Dealing With Anger In Interpersonal Communication

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In this Explearning conversation, we discuss a few ways of dealing with anger in interpersonal communication. When we feel heightened emotions such as anxiety, fear, anger, or frustration, social interaction can be tricky. How do you handle anger in interpersonal communication?

The context is anger within interpersonal communication and relationships:

  • Why anger is toughest to deal with in interpersonal relationships
  • Why Stoicism helps with anger management
  • How do we avoid getting to the point where we lose control
  • How to avoid anger

What do you do if you’re the angry person?

  • How do we get attuned to ourselves?
  • Body scan and mind scan through introspection and intrapersonal communication
  • Feeling of anger comes from within, even if there is an external stimulus 
  • Reacting versus responding
  • We can’t control what happens, we can control our reaction to what happens
  • Mental training to help us dial down reactivity
  • Excuse yourself from the situation and take a time out
  • Keeping emotions in check
  • In situations where you cannot remove yourself, reorient the conversation
  • Getting people’s minds back to a state of normalcy and calm
  • Make a note to revisit the topic later, when tension subsides and people can think and speak rationally
  • Power of your subconscious mind
  • Controlling your breath and centering yourself

What do you do if you’re communicating with an angry person?

  • Show empathy and understanding
  • Don’t take it personally
  • Onus is on them, not on you if they can’t control their anger
  • Anger is like a flame and you can decide how flammable you are
  • Returning the anger and erupting in flames does not resolve anything, it makes matters worse
  • Be like a cool glass of water or glacial stream to keep your cool, this will extinguish their flame
  • Keep your cool, and eventually, they’ll run out of steam and their anger will dissipate 
  • Don’t add insult to injury by being angry back at them
  • Keep in mind their perspective 
  • Give them the benefit of the doubt
  • Revisit the situation later and help them recalibrate their thoughts 
  • Calm state of mind is appropriate for conflict resolution

We’re human, we get angry and lose patience. But it’s important to learn how to control our anger and other people’s anger by introspecting and also knowing how to dial down the intensity during tense situations, respectively.