How do you tame the angry beast that has walked through your door?  Many people are afraid to deal with the angry person. Others want to fight fire with fire.  In reality, there are some sound methods for taming the angry beast that don’t require you to fight or to flight.

According to Dr. Nadia Persun, a licensed clinical psychologist, there are several proven techniques that will help to tame the beast; and in turn help to resolve the dispute.

Disengage and don’t take it personally.

“Big bullies have deeply hurt and vulnerable cores. They are expending their toxic energy to produce their angry display as a distorted way to pursue some goal related to their personal sense of safety and significance. Even though the content may be channeled at you, the driving force behind it is related to their personality, upbringing, and prior experiences.”

Avoid ego battles and rides to the past.

“Avoid discussing with them about who did what, when and why, and how it made them feel, but repeatedly ask how they propose solving this problem now.”

Choose calm and sanity.

Give out an imaginary cupcake.

“Listening and responding to these needs calmly and emphatically can serve as the key to getting more cooperation from emotionally agitated people.”

(See complete article, How to Switch off an Angry Person)

The following things can also be considered when trying to calm the angry beast:

  • Press the pause button.  Pause the interaction for a  moment or longer
  • Change the topic
  • Change the environment
  • Agree with the angry person.  Imagine that you must start off every sentence with, “I agree…”  You don’t have to agree with everything.  Just some things.
  • Talk about the forest and not the trees.

All of these concepts can be used in mediation or in any conflict scenario.

By Steven G. Mehta

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