It is inevitable to have conflict in your life. You can’t please everyone, an adage most will say. But what do you actually do when that anger is directed to you? Do you commence a shout off with your screaming nemesis?
We suggest you don’t. If people are mad at you, step aside and read on. These are tips on how to deal with people who are mad at you.
Remain Calm and Secure Yourself to Safety
When someone lashes out at you, you need to stay calm. It is important to note that anger is an emotional impulse of individuals who are fearful or in need of control. It is a coping up mechanism, triggered by something or someone, when the person is feeling hurt, threatened, or inadequate.
Likewise, you might also be triggered by this sudden outburst of hate. Take a deep breath. Again, control yourself. If you can’t, stay calm at least on the outside. You don’t want a display of superpowers clashing against each other.
And if it gets too violent, follow your instincts and find a safe place. You can also ask the assistance of third party (like security or a higher up). You can better assess the scenario when you know that you’re physically safe.
Distance Yourself Emotionally, Empathize and Listen
Now, if you know you are safe, you can actually talk to the person. Acknowledge their anger and help them cope up with their feelings.
The best thing is to empathize with the person. There is a reason why they are angry. Just detach your emotions first and look into it in a larger point of view. Listen to their side of things. This will allow them to open up more.
If in case they don’t want to talk to you about it now, don’t be pushy. Be patient. Let them be ready to tell you the details.
After hearing their side, you do not need to agree with their point of view. This detachment is important if you want to really know the root cause of his/her anger.
Identify the Cause by Communicating Gently
You have listened to the person and s/he is somewhat calming down. It is the time to dig deep. Why is s/he even angry?
But while probing, you should mind your words. Refrain from saying excuses or rationalizations for your actions.
“You felt angry because I was late to give you the data to be used in your presentation”.
You don’t have to rationalize that “you should’ve found the data or found something else while waiting”. Or attack them with “you are always waiting for people to feed you information for all your projects”.
Again, you don’t have to agree with their reason. You need to diffuse the situation and understand. And communicating calmly and gently might be your key to figuring it all out.
Offer a Solution: Do Not Be Afraid To Be Wrong
After understanding, you would want a resolution to happen. It is best to admit it if you are wrong. If you can, apologize sincerely and agree on a solution.
If you believe you aren’t at fault, you can still offer a solution or a compromise to repair torn bonds between yourselves. It might be difficult to do so because you have done nothing wrong, but going the higher ground might be better in the long run.
After all, you can’t please everyone. But even if you can’t, we should still save the relationships that matter most. Good luck!