What is the solution for dealing with a loved one — a lover, a spouse or even a child — whose anger gets you down? Most folks in this situation have tried everything from reasoning with the angry person to agreeing with him just to settle him down.
Usually, nothing works ... except leaving. You heard me right. As soon as you hear evidence of even low-level anger, exit the topic by changing the subject. Exit the room. Exit the house if need be. Or, in extreme cases, exit the relationship.
I call it the "one-hand clapping" principle. What happens if one hand tries to clap and the other refuses to join in? No clapping will occur. If, when your partner speaks in an irritated tone, you leave for a few minutes, the conversation, the room or even the apartment/house will remain quiet and no fighting will ensue. 3 Little Words That Could Ruin Your Relationship
Before your first exit, pick a quiet time when you're both in a good mood to sit down for a heart-to-heart talk. Explain that you can see that you inadvertently have been feeding his anger by staying in conversations with him when he's shown signs of rising irritation. Anger-prone people tend to hate to feel that their anger is their own fault. Their classic response is, "I'm only mad because of you." Your loved one, therefore, will be more likely to listen to your new plan if you begin by saying that you have played a key role in the fighting.
Talking with someone when they're angry almost never leads to more understanding or clearer solutions. Anger freezes the brain. Logical thinking is about as likely to occur as when your computer overheats and then subsequently freezes, i.e., is no longer able to process information. Anger also closes off ears. There's no absorption of new data, no matter how potentially helpful it can be.
All that remains open for action when someone is really mad is their mouth, which spews ammunition aimed to prove that he's right and you're wrong, and is thus likely to hurt you. Why stick around if you're only going to be shot at? Anger makes people very unattractive. Exits enable you to remove yourself from situations that would otherwise corrode your love. 5 Ways We Sabotage Our Relationships
More relationship advice from YourTango: