Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dealing With Angry People: A How-To Guide

Have you ever been yelled at? Have you ever had a friend get so mad at you that they just ignore you? Well, people, this is a commonly felt emotion called anger. Oftentimes, it occurs because the person feels as if they've been betrayed, let down, or simply wronged. So how do we deal with those who are angry? I collected ideas from a few unnamed individuals and here are some examples:
1. Yell at them to snap out of it.
2. Ignore them until they decide to be calm and happy again.
3. Hit them with a textbook until they start crying so that way they're sad, not mad.
Which is the correct way to handle a situation with angry people? Drumroll...


Yelling at the person will only make them even MORE angry. Ignoring them will just lose you a friend, especially if they're already ignoring you. If you're both ignoring each other than you're not likely to ever speak again. And Example #3 I find to be a no-brainer. If I started hitting one of my friends with a textbook, they might be sad for a little while. But, in the end, they'll just be... You guessed it! Even more mad.
So what is the correct way of dealing with angry people? Here is a personal narrative for you on the RIGHT way (most of the time):
One day, I was with my friend Cara during 4th period, which is right before lunch. Cara had gotten really mad at me because she'd been complaining about the homework or the class or something and I'd told her to shut up and be thankful that she got to go to school. After that, she sort of sank into an angry silence. Cara went to save us seats at lunch, like she always did, although she did it silently that day (an amazing feat for her). As me and my other friends Sophie, Mary, Maddie, and Kathleen were washing our hands, Sophie commented, "I don't get why she's so mad. You just told her to be quiet. She's such a brat. What are we going to do about it? She'll probably just ignore us for forever!" As we were walking to the lunchroom, I had a brilliant idea. "Hey guys, let's just be really nice to her." There was some disagreement about my method, but they all gave in eventually. I just so happened to be in the lunch line next to her and I was just chatting away, asking her what she was doing, if she understood the science homework, etc. And suddenly, she said, "Tori, I just can't stay mad at you. You're being too nice." I wanted to jump in the air and scream "YES!", but I decided against it as we were in the lunch room. So we all became friends once more and had a happy rest of the day.

TA-DA!!! There's your magic solution. Nothing kills anger like kindness or servility. So next time someone's mad at you, instead of yelling back, try being nice. It works.

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