How to react when someone is shouting
If you’ve ever been in a public place where someone near you has been yelling, you know how disconcerting and uncomfortable it can be. If you want to diffuse the situation as much as possible and prevent it from escalating further, consider these seven tips for reacting when someone’s shouting. Here are 7 tips how to react when someone is shouting.
1) Stay Calm
One of our most effective forms of defense is non-verbal communication, specifically eye contact. We don’t know what goes on in another person’s head, so we can never truly know how they’re feeling, but we all know that if someone makes a habit of looking away or starts fidgeting nervously, it’s a sign they feel uncomfortable. By keeping your gaze steady and strong, you send a clear message that you aren’t threatened or intimidated by their loud behavior. And remember; keep breathing!
2) Breathe Deeply
When faced with an angry person, our first instinct might be to get defensive. Before you know it, a potentially volatile encounter has gotten out of hand. When faced with an angry person, take a step back and breathe deeply. Doing so allows you a moment to compose yourself and assess how best to handle your emotions (and theirs). It also gives you space from their anger, making it less likely that they’ll transmit any heat-of-the-moment feelings onto you. To avoid escalating anything verbally, follow your breath and don’t react until it feels like enough time has passed.
3) Act Politely and Maintain Eye Contact
Don’t get into a shouting match with another person. Instead, maintain eye contact and be polite. Even if they are not being nice, it will help you keep your cool so that you can get out of that confrontation in one piece. The first step is to try and diffuse the situation by asking them not to yell at you or treat you in a way that makes you uncomfortable. If they refuse, politely tell them that you will have to remove yourself from their presence because they are yelling at you. Maintain eye contact while telling them that loud voices are creating an uncomfortable environment; then ask them whether they would like some earplugs so they can lower their voice volume but still have a conversation with you.
4) Listen Carefully
If you hear people shouting at each other, don’t look or give any indication that you heard them. You can’t control what they say and how they act but you can control your reaction to it. If you give them any attention they may become angry because of it and their argument will escalate in front of everyone. Instead, walk away from where they are yelling, pretend that you didn’t hear a thing, and go about your business until it subsides. When arguing children in public try not to call attention to them by glaring at them, shaking your head in disapproval or making negative comments; instead focus on ignoring their behavior so as not to fuel their ire even more.
5) Let the Person Vent
Letting your friend or coworker vent allows them to blow off steam. It also helps prevent you from interrupting their thought process or arguing with them. If they’re already upset, talking will only make it worse. So let them speak and just listen, even if you think they’re overreacting (because maybe they are). They might be surprised by how quickly things improve once they’ve had a chance to get everything out in the open—and be sure to thank them for speaking with you about it later. 🙂
6) Don’t Take it Personally
It’s easy to get emotional about a tense situation, especially if you feel like you’re being personally attacked. It’s also easy, though, to take things too personally and let things spiral out of control. The reality is that most of what we shout in tense situations isn’t necessarily directed at us—we just happen to be standing there. Try not to personalize it. Use Time Out: If someone suddenly blows up at you in front of others, it might help both of you calm down by stepping outside and talking privately.
7) Apologize (if needed!)
If you feel like you’re in any way responsible for a person’s anger, take full responsibility. Make sure they know that you hear them and that you understand their frustration. Apologizing can help get your point across and may even calm down an angry person. It won’t fix anything immediately, but people who are upset often feel understood once they hear an apology from someone involved in their problem.
Reacting to someone who’s shouting at you can be frightening, but there are several ways you can handle it in a way that diffuses the situation and leaves everyone calmer and more composed. Here are 7 tips on how to react when someone is shouting at you so that you keep the conversation going while avoiding an argument or physical altercation.