Conversing With Angry People

Note the first step – confronting angry people, was released last week, read that previous article>>

The person who wins an argument is not the man who talks the most, but he who listens. – Unknown

To be on which side is your choice.

Are you the speaker, or the listener?

Following are three key steps in order to converse with an angry person, while showing the traits of a winner:

Step 1) Listen

All an angry person arguing trying to do is to win.

Obvious but how can you use this fact for your benefit?

Let them win on the surface, at the start; and then “counterattack” when they have their guards down.

Key is, all you have to do is just listen and show him/her your attention, because that’s all they want – attention.

However I know it’s really tempting to interrupt them when they make a false point; hence this first step is in fact the most difficult task of the whole process.

Step 2) Agreeing to everything

The problem here is no one likes to agree with something they believe it’s wrong.

The trick is to say you agree with them in their perspective e.g.: “Yes, yes, if I was in your situation, I’d definitely XXX(their point).” Because obviously if you were him/her, of course you’d agree with yourself.

Anger only comes into play because there are two sides, when one side is unwilling to comply with the other side.

The fastest way to stop a fight, all you have to simply do is agree with your opponent, thus he/she has no reason to argue further.

Am I telling you to let them win?

No.

The technique behind this is to first agree with them, this makes the angry person think he/she has a good point and so loses his/her burst of aggressiveness of anger. And then you speak.

Why?

Because no angry person really listens to what their enemy says until they think they’re right. In their minds, all that is going on is his/her point.

Step 3) Speak smart

When they lose their aggressiveness, it’s your time to strike back, to make your points.

Following are several general techniques that help you speak smarter:

  • Don’t “argue” or you become an angry person too.
  • Talk slower, talk less; express your idea with the least words possible.
  • Remember the concept less is more, the less you speak, the more value and strength your words mean; the more you speak, the less value the words have.
  • Use examples to support your speech.
  • Don’t go negative directly, go the indirect route; express your thoughts in a way that doesn’t create more anger.
  • If they interrupt, let them.

Most importantly, speak with common sense, don’t make unnecessary points.

Wrap-up of the process

  1. Listen, don’t interrupt even when the urge comes.
  2. Agree, in their perspective.
  3. Counterattack – speak with common sense.

To converse with angry people you’ll need a good level of E.Q. and self-discipline.

And to be able to harness your anger at appropriate times.