How to deal with angry people


How to deal with angry people

“Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you”. Joel Osteen
How many times have you had to deal with an angry person?  Anger is a universal emotion, and no matter what job you do, it is important to know how to deal with angry people calmly and assertively.  More often than not, another person’s anger has nothing to do with you. When you recognize this, it can have a major influence on how you cope with the situation, and allow you to see the underlying cause, perhaps. A recent survey done found that when people understood that they didn’t cause another person’s anger, they weren’t upset by the situation.

Perhaps your workmate or friend received some difficult news that they cannot cope with, and is taking his/her negative feelings out on you; perhaps they feel overwhelmed by their workload or their personal life, or maybe someone aggravated them to the point of feeling angry with the world. When you recognize and understand this, you can remove yourself from the anger, and you’ll find it much easier to cope with it. If however, you are the cause of another person’s anger, it is important to take responsibility for your actions and apologise, and ask if you can do something to change things.

Sometimes anger comes from a variety of emotional places, of how they expected to treated, a workmate was annoyed because you are given the most prestigious jobs that they wanted, or a shopkeeper was upset because of a late payment?

It is easy to get upset when you are confronted with an angry person, so how you respond can easily make the situation worse. When you respond calmly and with empathy, and listen to what is being said, you can stay in control and you can defuse the situation in a professional, courteous way. If you can calm them down, you can break the anger from spiralling out of control that can eliminate the anger and give you an opportunity to solve the underlying problems that have caused the anger in the first place.

If you respond angrily to someone else’s anger, you can easily end up being seen as aggressive and adding to the problem. This is disastrous if you are in the wrong and caused this to happen. But if you respond calmly and in a low voice you can get rid of the stress and unhappiness that can build up in someone else’s emotions. When you respond calmly to angry people, you set a good example for others. How you deal with anger can inspire others around you, which can transform their ability to deal with anger. We all know the signs of normal anger. But some people can suppress the visible signs of anger but seethe with a burning rage under the surface. This can appear in quite subtle, “passive aggressive ” ways.

Passive-aggressive anger is common in the workplace, and signs of it include the following:  Pretending not to hear or understand requests.  Avoiding involvement, or giving you a wide berth.  Spreading gossip or unfounded rumours, or telling hurtful jokes to retaliate.  They can also become  obsessive and start  sulking or withdrawing from conversations. Engaging in self-defeating behaviours, or setting other workmates up for failure.  Other forms of passive aggressiveness like behaving secretively,  ignoring others or demonstrating an “angry smile” or smirking.

It is a useful skill to know how to calm angry people down. When you can defuse someone’s anger, it can enhance your standing as a calm and mature person, and it can help you deal with people who struggle to manage or control their emotions, especially in times of pressure.

It is only natural to get upset when angry people confront you, regardless of whether their anger is justified or not or directed at you or not. When you feel the brunt of anger it can lead you to become angry yourself.  Do your best to respond calmly and intelligently when you face angry people. Learn how to manage your own response without emotion, so that you stay in control during upsetting  interactions. If you feel yourself getting upset, excuse  yourself  from the conversation and take a break or go for a walk to calm down.  Try to see things from their perspective as they express hurt feelings. Use active listening , so that you really listen to what she says.

When it’s your turn to talk, speak slowly and calmly, lower your voice as this will often encourage others to calm down. Show an interest in resolving the situation, and try not to judge the other person’s behaviour – this shows respect.  Once you have understood the situation, try to avoid making excuses or defending your actions. Going on the defensive make others feel even angrier than they are already. Ask quietly what you can do to resolve the situation and change how they see things. People who experience intense levels of anger might be unwilling or unable to change how they see things, however, and you may annoy them further if you try to get them to focus on something else.

Bottom of Form

You may work or live with a person who frequently experiences angry outbursts. If so, once the anger has passed, it is important to communicate how this person’s anger makes you feel. Be respectful but assertive  with the other person, and use “I” statements to communicate how you feel.  Start by finding the real cause of their anger by asking open-ended questions. Try not to get angry yourself. Stay calm, speak slowly.  A calm, rational response can go a long ways toward calming angry people down.

Peg Hanafin, MSc.  19/4/2018 wp




“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort” —-Franklin D. Roosevelt

Confidence and self- belief are two essential components in reaching the goals you want to achieve in life. No matter how driven you are, you would be illogical to think you can achieve success single-handedly. Even if someone else is not aiding you directly, it is helpful to establish a network with whom you can copy or imitate and who will inspire you to persevere, or hold you accountable.   Only by what you know and what you believe in, can you arrive at a place that you are confident to get to the position you want in life.  Positivity, motivation, discipline and being more optimistic will underpin your goals. Your positive attitude will drive your determination and resolve, that will enable you to achieve your aspirations. Trust yourself and tell yourself that you can do it. Small successes will allow the presenting challenges to enable you to deal with the bigger tasks. Accept your hard work, your knowledge and your skills. By having a plan and a focus to achieve your goals will provide you with a basis and an underpinning of your future successes.

Reflect on what you want to achieve on your journey to find success.  Things may not always go according to plan, so learn from mistakes, and start again.  Look for the lessons and consider learning from not getting it right, but at least you have found what does not work. Change how you do it the next time. Never give up, you will find a way through if you have the discipline to keeping trying. Learning in this way will make you aware of your many skills and will give you a stronger belief in your capabilities.

Trust in yourself and learn to listen to others and take what is relevant from the advice they are giving you.  Find specific people who can help you bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. This will support you with further knowledge in the  future decision making.  If you maintain the principles you stand for, the structure and growth in your character as a person will be with you throughout your life. Consistent reflection and taking time to examine where you are going, will act as a compass or direction that can be used to measure your progress. Knowing what your goals are and your plans for the way forward, will help bring success. This developed clarity will enable you to focus and not be distracted from your goals. Be open in the knowledge that the path to achieving your goals may have to alter, that is part of life. As long as the core remains solid and you believe in yourself, the path to realising your goal will still be attainable.

We all have, or ought to have goals in life. Each one of us wants to achieve something, whether great or small, at some point in our lives. We have deep-seated or entrenched hopes and dreams for the future and a burning desire to accomplish something great that we can leave as a legacy. It is a dream for many, woven into the core of who we are deep down inside. In fact, it is part of what has made us into who we are.  Not only have we wished for the impossible, but we have reached for the stars.

It is not easy achieving your goals in life, that much is a certainty. But couple that with our insatiable thirst for instant gratification and the seemingly endless seeking of happiness — where we are always reaching for something better than we have today – it is no wonder that we get frustrated while trying to achieve great things. When failure rears its ugly head and we may suffer the ridicule of public or peer humiliation, it is no wonder why we find it so hard to seek for goals that will fall into the public domain.

Yet, there is a simpler way with no complications. The greatest problem that most people face is that they fail to set their goals that even though challenging, are achievable. And once they do set their goals, to work with determination and discipline to achieve them. The best way to achieve any goal in life is to plan and in spite of any setbacks to never give up. Achieving those goals and dreams over time will come to fruition with discipline and hard work. Achievements are the important things that give fulfilment and satisfaction, and don’t we all want that in life.

Peg Hanafin, MSc.  1/5/2018.web pg




Do we really own anything, or are we just custodians?

Did you ever ponder that everything you own will belong to someone else when we say goodbye to this world?  Everything.  So your thoughts, your assets and the smallest little detail of your life are gone. Hindu leader Dada Vaswani put it this way: “If you have everything the world can give—pleasure, possessions, power—but lack peace of mind, you can never be happy.” Or, as someone else once said, “Rich people are just poor people with money”.  No amount of wealth or status that we acquire in this world can give us inner peace, we are only custodians for someone else. So to get a love for “Things” is a wasted effort, so why not share it while you are in control?  You only get one shot at this “thing” called life. It is not a rehearsal nor will it be re-run. You can live it for yourself, or you can live it by serving, sharing and caring for others. The surest way for happiness and fulfillment is to be generous and have gratitude.

Ownership also involves life’s intangibles: like your reputation,  status, position, knowledge, skills, achievements, health, love, or family, but we forfeit all of these at the end of life. How can you discover your purpose in life, and experience the full life that God wants you to have that will bring contentment and happiness? All that you have – your friends, your talents, your resources, your opportunities — are received from the Almighty, and to fully appreciate their importance must be to acknowledge that Presence in our lives. They can be snatched in a moment, and are.  So it behoves us to be concerned with how we use these blessings to extend the power of the Almighty to others. We are not an island, there are no one-man shows,  we are all dependent on others from before birth until death.

 When you realise that life is always on borrowed time rather than something that you control, it will change the way you think and live. No personal achievement will matter, once you are dead. The only thing that will live on after death will be the impact on the people that are still alive. And we all hope that our impact will be positive and that we will leave a legacy of love and service.

Everything is temporary in this world, nothing is everlasting. We came into this world with nothing, and we will leave it with nothing. So all the gathering of wealth and possessions will be left behind to others, to do as they see fit until their own time comes. These thoughts should stop you in your tracks if you hold on unjustly to anything in life that you had the loan of.  If you examine all the conflicts and wars around the world, what is at their core? Humans killing and maiming other humans both young and old, for what reason?   Those that inflict unquantifiable grief and pain for gain or perceived ownership, that will down the road, in a blink of an eye, has to be left behind, is incomprehensible and unfathomable. The cause of many conflicts, both personally and in the world at large, and the notion that someone owns something that they think they should have is a myth.

When we decide and recognise that we own nothing, we can then enjoy great pleasure from the sharing of all that we have for now. This includes our possessions, our talents and everything we have just the loan of. We can let go of the fear of loss. We can let go of anger, resentments, and bitterness and simply share and care. We can let go of the illusion of ownership because it is unrealistic. The fear of loss of things we love and value is a blight on our lives. When we are afraid of a perceived threat to take away what we think we own, we will eventually become angry and aggressive and meet the perceived threat head-on, sometimes with violence and hatred causing misery to another human being.

When we compare our gifts and talents with those of others, we create a social pecking order, and we think we are ahead in life. If we are satisfied that we are successful, we feel okay. If not, we may feel anxious, become competitive, and strive to move up the ladder of life.   Worse yet, are those who use position for personal power and financial gain at the expense of others.  But as we all know positions and power are changeable—you can be the boss one day and an nobody the next. Ego-tripping up and down the socio-economic ladder is not a recipe for personal joy and peace, but can bring conflict and anguish in the bat of an eye. All these things and thoughts are just illusions. In the world of illusion, we are lost and imprisoned, slaves to our desires and our need for false power at the expense of country, neighbours and family.

It seems a stretch of the imagination to claim ownership of even a little part of the world, when it will ultimately be outside of our control and will continue to live on for millennia to come.  And knowing that the human body also is short lived, should keep us all grounded.  Consumed by power and possessions, we completely miss living a rich life.  Author and philosopher Iris Murdoch offered this advice: “We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.” If we had the understanding and the acceptance that everything in this life is temporary greed, avarice, violence, envy, resentments, building possessions, finding sharing too painful, and living a life of deception and dishonesty would become a thing of the past.  Integrity, justice, caring, loving your fellow man, generosity of time, possessions, and talents would be spread for the overall good of every human being.

We often appear to be blind to the fact that all of us will die. Sooner or later.  But the Reaper will reap His crop, and it will not matter either you are rich or poor, only how much love and care you gave to those whose paths you cross. There are only two commandments;  Love God and your neighbour as yourself. And who is your neighbour? Mankind of every description, without exception, even those who differ from us in beliefs and religion.  As we leave this world, it will not matter about who, what, or where you are from, we will be judged on how we lived and how we loved.

Peg Hanafin, MSc.   4/5/2018