We need to stop messing with people when they are already mad.
Well, to be honest, not all of us are guilty of this. Okay, I can be sometimes, but I try be better than that. And it is annoying no matter who does it.
What I Mean
Now, I don’t mean to say we should let someone stay mad.
Basically, this is what I’m saying: When someone is mad, that person often doesn’t want (or need) to talk to someone. They may need to be left alone until their anger subsides.
If they do need to talk, they should be granted the time to vent — without judgment or rude interruptions. I would say 5-10 solid minutes should be enough for most people to vent. And if they are interrupted, it should be for something important, for their listeners to ask productive questions, and for a listener to offer some sympathetic interjections. I know that’s all I need.
The goal should be to smooth things over and to make it easier for the angry person to calm down and move on. Otherwise, any other person is just fanning the flames and prolonging the anger.
How to Deal with Someone When They’re Mad
When someone is in a bad mood, they have a right to be, provided they have a good reason to be angry. For instance:
- They had to deal with trifling co-workers who delayed or ruined a project.
- This person got ripped off and lost hundreds of dollars.
- They broke up with someone.
- They were disrespected.
Of course, there are other things that could tick someone off. Many are big. Many things might be small and petty in the scheme of things, but who needs to be told that (by a condescending person)? NO ONE DOES.
Also, if someone is angry, what’s the big deal if they’re not hurting anyone and they can still do their work? As long as that person isn’t:
- Defacing property
- Destroying property
- Yelling at anyone
- Insulting anyone
- Assaulting anyone
They’re harmless. They might scowl, but if that’s all they’re doing, move on. You might give them a look back, but if they don’t say anything, just keep walking.
Now, if you’re that person’s friend, I guess you may be able to get through to them. Or they might need to get your perspective. In that case, they are seeking your advice. In those moments, the goal should be to talk that person down, as opposed to talking down to them.
But if you can’t talk to them that moment, calmly explain why and set aside a time to talk.
What People Need to Stop Doing
Basically, people need to stop saying and doing dumb things when handling an angry person.
For one thing, perhaps that person doesn’t need to be “handled” in the first place. But that doesn’t stop us sometimes, because we need to poke and prod people because, “How dare you be mad when I’m not. You’re harshing my mood, bro! Stop being angry!”
When people do the following things, it pisses me off, even if it’s not being done to me:
- Talking to someone who doesn’t want to be bothered.
- Interrupting someone else’s complaint; especially when you weren’t in that conversation.
- Teasing someone or dismissing that person’s complaints, concerns, or issues …
- Then going on to tell that person about stupid people and stupid things they don’t give a care about …
- Yet expecting that person to now care about those stupid people and stupid things.
- Asking stupid questions.
- Attacking the angry person’s character, especially with no real knowledge of who that person is.
- Making other extrapolations and condescending remarks …
- Then wondering why that person is still mad or angrier than before.
- Getting mad after doing any or all of these things.
Any person who does these things is being a jackass. And if they are called a jackass, they kinda deserve it.
Some people wonder why anyone who was already pissed blows up at them or starts breaking things. There is no real excuse for violence or destruction in this case, but that could have been avoided.
What Annoys Me Most
I think it has to be arrogance. I think that’s the main problem. It’s as if the “calm” and “more mature” person who is talking to the angry person thinks they’re better and that the other individual shouldn’t be angry for any (pre-approved) reason.
Another thing that annoys me is the hypocrisy.
You know, I notice that often the people who tell others not to complain are far too eager to complain themselves. They might be prone to complain about the complainers, which is stupid and hypocritical. Or they complain about a problem no one else cares about while refusing to care about real problems.
Good Sports vs. Bad Sports
Additionally, being a “good sport” is overrated or improperly emphasized.
Does everybody need to be congratulated when they win? I don’t. I understand that the other person might need some time alone.
And the winner might be a douche nozzle who can’t take a compliment anyway. So, what’s the point?
Often when people do that, they make a big deal out of bad losers; but what about bad winners? They can suck just as much. In fact, they’re worse when the people who’ve lost don’t really bother anyone.
ESPN is known for this hypocrisy. A while back, I mentioned how reporters LOVE sticking mics in an angry athletes’ faces. Then ESPN makes it about good sports vs. bad sports.
An example of this is Cam Newton.
After playing in perhaps the worst Super Bowl of all time (really, it was terrible), Cam Newton had to speak at the podium. Then reporters and “journalists” had the nerve to ask why he didn’t put on a happy face. Are you kidding me?
He just lost a game. Why wouldn’t he be in a bad mood? And although it is petty in the scheme of things, that was his job — and most of us hate losing when we compete for free.
Also, the press conference setup was awful. Newton had to speak in front of a thin wall when the Broncos were talking — and taunting Newton — on the other side. But the taunting was alright.
ESPN loves that crap.
My Point Is…
Yes, we’re human beings and we often get angry at dumb things. We can look back on that later and realize it. Yet it would be easier if there weren’t jerks there to point this out (while ignoring their own shortcomings).
Now, if you don’t want an angry person to yell at you, insult you, make any comments about what you hold dear, or to start throwing things, don’t fan the flames.
When we poke or prod an angry person or refuse to let them vent for five minutes, we prolong the issue. What would have been a five-minute discussion, even if it was one-way, then turns into an hour-long shouting match.
If we’re not prompted to act or speak, this all could be avoided. Sometimes an angry person needs others to shut up, mind their business, and leave them alone. They might cool off in an hour or two.
But some people love trouble. They can get rekt.