How to Deal With Angry People

Introduction: How to Deal With Angry People

Today, anger seems to be everpresent in our lives: in our daily conmute to and from work, at school, at work, while servicing customers, and sometimes at home from someone that we love. Although I am not an expert in human behavior, I am going to talk about how to respond to anger from my point of view based on seventeen years of working as a crew leader for a state university. Part of my job description required to assign work and supervise the completion of the assigned work of my subordinates. I had to deal with unhappy people very often and our department trained us to deal with conflict on the workplace. It is useful to develop strategies to deal with this kind of situation because we may never know when we are going to be dealing with someone's outburst.

Step 1: Why Sometimes We Get Angry?

People get angry for many reasons:
  • Learned behavior.If someone is born with parents and siblings that react angrily to any provocation, there is a great chance that the individual will grow up to be an angry adult.
  • Stress. We may feel like a pressure cooker, boiling inside until we burst in anger.
  • Psychiatric disorders. People suffering from depression or bipolar disorder sometimes experience irritability and may react with anger to perceived threats.
  • Intimidation. Some people use anger to manipulate others into doing their bidding. Psychopaths have no conscience and they enjoy having power over people. They resort to threats, intimidation, manipulation, and agression to get what they want. Stay away from these kind of individuals, document and report to authorities incidents like these for your own protection and others.

Step 2: What to Do When Someone Is Angry at Us?

There are many things we can do when dealing with an angry person:
  • Do not respond with anger. Resist the temptation of paying with the same token. By keeping yourself in control you will not feed the emotional fire. It is much better to keep quiet than making an explosive situation worst. The same can be said if you encounter an aggressive driver: Do not put yourself or others in danger by using your vehicle to punish the offending driver.
  • Ask questions in a calm manner. Anger is an emotion, when you ask questions you force the angry person to think, when we think our emotions subside. Instead of accusing the other person of being wrong, ask questions with the word "I". It works! An example would be "I understand that you are upset. It's there anything that I could do to help?"
  • Keep a distance or move yourself from the area. If possible, remove yourself from the vicinity of the angry coworker until the person cools off.
  • Do not tolerate abuse. Do not become a victim. Report aggressive behavior immediately to the supervisor, manager, school principal, police, or human resources staff. In many states and countries management is liable for the damages that occurr at the workplace.

Step 3: How We Deal With Our Own Anger?

Sometimes we are the angry ones. What can we do to deal with our anger?
  • Rest.
  • Exercise.
  • Talk to a friend, relative, spiritual counselor, mental health professional, or anyone willing to listen.
  • Breathing exercises.
  • Hobbies! And this is where Instructables comes in.
  • Reading.
  • Involve yourself in activities where you can experience flow , activities that serve not only to relax you but, also will give you a sense of satisfaction.

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    8 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    You missed the most important thing about step 2 : "What to do when someone is angry at us?"
    The answer is more simple (but not the easiest) : laugh heartily, a good humorous laugh, laugh that expresses the joy of living and the ability not to be caught in those light disturbances of life like anger.
    Of course the "laughing response" implies that all others that you gave are also applied !…
    :))))) ah ! ha! ah! …… :)))))

    Best wishes


    We all get angry from time to time. That is normal. What is negative and too common is when anger takes over, blossoms into rage, and all reason flies out the window. Some people also seem to have anger as their dominant emotion.

    You make very good points on being able to manage anger and de-escalate situations. The only thing I would add is that to keep frustration from boiling over into anger, take a break if a project is not going well. Since few families seem to teach these skills to their children, I agree that a unit on anger management should probably be taught in school.

    My parents always screamed and threw things at the drop of a hat, and they still consider this 'normal' behavior; it is a relief to be 2000 miles away from them. Thank heavens I had some good role models in my friends' parents.


    8 years ago on Introduction


    You might be surprised to discover that most people think that anger is normal and no big deal. I was surprised.

    I wrote an instructable about how anger is destructive and how it can be eliminated and most people who view instructables were not even slightly interested. The few who bothered to read it were offended. This is my instructable on how to eliminate anger in yourself:

    You cannot change angry people. But when you react to angry people with non anger-- the result is magical. It changes everything. But it only works if you eliminate your own anger first.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you! And I agree with you, the best way to fight a fire is dousing it with water. By responding calmly to an angry person we can get better results. By the way I only stumbled with your ible after I published mine. Great work by the way! Great minds think alike!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    It's also somewhat fun to watch reactions when you speak in a normal, neutral tone to someone who is spitting mad. Angry people seem bewildered by anything other than anger's like posing a logical paradox to a computer in a campy sci-fi flick - their brains shut down. Frankly, I'm surprised that anger management is not a required topic of learning in all schools, even starting at a young usually gets a one-day blurb in a Health course in high school...

    Also, mikey77, your link points back to this Instructable - I almost missed yours. You raise some interesting points (and some interesting comment-arguments).


    Anger is just depression with enthusiasm. I find kissing and tickling the best way to defuse anger... especially with truck drivers...


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Aren't they called "lot lizzards"? :)