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How to Live With an Angry Person

February 01, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 296

There are many issues involved with anger.

Much like the proverbial saying about people who sleep with dogs wake up with fleas, living with an angry person changes you. It will change what you are willing to tolerate, your level of tension, your attitude and behavior in general. When the cycle continues over a long enough period of time, you may find yourself and the angry person operating more like dance partners in the 'anger dance'.

You may think that you are different and that somehow their anger will not effect you or that you can 'handle this'. You may be fooling yourself. Anger is a powerful emotion. One way you are impacted in living with an angry person is that you will start having anger yourself. Even when it is suppressed, when it comes out, it brings massive changes with it. You may be carrying around more anger than you suspect. Anger can totally change mood, action and thinking in people. Anger also overrides other emotions. The angry person may genuinely love you, yet when the insanity of anger hits them, they can change in a radical manner.

Anger changes people. They may change from being cute and cuddly into a monster. A monster is a monster, whether a cute cuddly one or a terrifying one. Whether or not the angry person is abusive toward you, their anger is destroying the spirit of the marriage. If the angry person is a parent or sibling, they anger may be destroying any kind of family unity.

It is hard to stand against anger. It takes courage. Since anger is often associated with threats, standing up to it often has risks. You may be like many people continue living in desperation, hoping for change, yet feeling helpless to do anything about it. Taking such a position may buy you time, but it does not address the anger or the issues behind it. You should not have to be 'glibbering wrecks' in order to have someone listen to you or take you serious.

With some angry people, there is NO way to make them happy. They are angry when they get their way, they are angry when they don't. It is a mistake to assume that you can make them happy. If you try, you will always be frustrated. Remember, they are the one choosing to be angry. You do not make them angry, they make themselves angry. They often try to blame others and make them the cause of their anger rather than assume responsibility for their own mood. They have not learned how to put on their big boy pants and assume responsibility for their own mood. The sooner you recognize this and they recognizes this, the sooner the relationship will become healthier.

There are many other issues involved in living with someone that has anger issues. Although anger itself is not a mental illness, some types of anger and angry outbursts may be indications of deeper issues.

This is especially true when you are dealing with someone who has any type of addiction going on. People with addictions used to 'giving into' their urges. When those urges include anger, it can make the situation volatile. With addictions going on, they are more likely to 'react' rather than to think through matters. They will probably not be thinking or open to discussing things. Addictions run the gamut to include sexual, gambling, alcohol and drug addictions.

Poor ability to deal with anger is also associated with many organic disorders as well. Deciding on the best way of living with such people often begins with knowing what exactly your are dealing with.

13 Things you can do when living with an angry person Some suggestions on living with an angry person:

1. The first concern is safety. Make sure that you and your family are safe. Do not take chances in this area. When there is violence or threats of violence do not hesitate to call the police. Prior to doing so, you may want to make sure that you have a getaway bag filled with the essentials that you need. You may also want to have the phone number of a local shelter if you have to suddenly leave.

2. Do not make threats toward the angry person. When they are in that state of mind and emotion, they are simply reacting, they are not thinking.

3. Do not try to discuss matters logically with them when they are in the midst of their anger. It is not by chance that the Romans used the phrase "Anger is a brief madness", when discussing this issue. In the midst of anger, people are not rational.

4. Do not block doors or access to passageways. Angry people often feel threatened. When they feel trapped on top of that there is often even greater agitation.

5. Do not take what they say personally. This is especially true when the angry person is someone with Alzheimer's or other organic issue. When you take it personally, you will often react personally to the comment.

6. Avoid blaming. Blaming only serves to agitate and increase the intensity of the anger. Blaming will not solve anything other than identifying a target for the person's wrath.

7. Establish clear and consistent boundaries. Having clear and consistent boundaries will help develop a sense of order and structure. Boundaries can also be made in terms of routine and schedule.

8. Do not add alcohol or drugs into the mix. These may give you a temporary reprieve, but they usually lead to even more loss of self-control in such situations.

9. Encourage them to sit down. The likelihood of anger turning into violence decreases when people are sitting down.

10. Decorate and arrange the home or environment that you are living with them to remove 'triggers' and instead have one that creates a calm peaceful setting.

11. Set clear boundaries (and stick to them). The boundaries protect you and will help stabilize the relationship.

12. Do not accept being treated as insignificant. You have value and worth. You have something to say. Expecting them to listen to you is not being unrealistic.

13. Let the angry person know that their abusive behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.

Ways the Angry Person Keeps their Anger Alive Many times, those who harbor the anger justify it. Some of the ways that this occurs are as follows:

-They bring up unresolved conflicts from the past. They often replay old battles to work up their anger. By refighting old battles, they become emotionally fired up and feel like they have some control over the situation.

-They often force you to listen to their story line. These people will likely call back after you hang up on them just to keep the anger going. They are determined to 'make' you listen to them. Some go so far as to coerce you not only to listen, but also agree with their version of things.

-They will try controlling your behavior. They use anger to intimidate and control people and situations. The way they try to control may include the use of threats or intimidation.

-They believe they need to put annoying people in their place. Angry people feel they are on a mission to put others where they belong. The angry person has a view of the world which they try to forcible maintain.

-They obsess on memories of past hurts. They replay mental movies of past wrong with the intent of staying angry and seeking revenge. By replaying the memories, they may also be trying to block out what others are saying.

-They replay past hurts for sympathy or support. When you try giving them sympathy, they may dismiss it and make you feel like it is never enough.

-They obsess on threatening images or memories. When they begin obsessing, it may be on what 'may' happen or memories of close calls.

-They assume what happened in the past is going to happen again.

-They compare the past with the present. Since anger often accompanies justification, you will find them always making and finding excuses to stay angry.

-They view the objects of their anger as something less than human. They often treat you and refer to you as an object rather than a person. If you are not the target, then the person who is the target is degraded and devalued. They often have to devalue the target prior to taking their anger out on them so that they do not feel so bad, guilty or remorseful about what happened. In their mind, the person 'deserved it'.

-They maintain an on-going fight in their head which keeps them worked up.

What to do when the angry person traps you

That is a tough situation. Angry people often trap their victims either emotionally or physically. When you have been trapped repeatedly over time, you may find yourself struggling with 'learned helplessness'. Realize that the angry person is going to get angry whatever choice you make. It is a no-win situation. Some of the ways others have dealt with situations of being trapped include the following:

1. Lower your voice and speak calmly to them when they loose their cool.

2. Always make sure you know where the nearest exit is.

3. Make sure that the angry person does not block your access to the exit no nor you block his. Angry people get worse when they feel trapped. This is also why you do not want to take their keys or have them take yours since it intensifies the trapped feeling.

4. Agree to only talk to them if the two of you are sitting down. Tell them that you want to talk, you are bothered by their anger, so since you want to talk but want to limit the anger, sitting down at a table and talking is a way to accomplish both. (The table also serves as a protective barrier)

5. Give them more attention when they are calm. Then subtlety decrease the attention when they are angry. This will take some practice. The illustration of your father sounds like a person who likes an audience. When the audience is not watching, the show is over.

6. Make sure you have an escape with a change of clothes, cash and essentials for you to be able to get away.

Ten things to do when living with an angry parent:

1. Have a safe place to go (in your room or at a friends house).

2. Try setting boundaries (closing a door, arranging your room where there are barriers between you and the door, etc).

3. Have friend that you can talk to about it. Not ones that want you to take revenge. Safety is more important that revenge. You want to be able to talk to them, not plan revenge with them.

4. Talk to the other parent, or even grand-parents about the problem. It could be that there have been other people in the family that have struggled with the angry person before.

5. Talk to your pastor or youth pastor if a parent is not available.

6. If you can not talk to your parent, pastor, family member, and have tried everyone in the family, then call for outside help (e.g. police when your safety is in danger) The angry person often gets very upset with police involvement. This is an option if your safety is in danger and you have used up all the family options.

7. Find a quiet place to sit and breathe before you take action. When we are caught up in the moment, we often just react and don't think. When dealing with family members you need to think clearly. If you are angry, sit and breathe, then sit and breath again before you respond to the situation.

8. Striking back in anger toward an angry person makes for more anger, not less anger.

9. Pray for the angry person.

10. Avoid cornering the angry person. Never position yourself between them and the door.

11. When dealing with the angry person make sure that you always know the quickest escape route.

Jeff Murrah, LPC, LMFT has been helping families deal with problems and dysfunctional relationships for over 30 years. If you are dealing with family problems or anger, find out how you can stop the pain here

Source: EzineArticles
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