We all have to deal with angry people. People get angry all of the time. Maybe you have a family member upset with you for some reason. An unsatisfied employee or customer. Or a fourteen year old daughter livid over limited screen time on her phone. (Unrealistic, I know. But it could happen. Just sayin’.)
Whatever the scenario. Whatever the situation. The easiest and quickest way to remedy an experience with an angry person is to ask these two simple questions.
1. “What’s wrong?”
2. “What do you think would be an appropriate way to handle this?”
No one really enjoys conflict and confrontation. So, when we think that someone may be angry with us, we stress over why they are angry and what to do about it. Then we pile on a big ‘ol helping of taking it personally.
All the stress and worry wears on us. The attempt at finding every possible way to avoid the person and the situation is exhausting. These two questions eliminate all of this immediately. How? By taking the guess work out of it. Most people just want to be heard and to know that their feelings are valid. Asking the questions confirm for them that they have been heard and that their feelings are important to you. And instead of you stressing over the exact right way to handle it, it’s just easier to ask what they want.
By taking out the guesswork, you immediately diffuse the situation and eliminate the possibility of making it worse by guessing wrong.
I’ll challenge you to try this the next time you are dealing with an angry person, in any capacity. Let me know how it goes by leaving a comment below. Are there other techniques you have used to solve similar issues? I’d love to hear about those, too!
(I told you it would be quick!)