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  1. #1
    bartron's Avatar bartron is offline mmmm...cookies

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    Default How to confront an angry person.

    Anger advice on a Mac forum?....one can only try so here goes.

    I know this person. They are angry ALL the time. If they aren't angry about something they find something to be angry about or if they are 'trying' to be happy they will pick something you've done to make them angry...then blame you for making them angry. They snap and the most minor of things and make decisions of 'finality' while angry....e.g. they would get angry someone didn't reply to an email within 5 minutes, take it to mean that person is ignoring them on purpose (rather than the other person may have gone to the bathroom or something), then delete everything, cancel appointments or at the very least, make loud vocal threats to the same effect. If this person is doing something and you interrupt them, they get angry. If you're doing something and this person interrupts you and you don't stop what you're doing....they get angry

    This person will also try to be helpful...a lot...but it almost always happens that the recipient hasn't asked for help or the help is based on the cheapest or quickest of some method rather than the most appropriate method of help.....e.g. if someone that was a keen fisherman remarked that they needed a new rod, this person would, without consultation, buy the cheapest rod and line from a place like k-mart rather than get a proper rod and tackle...ignoring the fact that buying a rod is something you probably should leave to the person that will be using it (unless you know a lot about fishing and the other person is just starting out). Pretty much always, these actions fall flat or are ignored completely and you know what?....it makes them angry.

    but they keep doing it....

    I want to help this person. Walking away and/or ignoring would be easy but this persons anger affects everyone they deal with be it work or personal....then they get angry about not having many (any?) friends. It's depressing to watch and my help would be just as much for the people around this person as it would be for them.

    Anger anger anger....it's like they are addicted to it and seek it out...paying attention only to negative aspects of daily life....when they are not being angry they get depressed about being angry all the time. It makes everyone around them angry and depressed too...

    so....how to help this person without incurring a large dose of anger directed at myself?.....or is it even possible? Do you know any angry people?....as in someone that's angry even when there's no apparent reason (insert joke about your wife/girlfriend here)?

    Thanks for listening
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  2. #2
    Lutze's Avatar Lutze is offline Yatta!

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    I am an angry person.

    My advice would be this: go to your doctor and obtain medicine, tranquilisers, and feed him these via his coffee. I wish some of the idiots I work with would do it to me. I lost the plot this morning with a co worker when he asked me a stupid question while I was in a stressful situation.
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  3. #3
    ClockWork's Avatar ClockWork is offline I'm the Urban Spaceman, baby

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    hmmm - sounds like a corporate vampire - specifically hired to shit on co-workers.

    Some questions:

    If it's in a work environment, is their position higher, lower or on par with you?

    Are they male or female?

    Age range?

    and Nationality?

  4. #4
    bartron's Avatar bartron is offline mmmm...cookies

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    The person used to be nice, cheerful, happy etc. A short fuse to be sure but it was rare enough not to be of consequence and they were good about keeping it in check.

    That was then...this is now. the last 3-4 years being particularly unpleasant.

    Not directly work related although I did work with them in the past, 40ish and Australian (Irish decent).
    This opinion intentionally left blank.

  5. #5
    Lutze's Avatar Lutze is offline Yatta!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bartron View Post
    The person used to be nice, cheerful, happy etc. A short fuse to be sure but it was rare enough not to be of consequence and they were good about keeping it in check.

    That was then...this is now. the last 3-4 years being particularly unpleasant.

    Not directly work related although I did work with them in the past, 40ish and Australian (Irish decent).
    is their problem personal or professional?

    Did something happen in the time frame mentioned that has caused them to become unhappy about either work or home life?

    I think it depends on what you want the outcome to be. Your topic title has the term confront - so I'd say that it's more to do with frustration with them, and trying to make life easier for you. Understandable - but I'd ask if it's really your job to do so?
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  6. #6

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    [puts on psych nurse hat]

    When someone was previously a pleasant, easy to get on with individual and now no longer is, its going to be something like a relationship gone sour or drugs: I'm leaning toward the latter. If its either of those things, and this is quite a marked personality change, this individual may be at high risk of hurting themself or someone else. They ought to be referred for anger management. Lifeline in Newcastle does this very effectively, so I'd suggest contacting your local office (not the help line) and asking about it.

    The next thing is to suggest it to the individual... but... has anyone asked him why he's so angry?

    [takes off psych nurse hat]

  7. #7

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    Well, the Irish decent says it all! ;-) just kidding.

    Why not ask why this person is angry? Be friendly and honest when you do so. Do you want to be friends with this person. It seems that something has happened to this person to make them angry and like Kyte says it could be drugs.

    Always be nice regardless of the person and they will respond to that.

    Dom
    Last edited by DomDom; 17th December 2009 at 06:42 AM.

  8. #8
    MissionMan's Avatar MissionMan is offline Do Lipton employees take coffee breaks?

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    I'd leave it alone. If you try help it could be seen as condescending. Sometimes there are lessons people will need to learn on their own.

    I have one or two mates like that. They believe the world is out to get them and they have a massive chip on their shoulder. Every time something bad happens to them, they look at it negatively and think they always get bad luck, strangely enough they always forget about the good things that happen to them.

    I think we'll see this more often with the way the education system is going. We are not preparing kids for the real world with this "We are all good no matter how badly we do in school". We think we're trying to protect our kids, but we aren't preparing them for failure in the real world when their best may not be good enough to get a particular position they want because someone is simply better than them.
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  9. #9

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    If you try and help, most likely you will get an agry response and the intial contact will end badly.

    Following that you will become their crutch, you will be contacted at odd hours and for odd things and it will be very hard to shake this person off, including their anger.


    My advice would be to stay away

  10. #10
    MissionMan's Avatar MissionMan is offline Do Lipton employees take coffee breaks?

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    A possible alternative is to steer them in the direction of becoming a serial killer as a means to deal with their anger in a constructive manner. Then get them to watch series 1, 2, 3 and 4 of Dexter and hope that they can find a job as a blood splatter analyst in the Australia Police so they identify those criminals getting past the justice system. Sure, it has downfalls, but at least the streets are cleaner and you don't deal with an angry colleague. Unfortunately they may have issues trying to find one person to kill every week, murder isn't as high in Australia as the states so they may have to drop their standards to petty theft, city thugs beating up people and car hoons but I can live with that as well.
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  11. #11

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    The hardest thing I find when dealing with someone who is unreasonably angry is that it makes you want to talk back to them in a way that's also angry or defensive. Resisting this temptation is much more effective, though - responding to anger by consistently being a calm, soft voice of reason usually makes the angry person more aware of how crazy their own outburst sounded.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyte View Post
    When someone was previously a pleasant, easy to get on with individual and now no longer is, its going to be something like a relationship gone sour or drugs: I'm leaning toward the latter.
    Personality changes can also be pathological. It could be environmental poisoning, a brain tumour or a lot of other things. It should definitely be diagnosed professionally, but the problem is getting the person to a) acknowledge their personality change and b) submit themselves to diagnose and treatment. Few people will readily admit that they've "gone crazy".

    Cheers
    Steffen.
    It's Unix, Jim, but not as we know it...

  13. #13

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    It could be depression or some other kind of chemical imbalance. If you talk to this guy you could just say to him you've noticed him becoming a lot angrier. He probably just needs someone to talk to. Suggest he go to a Doctor because being angry like that isn't normal...there's got to be something wrong.

  14. #14

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    This is gonna sound harsh…

    If you don't work with him, and you are not obliged to see him, cut. him. off.

    You're really nice to want to help, and the best way you can help is make him aware his actions have consequences, and that consequence is you friendship/attention. Calmly bring his behaviour to his attention, and let them know that until they cut the shit out. You will have nothing to do with him.

    Life is too short and there are enough arseholes in the world you HAVE to deal without adding someone you can choose to be around.

    M
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  15. #15
    bartron's Avatar bartron is offline mmmm...cookies

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    Quote Originally Posted by dotnet View Post
    ...the problem is getting the person to a) acknowledge their personality change and b) submit themselves to diagnose and treatment. Few people will readily admit that they've "gone crazy".

    Cheers
    Steffen.
    this is pretty much it and the dilemma I face.

    There's no drugs or anything else. There was a bit of a breakdown about 2 1/2 years ago which was a result of this persons parents dying within short span of each other. After the breakdown, people that were there started avoiding them which let to bitching about these other people to 'friends' to which even more people started avoiding them and onward down the spiral.....all the while this person either refuses to see the damage they are doing or more likely, can see it at all.

    The biggest problem at the moment is getting them to realise there is a problem and to see someone about it. The first part (realising there is a problem) is partially there...they know they have a temper. Seeing someone about it will be the biggest hurdle as they flatly refuse to believe that they are in the wrong (whether they are or not) and that any form of external help constitutes failure....a fruitcake...a crazy....etc.

    walking away is an option.....but it's the last option and will result in a big upheaval for all involved.
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by bartron View Post
    The biggest problem at the moment is getting them to realise there is a problem and to see someone about it. The first part (realising there is a problem) is partially there...they know they have a temper. Seeing someone about it will be the biggest hurdle as they flatly refuse to believe that they are in the wrong (whether they are or not) and that any form of external help constitutes failure....a fruitcake...a crazy….etc.
    Gentle persistence seems to be the only way. You can't force treatment upon someone unless they're a danger to themselves or others.

    Cheers
    Steffen.
    It's Unix, Jim, but not as we know it...

  17. #17
    Lutze's Avatar Lutze is offline Yatta!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dotnet View Post
    You can't force treatment upon someone unless they're a danger to themselves or others.

    Cheers
    Steffen.
    or by slipping a sedative into their tasty beverage.
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  18. #18

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    The best thing for them is to go get help somewhere, there could be drugs (even if you don't think so), some kind of issue they haven't got over, depression, or I have seen this happen, especially the angry thing when their thyroid is stuffing up.
    Successful trade with: Clockwork.....(and what a trade!)

  19. #19
    ClockWork's Avatar ClockWork is offline I'm the Urban Spaceman, baby

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    The facts of life - just as your colleague attempts to give his / her ideal fishing rod to someone who doesn't want it or never asked for it, you cannot really help your colleague either.

    I call this... the power of ones own inability to help.

    However, when I've been the target of a face to face attack of critical anger: an out burst without good reason, I wait till they stop and then ask a point blank question:

    "Do you hate me?"

    You may find that they take the query very personally and may even stop to think, which may give you the opportunity to jump in and tell them how much you feel they hate you by the way they behave towards you.

    [Triggering introspection.]

  20. #20
    soulman's Avatar soulman is offline Electric Sheep

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    Quote Originally Posted by bartron View Post
    walking away is an option.....but it's the last option and will result in a big upheaval for all involved.
    Change tends to be the option people pursue after all else fails. You may need to consider that the end of your relationship with this guy is part of "all else fails" for him and that it is this kind of jolt that he needs to push him forward.

    Perhaps, try to think about how you can make it clear, in the most caring way you can manage, that you are unable to continue any sort of friendship with him because of his behaviour. Make it clear though that you would welcome him back into your life as soon as he got somewhere with his anti-social behaviour. It will almost certainly piss him off severely and may not have the desired effect, either immediately or at all, but eventually he will be forced to accept that he has a problem and do something about it.

    I think it's very important to remember in these situations that nobody ever changes until they're ready (or in some cases, able) and that you are unlikely to influence that in any substantial way by trying to "help."

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