A dear sister writes...
Tips on how to deal with someone who is angry with you
We have all been angry at someone
And we have all had someone angry at us
Sometimes when we are angry at someone, we WANT to express it as harshly and rudely as possible...it’s almost satisfying. But of course the consequences aren’t great, and it leaves all parties involved in a bad mood. Now, as a person who has had anger management issues, and has now with the help of Allah learned to deal with anger, I have realized that just because you can control your anger...that doesn’t mean everyone else can too. Even if you no longer initiate fights, that doesn’t mean you wont find yourself in one. Just because you know how to tell someone they are upsetting you without hurting their feelings...that doesn’t mean others can too. So here I am sharing a few things that I have learned through experience and insha’Allah it can be beneficial to you as well.
When someone is screaming and shouting at you, remind yourself that it wont make the situation any better if two people are shouting instead of one.
We have all met people who enjoy fighting and shouting back...especially when there are spectators. We should avoid this attitude completely. Instead we should think, ‘I am strong enough to control my emotions, I won’t let my desire to prove that I’m right win over me’. The consequences of fights can be BIG and you as the stronger individual who can control your anger can help reduce them.
It has been narrated by Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him) That Allah's Messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him said:
“ The strong is not the one who over comes the people by his strength”
"But the strong is the one who controls him while in anger."
YOU are strong enough to control your anger, while they for the moment have lost control. Use that control for the better and understand that just because they have the louder voice, that doesn’t mean they have the right arguments. If the person who is shouting at you is someone you don’t generally like...even when they are calm, then remind yourself that you are not controlling your anger for his or her sake, God is watching and He appreciates your struggle in staying calm.
It is narrated that Rasulullah, peace be upon him, Said :
“Who ever controls their temper Allah will take away punishment from him and who so ever safe guard's his tongue Allah will conceal his sins.”
Your self respect also demands that you stay calm because saying rude, exaggerated and often times silly things, isn't good for you or for anyone. If the person who is shouting at you is someone you love then try your best to understand that if you respond back with the same heat...you may never speak to each other again. Ask God to help you stay calm and for the two of you to remain friends. This brings me to the next point, and that is...
Avoid talking back or defending yourself all together...until they've calmed down
I’ve found that it’s best to stay silent when a person is shouting at me as they clearly can’t see or think straight. Even if I were to take them seriously and reply with a good arguments calmly, they wouldn’t be ABLE to listen because when a person has reached a point where they are shouting from anger...they only want to be heard. They are not interested in what you have to say.
We should also try to stay silent because we ourselves are not invincible against anger, especially in a situation like this when it is so tempting to rudely respond back. Islam has numerous things to say about what to do when we are angry and among them is that The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said:
“If one of you becomes angry then he should be silent.”
It’s also important to know and understand that up until the moment they calm down, they may feel more powerful from your silence and may say hurtful things and it’s up to you to stay calm. They may accuse you and say horrible things and that’s fine. You can choose to ignore it or scrap out the rudeness and take the basic complaint calmly into consideration and decide if what they are saying is true or not. Evaluate if what they asking of you or complaining about is reasonable or rational. If they are right, then TELL THEM. Say sorry, say you’ll try to fix it. If they’re wrong, then stay quiet! ...your time will come later.
What I’ve also learned works best is to try sitting down and encouraging them to follow. Nod and listen and when you talk, use a soft, calm voice. If you do this, most people will naturally calm down too since they begin to feel reassured that you are open to listening and they will be heard.
Once they’ve finally calmed and you are convinced that they will be able to listen and think clearly, it will be your turn to talk...This is when you can calmly share your thoughts on what they’ve said and how they have upset you by their manner of speaking...whatever it is, it’s YOUR turn.
I personally find it hardest when I am criticized for something I don’t deserve. For example (maybe you can relate) when my mom is angry with me and is complaining about how horrible I am, I can sit, listen, nod, apologize, like the wonderful daughter I am until my mom says something like,
‘You NEVER do the dishes!’
This is when I am most prone to losing control. The word ‘NEVER’ echoes in my head and the feeling of my efforts being completely disregarded begins to fuel my anger.
‘I’ve done the dishes about a million times!’ - says angry me in a shockingly rude, loud voice.
*Big fight ensues*
In this situation I find that being aware that having my efforts disregarded hurts my feelings helps me stay in control of my anger. Understand that it is natural for you to feel this way, and keep in mind that they don’t actually believe what they are saying, they’re just exaggerating their claims to justify their anger. Point is...they will be harsh and you have to stay patient and control the impulse to talk back.
Anyhow, those are my thoughts on this topic for now. I don’t doubt that you and I will learn more than what I’ve said so far with experience as the days go on, but maybe if all share our tips we don’thave to wait for time to teach us. So for the sake of helping people stay together and prevent broken friendships, please share your thoughts and tips down in the comments so we can all learn from each other insha’Allah.