter what others say to you.

In fact, the only thing we have complete control over is our actions.

How you respond will impact the situation either positively or negatively.

If you have a quick trigger, count to 10 and then respond. Remember the big picture. You do not want to win the battle, but lose the war.

Your objective is to resolve disputes and get on to bigger and better things.

People have gotten divorced over where one of them squeezes the tooth paste tube. Don’t make that mistake.

… and when in doubt -

Treat people like you would like to be treated.

FengLong said...

i've read before that people who are rather resentful (especially at work over certain work-related issues) need reassurance and affirmation of why they are resentful/angry. also i found it thru my own experience that when someone is angry, it's good to acknowledge the fact that you do understand one is angry, and then ask why...although doing this can sometimes be frustrating from time to time...

shan.62 said...

sometimes people who are angry dont even know why themselves and it stems from their childhood so unless they heal their hanger they will end up angry lonley lost souls. Its very sad to watch a person want to hang on to their anger even though they have someone who can help them through the nightmare or healing. It comes a time when the helper has to say to themselves I cant do this anymore you want to stay angry bye now

vickychaney said...

This regards the verbal abuse, "kick the cat" analogy when a person is taking verbal abuse outside the home and comes home to transfer his anger on those in the home.

The main goal is to de-escalate the level of anger and emotion and try to get all parties to a point of thinking logically instead of reacting emotionally. I do not necessarily agree that asking the person why they are angry is appropriate, given that the person is emotional and likely cannot articulate his emotions, he's just reacting to stress and frustration that has built up.

Handling this can go a long way to strengthening a relationship and you can learn valuable skills.

Begin by talking softly, taking responsibility for your part in the interaction and, perhaps, relating how this person has been treated like this and how it made them feel bad and relating that they do not like this person and probably don't wish to become like them. Would be an appropriate response in this particular situation.

If this person is defensive and prone to violence, though, DO NOT infer that they are "like" the person they are being attacked by outside the home. If this person is prone to violence, please seek professional help and remove yourself and any dependents from the potentially dangerous situation IMMEDIATELY.

Not only have there been divorces over squeezing the toothpaste in the wrong place, but murders. Please do not stay in a violent relationship.