How to defuse someone else’s anger

For an instance, you failed to deliver a service to a customer at the appointed time; you just have to face this product of frustration. How do you calm them down and dissipate their anger so you won’t end up being seen as the aggressor?

Ever had an encounter with an hostile person, who always resents you for a behavior you can’t just imagine? S/he might think you are showing superiority or is being rejected by you. Of course, they are difficult people. But, you have to understand their plight, before you can make any attempt to deal or help them out. It’s an emotion they can’t just control.

Anger erupts from unresolved and unforgotten issues which cause them emotional and physical pain.

You might just be healing their wounds with the following important skills:

Identify the cause

This is the very first and best step to take. You need to get to the root cause of their anger, by giving them free room to explain and voice out all they had in mind. You can achieve this by being active in your listening as you try seeing things from their perspective while they express their feelings.

If he/she says “you just disappointed me yesterday when i needed the service most”. Do not reply with “I understand how you feel,” that sounds insulting and it makes it obvious you had an intention.

Rather say:

“So, you think i could just do that when i knew you trusted me most?”

[hr gap=”2″]

Read also: 4 Ways to Boost your Self-control

[hr gap=”2″]

Demonstrate Respect

With effective listening skills and non-aggressive body language, you can let out the person from the mood. As you let them know you really care about their plight.

Distance Yourself Emotionally

Do you know that someone could direct his anger at you just to make himself feel better? For an instance, a manager at work could be making life hard for employee just as a result of frustration or an insult he got from home. Emotionally, you can distance yourself because you weren’t the cause, by not interfering. Perhaps you might fuel it.  A 2012 study on Responses to Social Stimuli shed more light on this.


This helps change direction, by redirecting the emphasis form negative to positive e.g. “I can see that ‘honesty’ and ‘fairness’ are very important to you, they are to me as well…”

[hr gap=”2″]

Read also: How real is ‘Short Man Syndrome?

[hr gap=”2″]

Some of the explanations made here were gotten from MindTools and Eastern Washington University portal.
Reappraisal Modulates Behavioral and Neural Responses to Social StimuliJens Blechert, Gal Sheppes. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top