How to Respond to an Anger Attack

For the chronically angry person, almost everything gives him the opportunity to feel affected and threatened. So, the usual reaction is verbal rage. Venting this rage makes the person feel powerful and in control over others, who have to retreat to a corner to wait the storm out.

For the angry person, this is a satisfactory experience of releasing internal pressure and feeling better. It creates an imprint of future anger explosions, because it feels good for the person venting his anger.

If you look at the devastation around, the effect on his loved ones is not the same. If they are small children, they feel fear and wish they could escape. If you grew up in a household where anger was vented periodically you experienced an emotional attack, with long lasting effects.

Every time your parent got upset, you knew what was coming: your stomach had a knot, your teeth clenched up, preparing to withstand the emotional abuse. You could not speak back, defend yourself or leave the room, because that would enrage your attacker more. In short, you needed to shut up and try to survive in silence...

Was that a permanent scar? You bet! It conditioned you to tolerate anger explosions all your life, instead of being able to say: STOP! or leave.

Anger needs to be expressed even in healthy relationships, but the venting of anger should never be an end in itself. It should be a sign that something needs attention, that we have been hurt in some way, something has been left unresolved that needs to be dealt with, so all concerned can go on with their lives.

So, what are the ways of dealing with an anger attack now, that you are no more a helpless child?

  • Call out your need to have a conversation, not a shouting match;
  • Ask in a strong voice: can you tell me what's wrong now?
  • If no response is coming, but more shouting, say: "Well, once you are finished, let me know so we can have a conversation" and LEAVE!

Sending the message that you are ready to talk, but will not tolerate the abuse of the other person shouting at you, no matter the reasons or the circumstances, is the only way to deal with verbal emotional abuse.

Neil Warner

Neil Warner

I'm the “relationship guru,” and my main focus is to increase the quality of love-based relationship experiences. In this ground-breaking guide I offer useful strategies on healing a difficult angry relationship with love and compassion. You don't have to stay in an unhealthy relationship one more minute. Let us share our tools with you today.

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