How to Cope When Confronted with Anger
“Ride It Out.”
This is not the same as “ignoring.” You are consciously choosing to give his argument all the attention it so richly deserves, namely none. You just appear to be paying attention. Nodding your head would be a nice touch. You are choosing stay calm. You are not taking the bait. He does not have the power to provoke you. These words are not for you. There is no need to respond. You are using your judgment to make this choice to stay quiet. He would not listen to what you have to say anyways.
Your Power of Choice
You can choose to catch yourself retaliating with immature attitudes. You are an adult now, you can choose not to. Instead, you can choose to shift gears. You can choose to tend to your own wounds before you begin to address his. You can choose to calm yourself down. You can remind yourself that you are not worthless. You are not worth more. You see an equal member of the human race. You can remind yourself that he’s not superior and your not inferior. Your both imperfect human beings operating out of attitudes from your own pasts.
Don’t Take It Personally
You can catch yourself about to take his barrage of insults personally, as if they were a reflection on your worth as a person. That is exactly the way he wants you to take it! He is building himself up by tearing you down! This tells us that he is badly in need of building up. Self-respecting grownups have no such need, but those lacking self respect do. You can choose not to give him verbal ammunition. You can choose not to tear him down more than he is already.
Do Not Take His Hurtful Words Literally.
Do not take his hurtful words literally as if he means what he says. He is merely “firing for effect.” He wants to intimidate and uses strong words or tone to show dominance. This is done to push you into submitting. You are not the worst person in the world. You can choose not to take his words at face value. You can agree that he feels the way he feels: “You sound hurt “. That must be painful” and so on. We can keep our version of the facts to ourselves. This is called, discretion, which is the power to choose how much we wish to reveal and when. Right now, we do not choose to reveal anything. It wouldn’t help if we did. He isn’t interested.
You Are An Equal
If you just have taken his insults personally, you have been put in a “one down” position. He is in control. But as of right now, you can choose to regain your self-respect by reminding yourself that you are worthwhile in spite of your faults and imperfections. You are still an equal member of the human race in spite of what he just said. Even if he is right in his accusations, it merely proves you are an imperfect, like everyone else. Your “imperfection” made him angry, and you regret that it did. You have used your resilience. You can allow yourself to bounce back from his unhelpful put-down shtick.
Angry man image available from Shutterstock.
Karmin, A. (2013). How to Cope When Confronted with Anger. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 28, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/anger/2013/08/5-reactions-to-an-angry-person/