How To Diffuse An Angry Person

The Charlottesville protest attack has unnerved many people. Most people want to prevent situations from turning violent. This morning we want to talk about ways to defuse a heated situation.

A common mistake you might make when you see someone getting heated is that you let your emotions get the best of you. This means that you react emotionally not intellectually. For example, you might tell the person to calm down. Or, you might get loud. Or, you might give them a dirty look. When you add fuel to the fire you get an explosive situation.

Instead listen for the emotion underneath their heated words. Ask yourself why they're saying what they're saying. Address the underlying emotion, whether it's anger, distress, fear.

Just because you acknowledge their emotion, doesn't mean that you're agreeing with them. Remember that people want validation. Acknowledgement of what they say. Saying that you hear or see their anger isn't agreement. There's a distinction. Usually, when someone feels heard then the emotion subsides.

How To Notice Aggressive Signs In Someone

Tragedies like what happened in Charlottesville, VA makes you wonder what you can do to avoid dangerous situations.

Here are a few possible body language signs that someone might be getting violent.

You know the saying that you got hot under the collar when you're angry. Your body temperature rises when you get angry. So it's not uncommon to see someone strip down layers of clothing. This means taking off jackets, shirts, hats, rolling up sleeves or even unzipping jackets.

Eyes can give a hint of anger. When you're excited, agitated, angry, your blink rate can increase. To give you a comparison, a normal blink rate is about 20 blinks per minute. So if you see a rapid blink rate, watch out. Also, some people might zone out or have a glazed over look. They can be subconsciously psyching themselves out to fight.

Also, some people might take a step back to get some room before they lash out.

Share your thoughts with me on Twitter at @blancacobb. Remember to use the hash tag #BlancaOn2. Or, you can find me on my facebook page.

Blanca Cobb is a WFMY News 2 Contributing Editor, body language expert and keynote speaker/corporate trainer who covers nonverbal communication, psychology and behavior. Follow her @blancacobb. The opinions expressed in this article are exclusively hers.