Does your partner have a temper once in awhile? Do they yell or get mad during disagreements, instead of approaching the situation with reason and consideration? It can be stressful and frustrating to get into an argument with a partner who gets angry.
If you see any red flags, such as your partner being controlling, untrusting, jealous or unwilling to communicate, those are signs that there are things to work on in the relationship. However, if their anger just gets the best of them every once in awhile, but otherwise you feel that they are a great catch, here are five ways to diffuse an angry situation. You can also use these tips to diffuse anger in yourself, if you are the one who sometimes becomes hot headed.
1. Let them know you understand why they are upset
Specify what happened that made them angry. For example, saying something like “you’re mad because I didn’t call when I said I would” or “you are upset because I was late for our dinner date.” Reiterating why they are upset helps them see that you understand their emotions and care about their feelings. It can diffuse the situation for them to know you understand why they are angry.
2. Check your own emotions
If you get angry back at the person, the situation will likely escalate and become explosive. Two people yelling at one another isn’t very fruitful. If you respond in a calm manner, it can show the other person that you aren’t looking for a fight and that you aren’t a threat to them.
3. Use humor
Sometimes making a joke despite the situation can bring relief and ease the tension. Laughter helps us relieve stress and can shift the mood. Just use caution when using humor to diffuse a situation. Avoid making fun of the angry person. Instead, make a joke about yourself or something remotely related to the situation to take the angry person’s mind off of their current mood.
4. Show empathy
Showing the angry person that you care about their feelings and why they are upset can help calm them down. We all want to feel like our emotions are validated and cared about by others. It can really help for another person to acknowledge why we are upset and let us know they care about our feelings.
5. Ask them questions
Ask the angry person specific questions regarding how they’d like you to react to the situation. Things such as “how can I make this better?” or “what is it that you want from me right now?” can help you get to the root of the issue and see what originally upset the person. They could be upset because of how they are perceiving a situation and asking these specific questions can help you see their side and work through it.
Whether you are dealing with a partner, co-worker, child or someone else, everyone has moments of anger. When it is a habitual problem, you may want to suggest that they seek out classes for anger management. If the temper only comes out once in awhile, these diffusing methods can help you to help them work through the situation a bit more efficiently and healthy.