Is The First Response To An Angry Person Admitting We’re Wrong? A Psychologist's Mindful Warning
"So what should you do when people are mad at you?" It's a simple question you've probably wondered several times. Do you give them space? Do you beg for forgiveness? Do you yell back to stand your ground?
There are tips and tricks out there that can help diffuse these situations before they escalate. A professor named Ryan Martin, took to TikTok to help his community learn how to respond to angry person.
"Is Their Anger Justified?"
angerprofessor / TikTok
The first thing you should do is ask yourself: "is their anger justified?" This may be the hardest thing to do when faced with an angry person but take it from an anger researcher.
In fact, Ryan Martin is a psychologist who specializes in anger. He is known as @angerprofessor on TikTok with close to 150k followers.
It's The Emotionally Wise Thing To Do
To ask yourself if you did something wrong is to try and see things from the other person's perspective. By putting yourself in their shoes, you're able to look past your own emotions and look at the situation from a more logical stance.
In your state of defense, you may wonder why you should be the one to do the extra work when they should be the ones to hear out your side before getting angry. However, being the bigger person is what's within your control, so why not strive to be better?
You Might Realize they're In The Right
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Once you take the extra step of putting the argument on pause so you can take a moment to evaluate what it's even about, you might realize that they have a right to be upset.
In these situations, while it may not always be possible, taking some space or a few minutes to evaluate the situation may be helpful in coming back to it with a clearer mindset.
But They Can Be Expressing It Wrong
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Keep in mind that as the professor explains: "their anger might be justified but they're still expressing it in a maladaptive and problematic way. So maybe they're right to be mad but not right to express it in the way that they are."
This becomes the space for compromise so that both parties feel like that their feelings are being acknowledged, while working together to take accountability for their part in making it worse. This prevents the situation from escalating.
This Is How We Address Our Own Mistakes
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The main message is that before you point the finger, you should take a look in the mirror first. Nine times out of ten, we aren't completely innocent either. In that sense, we have room for growth and learning too.
"We can address our own mistakes, even when someone is being cruel," explains the professor. While it may be easier to shift the blame, it prevents us from moving forward.
Diffusing Anger Is A Two Way Streak
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While it may seem to difficult to communicate with an angry person, it may be worth reaching a compromise with them in admitting "I made a mistake and I'll fix it, but you shouldn't treat me that way."
This validates their feelings and allows you to take accountability without depriving them of your own values, and needs.