How do you handle ANGRY and SHORT TEMPERED people?

United States
April 5, 2007 4:17pm CST
I think most of us experience anger at some time or another-- I know I certainly do. Many psychologists believe that we feel anger when some kind of personal boundary has been violated... anger is a natural way of being reminded that something is "not OK." In most cases, we feel angered, we flare up, and then it blows over and we go back to dealing with life, as normal. However, some people seem to not so much FEEL anger, as they ARE angry... almost as if "angry" is their normal state of being. Often they have very short tempers, and the slightest provocation "sets them off." For me, it almost feels as if they have unrealistic expecatations about how much life is supposed to "conform" with their view of the world. When I encounter this kind of person, I always feel uneasy. It feels as if I am standing next to a keg of gunpowder, and that other person is playing with fire. At any moment-- for no particular reason-- there could be an explosion. How do YOU feel around angry people? How do you DEAL with them? Do you become "quiet or careful?" Or do you get ready for "battle," and meet their anger with equal anger of your own? Are you, yourself, a bit of a short-tempered or "volatile" person? If so, how do others respond to you? No "right" or "wrong" answers-- just interested in hearing different perpectives.
9 people like this
25 responses
@wachit14 (3603)
• United States
5 Apr 07
I have learned through experience that when I answer with kindness, compassion and grace I can easily diffuse the situation. I learned this through working with parents of young children at a mommy and me program where I was director and later at the public schools where I would have to talk to parents on the phone. Parents are easily upset when there is an issue with their child and they just need to be reassured. The worst thing you could do is get angry in retaliation or worse, talk down to them in any way.
• United States
5 Apr 07
That's typically the same approach I try to follow... I had a rather excellent boss once, who lived by the saying "Don't bring me problems, bring me solutions." What he meant by it was that the best way to approach things is from the poing of "here's what we can DO about it." I agree that escalating anger is just a waste of energy that leads nowhere.
2 people like this
• India
3 Apr 11
My dad is like this and i have learned tht just say yes to whatever they say and obey their orders but, at the same time stand up for yourself and if they are completely wrong handle it for tht period of time and then when they are happy or cheerful talk to them about it. but never ever back answer such people you could be in grave trouble later in life.....like as if the person is troubled just let him be dont say anything if they say something just agree with them and if the person is angry at you admit tht you have made a mistake(even if you have not) and later explain it to them in a different way dont be too direct (explain only when in good mood)...... :) GOOD LUCK HOPE THIS HELPED THANKS BYE!!
• United States
21 Jun 11
my mom is like this as well. If I don't say anything she gets mad when I do she gets mad. There are times when she starts implying that ppl don't like her and starts going on and on about how worthless she is idk if it's bi polar disorder or just being short tempered but when this happens I doubt she even knows how her outburst effect me too. how my feelings are hurt when she's stuck in her angry state but i try to stay out of the way as possible I don't say a word until she speaks first It takes alot to not say anything when they are hurting your feelings but if you want to see them calm shut up. Most times when you speak it makes it worst and sometimes they are set off by you bringing the problem up as well. LOL I guess for me I'm just stuck right in the middle of interfering or standing by. THOSE OF US WHO DEAL W/ PPL LIKE THIS ON A DAILY BASIS WALK A VERY FINE LINE DON'T WORRY YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE.
@mssnow (9482)
• United States
5 Apr 07
I am more passive with people I don't know. if some one I dont know well gets angry I try to avoid them. But if its someone I know and I have a point to make I will stay and fight. Not physically. I never use physical violence of any kind. But I do fight with my words. if I get angry I have been known to slam doors and walk out or hang up on people. But thats about as far as my angers goes.
3 people like this
• United States
6 Apr 07
Agreed. It's generally an easier option just to avoid those angry people we don't know well... for my money, I have never had any desire to GET to know them well, so I just tend to stay away.
1 person likes this
@easy888 (10406)
• Australia
7 Apr 07
You can always ee some short temper people which they will throw their tantrum or becoem angry very easily,the only way to deal with them is not to confront to them directly,and never argue with them as it will only make things worse. Short temper people are those who cannot accept other people's ideas and they always think they are right, they try to prove they are right and you are wrong, you should response by telling them they are 100 % correct, do not even try to challenge them. If anything happens, retreat one step backward, let them win,make them proud of themselves.
• United States
7 Apr 07
Angry people who are also stubborn, do present a real challenge... usually so much of their self-identity is tied up in "being right," and the anger is usually an expression of fear that they would not have "control" if they had to admit being wrong.
1 person likes this
• Canada
12 Feb 10
People who are short tempered should be put in their place. What i do is i punch em really hard at the side of their chin when they least expect it. So next time they get angry, they would know and learn to control it. Otherwise, imma have to knock a bi tch out lol!
@SpitFire179 (2536)
• Canada
6 Apr 07
I myself have a short temper, but not all the time, only when things get too stressful, someone in my home violates my trust or agreed upon instruction, i get crowded or closed in, feel like I'm trapped, or feel like someone's trying to control me, or hurt me in one way or another. So yes it is a quite lengthly list of things that make me angry and i blow right up, but I'm usually a pretty easy going person. People, make me mad haha... I just can't stand stupidity, and every day there's like one person that ticks me off, but not enough to blow up.. That happens once in a while. When I'm around 'angry' people, i hold my ground, because i get the sense that they want to control, and control is one of my fears so to speak, it scares the hell out of me to have someone controlling me again, i couldn't take it. so anyway with these people, I'm on guard, i stand my ground, and if necessary, i block their anger with a little of my own not towards anything other than what their doing, and how their acting. I take no crap, and i won't allow someone to hurt me with bitter words because they can't see the wonderful reasons for living.
2 people like this
• United States
7 Apr 07
The question that comes to my mind (based on the comment you made up top) is the degree to which your short temper is "you" vs. lessons "learned" from being under the influence of your father's rage. I was a very angry person, after I left home at 18... but the anger I projected onto "other people" were often triggered by inner feelings relating to my stressful relationship with my dad's rage... I really was rarely angry with "those people," just with the things they did that somehow "mimicked" the pain of my childhood/youth. When it seems like our parent(s) "failed us," through neglect, abuse, toxic behavior, shame, or whatever, we often end up looking to "repeat" the experience... not because we WANT to, but because we subconsciously hope that we can reproduce the situation and get it RIGHT next time around.
• United States
5 Jun 10
What can be done if that volatile person doesn't want help from no one, what if the people they love try to help especially their spouse, this person is wanting something to happen to them bad, like get into a bad accident.
@moonmagick (1458)
• United States
7 Apr 07
Personally I dislike confrontation in any form. I tend to be pretty passive. If someone is volatile or angry, I tend to kind of retreat into my shell and tread lightly. I don't like anger and yelling, and will avoid it if at all possible. However, true to the stereotype, I am a redhead, and if you spark my temper watch out. I will ignore someone else's anger as long as I possibly can, but if/when they push the right buttons, they will get an earful of what I have to say. And once I am made angry (an believe me it takes quite a bit) it is hard for me to calm down. I will defend myself in a heated discussion, but I am definitely not one to start one.
2 people like this
• United States
7 Apr 07
You bring up an interesting point that reminded me of something that's true for myself. I know in the past that some of my own avoidance of anger had to do with the fact that when I became really angry, it would take me hours, and even DAYS before my nervous system was back to normal again. Other people seem able to let off steam, and five minutes later they are getting on with life like nothing at all happened. I can't do that... It took me years and years of study and research to learn that people metabolize adrenaline differently. I metabolize adrenaline painfully slowly... and it helped understand that whereas I have no real FEAR of extreme adrenaline-rush activities like bungee jumping and sky diving, it's the fact that I end up feeling "wired-up and edgy" for five days AFTERWARDS that make them unattractive to me.
1 person likes this
@maribea (2366)
• Italy
6 Apr 07
oh I don't think there is just one right way to deal with bad tempered people..I don't like them, of course...I hate people shouting at me or forcing me to do something and so on..I get annoyed or upset and I don't like the way they make me feel..sometimes I go away and leave them alone so to avoid get involved in their bad words...sometimes I wait for them to calm down...but sometimes they can make me angry too and I don't like it because I am not a bad tempered woman and after a quarrel I feel bad and sad
2 people like this
• United States
7 Apr 07
I think it is also true that our responses depend on whether or not we can see what their underlying motivation for being angry is... if we can address that, we can sometimes defuse the situation.
@marlyse (1056)
• Switzerland
6 Apr 07
i do not feel comfy with hot tempered or always angry people. but before i start to judge, i try to find out why they are that angry, i talk quiet and normal with them. only when i see there is no reason and they "need" it to be angry, i ignore them and go away.
@mimpi1911 (25467)
• India
7 Apr 07
anger is deadly - anger can get onto our lives
my family, by and large, is a calm and composed one. i am lucky that way. however, we all manifest our angers, which is but a normal human emotion, in our own ways. my father, an workaholic engineer, is a dynamic task master. otherwise cool, he suppresses his anger and hold on to it and eventually , i guess, he shifts his focus to something contructive in the true sense(he is a civil engineer). my mother is a very sweet, lovable, never too angry with anyone or anything. she exhibits mild nags and jitters all the time and when pointed out she just smiles it away. i think, more subtly, time has taught her how to calm down anger implicitly for the better of the family. my sister has an instinctive, natural way to express anger. she is agrresive, rude, red and uncontrollable. she would explode, destroy and would cool down in a jiffy. now, i hardly get angry, but when i do, i have a similar disposition as my father. i get into my shells, donot communicate and subsequently forgive the person but can never forget the pain. thank you
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Apr 07
Keeping anger inside and bottled up is perhaps not the best solution... which is why I learned to view the "constructive aspects" of anger... and it has turned out to be helpful in letting go of the pain left behind, even if you forgive someone. I attended a workshop in which part of the discussion revolved around the "appropriate" expression of anger... they key thing I learned was that the "appearance" of anger didn't have to look like my father, who shouted so loudly the entire street could hear it, and threw objects at walls. The positive side of anger is when it become an impetus to create change... we become angry because something is "wrong," so we can use its "energy" to construct change. In a sense, we give the anger an "outlet" by putting its energy to use in a POSITIVE way, rather than a negative way.
1 person likes this
@mimpi1911 (25467)
• India
10 Apr 07
yes 'constructive anger' or positivity in anger is most desirable but we hardly could materialise on that. anger is a natural emotion and its necessity perhaps lies in the fact of ushering in changes, as you have said. all revolutions have resulted from this dissatisfation and disagreement and the subsequent changes were just so apt. quintessentially, positive anger is but desirable. thank you.
@mimpi1911 (25467)
• India
7 Apr 07
my family, by and large, is a calm and composed one. i am lucky that way. however, we all manifest our anger, which is but a normal human emotion, in our own ways. my father, an workaholic engineer, is a dynamic task master. he suppresses his anger and hold on to it and eventually , i guess, he shifts his focus to something contructive (he is a civil engineer...hahaha). my mother is a very sweet, lovable, never too angry with anyone or anything. she exhibits mild nags and jitters all the time and when pointed out she just smiles it away. i think, more subtly, she knows how to calm down her anger implicitly. my sister has an instinctive, natural way to express anger. she is agrresive, rude, red and uncontrollable. she would explode, destroy and would cool down in a jiffy. now, i hardly get angry, but when i do i havea similar disposition as my father. i get into my shells, donot communicate and subsequently forgive the person but can never forget the pain. thank you
1 person likes this
@mimpi1911 (25467)
• India
7 Apr 07
pls denmarkguy, read the next one.
• United States
7 Apr 07
Comment below.
• Singapore
7 Apr 07
It will depend on what I was feeling. If I want a good fight, I would match temper with temper (and probably win lol). Otherwise, I would be real sweet and try to appease him.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Apr 07
Which goes to illustrate that different personalities process life differently-- point of which is that as long as things have a "resolution," there is perhaps no "right" or "wrong" way. I, for example, cannot think of any occasion that I have WANTED a good fight... but I have had many friends who find their lives boring and stifling without some "heated debate" now and then. Which leads to a whole different discussion about how we determine where "different communication styles" end, and "toxic behavior" begins.
@Melody1 (968)
• India
6 Apr 07
Whenever I am around any angry person,I feel very unnerved and am mostly on the defensive in order to avoid any distasteful interaction. I try my best to deal with them in a very patient manner.I guard my language and mannerisms to avoid provocation as you have rightly mentioned their similarity to gunpowder,lest it might lead to explosion.Lol.I continue doing so till i can.But if the person in question repeatedly behaves unreasonably,then I give them my little peace of mind,Boss or colleague,whoever.Surprisingly most of the times,they come to their senses.Many agry people understand only the language they speak and hence need the same. I am,by nature,a very mild and polite person.But I do loose my temper when continuosly subjected to this kind of behaviour by the same person again and again. Personally I believe anger is an emotion which lacks grace and understanding,which should be resorted to only in the extreme of any situations and is totally unproductive.
• United States
7 Apr 07
I think anger is "useful" to the degree that it's a "tool" that informs us that something is wrong. But when it becomes a violent/explosive expression, it ceases to be constructive... the same way physically hurting someone we don't like may offer us a RELEASE, but it doesn't really SOLVE anything.
1 person likes this
@seamonkey (1982)
• Ireland
11 Apr 07
I have a temper myself, but only in certain circumstances. I think I would be considered by the public at large as fairly easy going, but when it comes to my family disrespecting me, I can flip the bean pretty quickly and dramatically. It would always be the same sort of issues that trigger it, such as my husband behaving as though I am incompetent in situations where usually I know more than he does. Or it could be the children have gone into my bedroom and done something I have told them not to many times, like take a bunch of dvds out of cases and leaving them everywhere (they are notorious for scratching disks). Or if they have been eating upstairs and leave garbage from sweet rappers or crisp pacckages shoved under the bed and that sort of thing. It makes me go instant-mental! Otherwise, I'm fairly placid and don't really like getting sucked into arguments. I know the sort you are talking about, and a friend's husband comes to mind. He is angry. You can see it in his face and how he carries himself and I am always on edge around him. If he is in a good mood, grand, he can be the life of the party, but when he is having an off day everyone steers clear.
1 person likes this
@dreamhome (558)
• India
5 Jul 10
I think the best way to deal with the angry people is to remain silent.. The words we let out may sometimes add fuel to their anger. So it is always better to remain quiet till they cool down.
• France
19 Nov 10
and if they don't calm down ? and remain angry for weeks?
@Rachelg (221)
• United States
10 Apr 07
I am what people consider to be a peace maker.(which is odd since someone told me in a past life i was a warrior..lol) I am a very compliant person, and when I am near an angry or short tempered person, I usually get quiet, If it is a person I am close to...Now if it is a stranger or just mere aquaintance that is angry or short tempered, I may just have to get a little angry back. For me I take alot from the ones close to me, but take nothing from those that are not close.
• United States
26 May 10
Honey I'm with you
• Taiwan
23 Jul 12
My best friend has a very bad temper. It's like any little thing can make her angry and then she just ups and gives you an attitude that makes you uncomfortable or just flat out shout at you. Her point of view towards things are kind of unique and sophisticated, which is cool, but she expects the whole world to be like her too! I really wanna tell her that not everyone can be like her. She's really brave and expects people to be the same. And when someone's NOT like her she just looks down on that person like that person's lame when actually he/she has a good side too. Once, we were hanging out with a classmate. I said a joke that I think is funny but turns out it's quite lame, so she went all "har har, yeah sooooo funny" sarcastically which I'm sure if it was ME being sarcastic to HER, she would surely get angry and shout at me right there. So I didn't say anything and just went back to the classroom and read. Then she came back and totally ignored me and when I turn to face her she just OBVIOUSLY turn away. When I ask her why she's angry she says : "because you walked away and left me with our classmate (the classmate's a guy), people started staring at me and him like we're a couple" And I'm totally like she's being over sensitive! Girls and boys in our school hangout all over the place! What makes her think she's special and people would stare at her! But you know what I had to do? I had to APOLOGIZE! Unwillingly but what can I do? I'm a coward and scared of her. Even though if she hadn't been sarcastic to me first I wouldn't have ditched her in the first place.
2 Feb 12
I recently got a room mate with such temper,your description is exactly who she is. Am also looking for answers on how to deal with such people. Most times,i tend to avoid such people,be calm and let them rant on. Though of course at the end of it all,you are hurt. Am now trying to find a way of leaving her,cse i cant take it anymore.
@eileenleyva (8560)
• Philippines
5 Jun 10
I don't know. I am the short=tempered one who readily explodes when things are not right. I argue my case right away, like when a traffic police flagged me down for changing lanes without signal light. I would contend that the white lines are broken and that means we can change lanes at any time cautiously. I have had my share of teaching. Now that I am old, I feel like I am done correcting. When I am pushed and provoked by unsound reasons, I get angry. But I don't argue without reason. That is important.
@mtvmtv (601)
• India
31 May 10
Hi, I don't prefer short tempered people in my life because myself is very easy person.I easily can forgive the persons nearer to me and expect the same from them but if they are of short tempered then will avoid them.
@annierose (13062)
• Philippines
30 May 10
We, people, always tend to forget this fact about anger. Once we got mad, we instantly forgot what might other people will say, feel or think. We do not care how much we will hurt the people around us. What matter is that we told them that we are angry. Sad but true, not all people can handle their emotions well. Majority of us are being narrow-minded when we are angry. Majority get so selfish or self-centered. There are lot of bad things that might happen if a person cannot control his anger. He can have a number of enemies around him, friends will set a distance from him, he can get an illness, he can be put in a worse situation and much more. I just read a book on some ways on how to control an anger. If we feel so angry with a person, instead of saying it directly to the person's face, we can write it down on paper. Then, once we already put there all our anger, we can somehow got the calmness. When we talk again with the person we are angry with, the words won't be that harsh anymore. That will save us from hurting others and for others not to think that we are not an educated person. For some people, when they are angry, they usually count 1-10 or recite the alphabet on their mind before they utter words. That way, they become more careful and they can control their minds more.
@bagumbayan (2707)
• Philippines
1 Feb 08
I easily got mad, but after a few minutes, it is gone. But the reason for me getting mad must be that serious, like being very late in an appointment, do things not what is requested, answering back when questioned about the wrong thing done and some more. But when your getting a little bit older, your temper can be contained, youre not getting angry at once, you can hold on to yourself, take it from me.