What do you do when someone is angry at you?

” Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”


My mother is one of the most patient people I have seen. Certainly situations and things do bother her but there are very few times I have seen her raise her voice or be angry enough so that I can deduce. Something I have also seen is that when someone speaks to her in a high pitch with anger, she answer back, atleast not with the same intensity. When I asked why, she said, “Two people cannot solve a problem with the same intensity of emotions.”

Why should the other person suffer because of my anger?

These words played in my mind for sometime and I thought “Why should the other person suffer because of  someone else’s anger?”  I mean it is not our fault they are angry, it is their emotion which they are trying to process and instead they are hurting us, without much fault of ours. But then nothing ever is as easy as it seems right?

How do I react when angry?

If I ask myself, how I react when I am angry or better yet, how do I react when someone is angry on me. The initial few minutes are of patience where I try to see reason and their line of thought. And if they manage to touch my nerve it goes to the next stage where it starts with slight annoyance followed by irritation and finally anger where I realize we both seem to be shouting at the top of our voices without even trying to understand what we are looking for – solution or just a way to clear our anger out of the system.

Well it is easy to say but so hard to do.. 🙁

And then I look back at the first paragraph where I have some people handle anger in such beautiful manner, they make it look so easy but in reality I realize things are never as easy as they seem. Trying to emulate the same process I have tried a hundred times and failed more than that but the process is amazing, it manages to teach you without your knowledge as to how good you can get at something. People now have come up to me and said that I am patient and I handle things well which I find extremely specious. But as long as they are complimenting, doesn’t hurt much to believe them does it? 😉

What all are the things that annoy you?

But  something that felt right was the number of things which annoy right now, just a raised voice is not in that list anymore. The list somehow seems to have reduced magically ( What does it take to irritate you? ) . I also realize that the moment I get angry, the person I end up hurting the most is myself cos no matter how many others I hurt in the process of healing myself, even though it all seems right at that moment, it all comes back to me as a bigger problem. That is perhaps one of the greatest truths, when the heart rate is rising, the anger is at its peak, we all do tend to think we are right, we all do tend to take those calls and use those words and make those decisions which seem perfect. But never have those decisions stayed to help me out, instead they have created more damage to the situation than it already was.

What is the best way to handle anger?

Coming back to the first point I made when I started this, it somehow leads me to a question- What is the best way to handle anger? Should I stay quiet, without even responding, should I try and see reason no matter how much the other person keeps hurting me, should I walk out of the room so that I don’t participate in the caustic exchange of words? Well I am not sure what to tell from here, each one of them seems like a valid choice depending on the variety of the circumstance and the flipside.

What is more important? Person or the situation? 

Having said that, I guess there is one question which probably governs all of these primary thoughts and gut responses, it has been this question – “What is more important – The person or the situation?”. If the situation is, then perhaps any of the above choices may work well including punching someone in the nose. If it is the other way round – well, we all are very clever people aren’t we?!

Related :

10 reasons why you should write an angry letter! 

7 reasons why you should run when you are angry! 


17 Responses to "What do you do when someone is angry at you?"

  1. My God if ur mom was near me i would’ve touched her feet out of sheer respect. For this is one thing i have been trying trying trying but HAVE landed back with a huge noise to the same pavilion. My voice raises when i get angry. i have tried to make myself be heard but sometimes polite tones don’t get listened to what to talk of being heard. Then one shout and the job is done. Call it fear of my hysterical shout…neighbors will hear…she will create a scene or whatever the job get done bang on. And Vinay i am not talking about some tyrannical autocratic commands…i am talking simple things which perhaps will serve/save humanity …for example, ” Don’t use the cell phone to talk when u r driving on the busy road, pull over na, WON’T YOU PLEASE STOP.”
    Do u get what i am trying to say Vinay…but that doesn’t mean your post is not helpful to me. i will work on what you have specified and hahahaha maybe those two last ones are best,,,
    And yes i have enormous respect for mom and anybody who is like her…pls convey my regards to her. Wish she had some fairy dust and she could sprinkle some on me. Take that anger thingy out and i should be PURFECTO…

    1. Thank you Shivani, I will make sure I will convey this to my mom :).

      I think we all have a pattern when there is a rage of emotions, I feel like I should walk away, I somehow feel that I have a very threatening voice when I get angry and feel that it is best to move away. Some other times, I just come back,i grab my shoes and go for a run and sometimes the high pitched music. These are a few patterns which I have noticed. God knows how many more I have.

      I do get the point Shivani, even I get extremely angry when people violate the road rules with total apathy. I have lost count as to how many times I thought that I should have a monster truck so that I can dent all those cars, stop and shout at those idiots who keep doing it no matter what. I have also come out with a lot of theories as to why they keep continuing to do that. But then I realize all of it makes me feel bad internally, none of those guys are gonna change, no matter how much we try to. But if they are affecting us in such a strong way, I realize maybe sometimes it is better to dissociate ourselves from the situation and act as if we dont care.. I know its not the easiest thing to do, but atleast this way I can stop feeling agitated inside..

      Ha ha, I am in full support of the last two lines ;). Words of experience 😛 although I still want to punch someone atleast 😀 ..

  2. I have a temper problem.I cant control it,specially when I get provoked to a point. but when someone is angry with me i generally with draw and become quiet. Even my mom has a lot of control of her temper.good read.

    1. Thank you Nima :). Nice to hear from you.. I think it is a very noble quality to withdraw during anger. Although not the easiest thing when someone is hell bent on poking you and testing your patience. But in the long run, it does make our lives easier 🙂

  3. 😛 I’m a bit short-tempered …but you know …the intensity of anger varies in my case , depending upon the person with whom I’m involved in a harangue ..when it comes to my husband ..he is the most to suffer… 😀
    The quote at the beginning and words of your mom are really inspiring… 🙂

    1. Thank you Maniparna.. He he, well I will steer carefully when I have an argument with you then ;).. Even I loved the first part, two people in similar state of emotion, esp when it is anger cannot come to a conclusion!

  4. Nice one.. I used to be short tempered.. still am.. but what I do to handle is that I think of how the situation affects me… and try and see the bigger picture as such.. it usually helps me calm down

  5. My mother is very patient too. I wish I could handle someone’s anger like she does. When we are in such situations, it is difficult to remember that a person is more important.
    Awesome post.

  6. Being cool is definitely a unique God blessing . you concluded your post very nicely and positively. as you know , my English is not good enough , but I read your articles any how.

    1. Thank you Yogi :). I am really honored that you like the articles. And who said your English isn’t good? I shall share my story with English sometime with you. Dates back to my engineering days where I was scared to death to speak, esp in English. The transformation from then to what it is today has been so fulfilling and I really have started loving this language. It did start on an embarrassing note though 🙂


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