7 ways to handle a hothead

7 Ways to Handle a Hothead

How to understand a hothead and not be one yourself!

Instead of air-fresheners learn 7 ways to handle a hothead to keep your home sweet:

7 Ways to Handle a Hothead, without blowing your top  by  Paula Spencer Scott, Caring.com senior editor.

We all succumb to venting our spleen at times, here is how to cope with a hothead and not become a hothead yourself.

Teach the children this.  Put it into a lesson plan for schools and record in beautiful stitching on a tapestry.

Hang it next to the old stitched work Great Grandma gave you which bears the faded legend: Home Sweet Home.

1. Let the angry person know you understand that he is upset.

What this sounds like: “I understand that you’re really upset right now that I missed our appointment.”

Why it helps: It demonstrates the realisation that you are listening and understanding the upset person.

2. Solicit what the angry person wants from you.

What this sounds like: “What is it you want or need right now?”

Why it helps: Anger may develop when the person feels they have been treated unfairly and anger is used to get the unfair thing fixed.

3. Offer what help you can – or say clearly what you can’t do.

What this sounds like: “Let me see if I can call the doctor for you and find out what the delay is”  (you may be told that an apology is required) “I’m sorry I didn’t realise the snack I ate was something you were saving for yourself.”  Or “I’m sorry, I am interrupting you and not letting you finish what you want to say.”

Or you may decide it is not in your power to help: “I wish I could stay longer to help, but I can’t.”  Sometimes it is within your power but you choose not to. Simply say: “I wish I could help, but I can’t today.”

Why it helps: It keeps the situation moving along in a productive way and allows the other person expression and if help is required.

4. Set the limits on what you will tolerate.

What this sounds like: “I can see you’re really angry, but you’re taking it out on me – and if you care about me, you’ll stop.” or “Look, I’m willing to listen, but you have to stop shouting at me.” Or, ” I can see that you’re upset about X.  But if you want to talk about it and get my help to resolve it, you have to quit attacking me.”

If that doesn’t work or makes things work – then leave the room, house, building.

Why it helps: Some angry people need to vent it out of their system before they’ll engage with you.”  ” . . . don’t get drawn into a defensive ping-pong match.”  The other party has a right to feel anger, they don’t have the right to be threatening in any way.

5. Accept that the aggrieved person is probably doing the best he or she can.

What this sounds like: Literally say to yourself: “Bob/Sue must be having a bad day.”  “…. blowing his/her top is the way she copes.”

Why it helps: Re-framing another reason for a person’s anger in your own mind changes the way your brain responds to it.  By saying: She is having a bad day or this isn’t my fault, eliminates the angry triggers when we see or face anger.

6. Accept that you’re doing the best you can too.

What this sounds like: I wish I could have stayed with Bob/Sue long enough to fix his computer but I have stayed an hour and now I’m late for what I wanted to do and this will upset others.

Why it helps: It cuts you some slack without you getting angry, frustrated or fearful about the situation.

7. Try humor.

What this sounds like: “This is beyond my capabilities – let me consult my other personalities.” or “I wish I had a magic wand – I’d wave it for you and fix everything!”

Why it helps: Humor can defuse situations that have grown tense and can shift the moment.”  The humor should be targeted at yourself or the situation or the other person will think you are making fun of them.

Full version and the psychiatrist’s reasonings here: 7 Ways to Handle a Hothead, without blowing your top 


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