How To Deal With An Angry Person

We must know how to control an angry person, otherwise it can cause hostility or verbal aggression, and eventually, physical aggression.

I would like to share with you my experience as a nurse in dealing with an angry client. In our case, a client is a patient. I will try to recall some things that I learned so that you can apply these in your daily lives.


Anger is considered as a normal human emotion, but it is perceived as a negative feeling because it is accompanied by the arousal of the nervous system including increase in blood pressure which is harmful to the body. I assume that you are familiar with an angry person because you have experienced it.

Nevertheless, anger can be a normal and healthy reaction when situations or circumstances are unfair or unjust. For example, while driving your car, a vehicle hit you from behind. In this situation, it is normal to be angry. There are also situations, and circumstances when your personal rights are not respected, or realistic expectations are not met. For example, your son or daughter became a victim of frequent bullying in school which resulted in low grades. It is normal to be angry in this situation.

If a person can express his or her anger assertively, problem solving or conflict resolution is possible. It is important that you must take control of this emotion otherwise this emotion will take control of you.

It is important that you must experience how to handle your emotion because this is the most important point to be considered in dealing with an angry person. If you can control your emotion then you can also control the emotion of  other people.

I did mention above that there are situations that anger is normal. But anger becomes negative when a person suppresses it, denies it, or expresses it inappropriately.

A person who is not comfortable in expressing anger may deny or suppress this feeling. Possible consequences are physical problems such as migraine, headaches, ulcers, or coronary artery disease and emotional problems such as depression and low self-esteem. You may have experienced this when you hold your anger. It will cause stress on your mind and body and possibly harm you physically.

It is better to not suppress an angry feeling because of its negative consequences as mentioned above. It is better to let one’s feeling to come out.

If anger is expressed inappropriately,  then it can lead to hostility and aggression. An anger person sometimes become aggressive and violent. Therefore it is very important for you to help an angry person by avoiding inappropriate expression.

The problem with letting your angry feeling to come out is that it can lead eventually to hostility and aggression.

The most effective effective method of decreasing anger is talking while walking with angry person. Walking reduces stress, and talking will release tension.

Controlling one’s temper or managing angry feeling should not be confused with suppressing angry feelings. It is advisable to avoid anger suppression because it can lead to physical problems as mentioned above.

According to some experts, anger suppression is especially common in women who have been socialized to maintain and enhance relationships with others and to avoid expression of so-called negative or unfeminine emotions such as anger.  We must inform our women friends that they should  recognize anger awareness and expression, because they are necessary for their growth and development.

Hostility and Aggression

Hostile and aggressive behavior can be sudden and unexpected. However, stages or phases can be identified in aggressive incidents: a trigerring phase, an escalation phase, a crisis phase, a recovery phase, and a postcrisis phase.

A triggering phase is an event or circumstances in the environment initiates the angry person’s response, which is often anger or hostility. Signs, symptoms, and behaviors include restlessness, anxiety, irritability, pacing, muscle tension, rapid breathing, perspiration, loud voice, and anger.

An escalation phase represent escalating behaviors, that indicate movement toward a loss of control. Signs, symptoms, and behaviors include pale or flushed face, yelling, sweating, agitated, threatening, demanding, clenched fists, threatening gestures, hostility, loss of ability to solve the problem or think clearly.

A crisis phase is a period of emotional and physical crisis. The angry person loses control.  Signs, symptoms, and behaviors include loss of emotional and physical control, throwing objects, kicking, hitting, spitting, biting, scratching, shrieking, screaming, inability to communicate clearly.

A recovery phase is a period when a client regains physical and emotional control. Signs, symptoms, and behaviors include lowering of voice, decreased muscle tension, clearer, more rational communication, and physical relaxation.

A postcrisis phase is a period when a client attempts reconciliation with others and returns to the level of functioning before the aggressive incident and its antecedents. Signs, symptoms, and behaviors include remorse, apologies, crying, quiet, withdrawn behavior.


It is not easy to deal with persons with an aggressive behavior  because they are somewhat threatening to people. In most cases, the most frequent response to hostile people is to get as far away from them as possible. However, for a psychiatrist, the most effective way to deal with a hostile person is to talk with him or her to prevent the behavior from escalating to physical aggression.

It should be noted that interventions are most effective and least restrictive when implemented early in the cycle of aggression.

In the triggering phase, you must speak calmly and nonthreateningly. You must convey empathy, listen, and suggest retreating to a quiet area.

In the escalation phase, you must use a directive approach, take control of the situation, and use a calm voice to take a time-out in a quiet place.

In the crisis phase, you must use the techniques of seclusion or restraint to deal quickly with client’s aggression.

In the recovery phase, you should help him or her to relax, assist to regain self-control, and discuss the aggressive event rationally.

In the postcrisis phase, the aggressive person should be reintegrated into his or her surroundings.

Important Points To Consider:

Identify how you handle angry feelings. Assess your use of assertive communication and conflict resolution. Increasing your skills in dealing with your angry feelings will help you to work more effectively with an angry person.


featured image source: pixabay



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