I heard it said the best way to win an argument is to avoid it. But what happens when it's too late and you're stuck in the middle of an ugly spat? Here are a few suggestions...
- Say "I'm sorry." You can't change whatever you did to cause the anger for the other person or persons but you can ask forgiveness.
- Ask, "why do you feel that way?" Angry people want to be understood. Seek to understand and listen for their response. Be quiet while they talk. Your silence while they vent is golden.
- Ask, "what can be done to make the situation better?" Listen. Repeat their solution back to them to show you're listening.
- Ask, "is there anything else?" Real anger may be hidden down deep. You need to get to the root of the problem. Keep digging until you find what's causing the anger.
- Agree with them. The more you agree, the less hostile they become. Example: "You're right. I should have been more considerate of your feelings. I need to pay more attention to how my behavior upsets you."