If you are with a people who are angry and you think they may become violent, it is important to make sure that you are safe before the violence begins. This can mean leaving the situation or telling someone you trust and who can help you. You can’t change the way someone else uses his or her anger. Your safety is most important.
Some people may blame others for their anger. They might call you names or say things like “you make me so angry” or “you know I get angry when you do that”. You are not to blame for the other person’s anger. It is up to everyone to take responsibility for the way they choose to deal with their anger, and change the way they act. You can’t change a relationship by changing the things you do, or by hoping to change the other person.
It can be helpful to listen to what the angry person is saying and, where possible, agree that she has a right to feel angry about whatever it was that upset her. This strategy can establish some ‘common ground’ and, as long as you are safe, you can help the person who is angry to calm down and talk calmly about the problem.
If you are living with a violent partner, it is a good idea to have a ‘safety plan’ worked out. This might include having some money hidden away, some clothing packed in a suitcase (so you can leave quickly), or organizing somewhere to stay in an emergency situation. There are many crisis and domestic violence services that can give you advice and assistance.
If you are living in a situation of child abuse, it is important to tell someone you trust and who might be able to help. Remember you are not the cause of violence, it is not your fault.
There will be times when angry strangers confront you, possibly at work or even driving your car. If an angry person confronts you, it is important to stay calm. If you lose your temper as well, this can make things worse and anger can escalate. You may like to use some of the skills outlined in conflict resolution. If you are concerned about your safety contact your local police.