A common experience in human relationships is the offense of someone who, then, feels angry. Coupled with frustration, anger can result in an outburst! And the target of that outburst–you–can respond defensively with equal fury and the dynamic escalates, or with stubborn silence which fuels resentment.

Different people handle anger in different ways. Nevertheless, you can learn a more calming yet assertive response. You simply allow the person to run out of steam and then affirm what is going on in that moment:

“I can see that you are very angry with me.”
“I understand that you were hurt by what I said/did.”
“I would like to resolve this with your help.”

Usually by this time the affirming statements calm the angry person. If the need to communicate can be met immediately, find a private space perhaps with two chairs facing one another. In the event that you cannot address the issue immediately, state your desire to resolve the matter, set a day and time to do so, and keep that commitment.

You cannot control someone else’s outburst, but you can control your response. Your response, with practice, can become a habit of strength and courage, and eventually will be instinctive. Are you noticing a chronic pattern of your anger or of anger in one or more of your relationships?

For more strategies on how to handle the ensuing conversation, hire a Resiliency Coach for three months and learn how to handle confusion, conflict, and criticism. Contact me, Vanessa Landau, Resiliency Trainer, for Co-Creative Transformation (Resiliency Coaching) and I will accompany you along the way.

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