What Do You Do When Someone Has Become Angry With You

  • Lynda Savage, M.S., LMFT, LPC
  • Series: Dear Rosa

(Not someone abusive or a stranger, but someone who is a close loved one who is normally not an angry person. This angry state has come about concerning something involving the two of you. This commentary speaks to mild anger, not rage or abuse.)

1. If there is disagreement, stay calm and disagree respectfully. If you feel that something you've said or done is being misinterpreted kindly explain in a calm manner. If it is a boundary violation on your part, genuinely ask for space to think about what is being said and then genuinely think about it. Promise not to abandon the person because of the anger or the issue, and then be sure you do not emotionally abandon them for bringing up a potentially tough subject.

2. Be very honest. Do not deny or minimize. Do not get into a false “I’m sorry” just to calm the situation. Do not accept belittling or personal put-downs. Ask for a different setting to discuss the situation when both can be more settled.

3. Be respectful of your own needs and limitations. Pray. You may need a third party professional to mediate if the topic is an on-going trigger between the two of you.