Whether the person is a lover, co-worker, friend or relative, it can difficult to maintain a relationship with a short-tempered person. You might feel as if you are walking on eggshells just to please the person. If you do ignite his temper, he could subject you to the silent treatment for days to come. This can be a frustrating situation, but you will need to manage your own temper and employ several strategies to handle his anger.
Know the Triggers
Make note of the common triggers that set off the person's anger, and try to avoid them. Some people lose their temper when their property or values are threatened, when they are pushed to do something they don't want to, when they feel betrayed, when they feel discounted or when they feel their expectations cannot be met, suggests licensed psychologist Lynne Namka in the "Angries Out" article "So You Love an Angry Person." Beneath each of these triggers is a feeling of helplessness in the face of perceived injustice, which brings about the frustration.
Wait for Calmer Moments
When a person is in a rage, hormones are in control and reasoning with her will be ineffective, suggests Namka. Your attempts to reason with this person might result in an argument, further straining the relationship. Instead, wait until she is calmer before voicing your opinion. Of course, if her rage turns violent, you should escape the situation and seek the aid of a therapist or mediator.
While you're waiting for his anger to settle, lend an ear to his problem, suggests licensed clinical psychologist Nadia Persun in the PsychCental.com article "How to Switch Off an Angry Person." Ask questions and respond gently and emphatically. You don't have to agree with everything he says, but show that you are making an attempt to understand. This will reduce his belief that he is alone and helpless in facing the wrong he thinks has been done to him.
Face Long-Term Anger
In some cases, a person might remain angry for an extended period, giving you the cold shoulder or shooting glares or even insults in your direction. Rather than respond in kind or continually ask what's wrong, break away from this situation, suggests career coach and counselor Marie G. McIntyre in her "Your Office Coach" article "Dealing with Pouters and Sulkers." Continue on with your normal behavior. The angry person will soon realize there is no reward for his anger -- you are not about to let your emotions be controlled -- and he will drop the passive aggressive tactics.
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Mitch Reid has been a writer since 2006. He holds a fine arts degree in creative writing, but has a persistent interest in social psychology. He loves train travel, writing fiction, and leaping out of planes. His written work has appeared on sites such as Synonym.com and GlobalPost, and he has served as an editor for ebook publisher Crescent Moon Press, as well as academic literary journals.
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