The Mating Grounds

8 Effective Coping Strategies for Dealing with Angry People

Dealing with Angry People:

Understanding and

Coping Strategies

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where youre facing an angry person? Maybe at work, in a social setting, or even in your family?

It can be tough to deal with someone whos upset, but its important to understand that they may not even realize why theyre so angry. In this article, well explore different reasons why people may show anger and provide you with tips and coping strategies for dealing with them.

Reasons for Anger Issues

People display anger for various reasons. Some of which include personality traits, emotional state, and learned behavior.

Most angry people have underlying issues theyre struggling with, unconscious fears, or repressed emotions that trigger their outbursts. For instance, its common for people whove been hurt in the past to develop trust issues that cause them to be defensive or easily triggered.

Family background, upbringing, and life experiences also play a significant role in shaping someones personality, and sometimes, they may learn poor anger-management skills from those around them.

How to Deal with Angry People

Coping with angry people can be challenging, but by employing the right strategies, you can diffuse the tension and avoid fuelling their anger. Here are some essential tips:


Before you attempt to deal with an angry person, take a moment to assess your own emotions. Its best to approach the situation calmly, with an open mind, and without any desire to be right.

If youre stressed or in a bad mood, its advisable to step away and recenter yourself before attempting to mediate the situation.


Always remember that anger is a natural response to pain or fear. Thus, its essential to look beyond the angry outburst and try to identify the underlying issue.

Show empathy, try to understand their perspective, and reassure them that youre there to help. Dont underestimate the power of a listening ear.

Sometimes, all an angry person needs is someone whos willing to listen to and understand them.

Coping Strategies

Some coping strategies for dealing with angry people include:

– Avoid making sweeping generalizations or harsh remarks that might escalate the situation. – Give them space if they need it.

– Try to keep your tone of voice calm and dont use condescending language. – Offer solutions or suggestions, but dont try to force them to accept them.

– Focus on resolving the issue at hand, and avoid getting into petty arguments.

Understanding Anger

By nature, anger is a necessary emotion that enables humans to defend themselves from danger. However, when anger is incessant or out of control, it can cause suffering, both for the person experiencing it, and those around them.

An angry person tends to get angry even over mundane things that arent significant, and this can be contagious.

Behaviors of Angry People

Angry people tend to exhibit various behaviors that may be useful in understanding their perspective. These behaviors include:

Defensive – They are always ready for an attack or criticism.

Easily Triggered – Small things can led to a big outburst. Grudges – Angry people tend to hold on to resentments for longer than is necessary.

Complaining – They often find dissatisfaction in almost everything and require constant attention. Dominating – They may feel the need to control situations or other people.

Argumentative – They disagree about everything, even the most trivial issues. Insecure – Fear of abandonment, inadequacy, or disapproval can trigger frequent outbursts.

Passive-Aggressive – They exhibit anger through non-verbal cues, like eye-rolling, sighing, or sarcasm.


Dealing with angry people is an uncomfortable experience, but its one that can be made manageable with the right approach. Remember to take a step back, assess your emotions and the situation, aim to understand the persons perspective, and suggest solutions where necessary.

By employing these strategies, you can avoid taking things personally, keep the situation from escalating further, and have a healthy relationship with even the most difficult people.

Coping Strategies for Dealing with Angry People: Approaches That Work vs. Approaches That Don’t

Angry people can be difficult to handle.

Their rage can feel like an attack and may leave you feeling defensive or resentful. However, there are ways to help manage and defuse their anger without escalating the situation.

Below well explore coping strategies that work and those that don’t:

Knowing Your Own Reactions to Anger

Its always best to start with self-awareness. How do you react when someone is angry?

Do you withdraw, become defensive, or give in to avoid conflict? Knowing your tendencies and triggers is an essential first step in dealing with angry people.

If you have a history of losing your temper, it may be time to look at how to better manage your own emotional responses to avoid exacerbating the situation.

Understanding the Other Person’s Perspective

It can be difficult to see past someone’s outburst of anger and understand what is motivating their emotions. To defuse anger, try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and see beyond the behavior.

Show compassion and understanding to gain insight into their thoughts and feelings. Empathy is not agreeing with how someone is behaving or even condoning it; its putting yourself in their position to understand their context and often their suffering that is driving their anger.

Approaches That Don’t Work

There are several approaches that can be very detrimental to the situation at hand. One is to react with anger responding with the same aggression that youre experiencing will only escalate the situation.

Another approach is confrontation, which can often cause someone to become further defensive and even hostile. Appeasement is another approach that doesnt work as it reinforces the aggressive person’s behavior.

Lastly, hugging/sympathy may come across as presumptuous, even patronizing.

Accepting and Managing Anger

Anger is unavoidable. Its also necessary to recognize that everyone has the capacity for anger, so it’s possible that you may be dealing with someone who is a part of the same situation.

Its helpful to respect that anger is a profound feeling that must be accepted. Practicing deep breathing or meditation techniques when not in a state of anger can be a great way to manage emotions.

Finding moments of calm ahead of time can help manage moments of extreme emotions.

Enforcing Boundaries

Its essential to identify healthy boundaries and enforce them in the presence of angry people. This means stating your limits, not as a form of retaliation or anger projection but instead as a form of self-care.

This boundary setting with the angry person can be achieved by saying I feel uncomfortable with how you’re talking and I’m going to step away now to take a break. It may feel awkward in the moment, but it’s important to stick with it.

Rewarding Positive Behavior

Positive reinforcement is essential, as people learn more effectively through positive experiences than negative ones. Forgiveness is a form of positive reinforcement that can allow someone to improve their behavior.

It can be difficult to forgive someone who was angry, but it’s better not to hold grudges. The less grudges held by anyone, the more open to changes they become.

Forgiveness aids that positive change which often brings people closer together.

Identifying What the Angry Person Wants

In the moment, it can be hard to figure out what someone wants when they’re displaying their anger. It may be necessary to probe a little to identify what they’re after.

It may be that they want to vent or that they have something they urgently need to communicate. Once understood, be willing to compromise to meet halfway.

Responding with Kindness

Finally, anger is usually fueled by pain or fear. Its important to approach someone who is angry with empathy and decency.

This approach should not be perceived as you agreeing they are right or at times challenging the situation. Instead, speak in a concise and straightforward manner.

Don’t ignore someone’s emotions. Instead, try to disarm anger by acknowledging their emotions in the situation.


Dealing with angry people can be tough, but it is a necessary part of social interaction. Knowing your reactions, understanding the other person’s perspective, and identifying positive coping strategies will help you manage the situation more effectively.

It takes patience, empathy, and good communication to help someone manage their anger, but when successful, both people can learn and grow from the interaction. In conclusion, dealing with angry people is an essential part of effective communication.

By understanding the underlying reasons for anger and employing appropriate coping strategies, we can learn to manage and defuse situations more effectively. This involves self-awareness, empathizing with the other person’s perspective, and avoiding approaches that don’t work.

We also learned that enforcing boundaries, rewarding positive behavior, and responding with kindness are effective ways of handling anger. With these tips in mind, we can better handle difficult situations and create healthier social interactions, ultimately improving our interpersonal relationships.

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