Deal With Person’s Feelings First
An angry person needs to have the issue AND their feelings addressed in order to start interacting constructively. The angrier the person, the more important it is to acknowledge their anger through the use of empathy statements and listening responses FIRST, before moving on to the issue. Problem solving with angry people often results in wasted time unless they are ready to participate calmly.
Begin To Defuse Early
Angry and frustrated people usually indicate their mood prior to opening their mouths and beginning a hostile attack. One way to address or pre-empt the attack is to begin the defusing process before the other person gets on an abusive rant. For example, in the dialogue with Mary and Peter, Mary might have noticed Peter standing in her doorway looking rather irate and angry, and spoken first using an empathy type response like: “Hi, Peter, you look like you are really upset with something. What’s up?” Something as simple as that might have made a huge difference in setting a more respectful tone for the interaction.
Be Assertive, Not Manipulative, Passive or Aggressive
You have a right to take action, or impose consequences in situations where someone has stepped over the line in their comments or behaviors. In fact, if you don’t speak up for yourself in these situations bully-type people will perceive you as an acceptable victim for their poor behavior. When using assertive type statements or setting up consequences, do not dwell on the way the person is communicating any more than necessary. Make your statement, then refocus the conversation back to the issue. With respect to Mary and Peter this is one way Mary might have responded.Read the rest of this article on Conflict911.com by Bacal & Associates..
Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC, CAMS-V
CounselCare Connection, P.C. – Anger Management Institute
1200 Harger Road, Suite 602 – Oak Brook, IL 60523