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How do I handle a family member that gets angry and mean when they are stressed?

15 Answers
Last Updated: 07/06/2020 at 5:28am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
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Graham Barrone, Adip ICHP, MCBT


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Top Rated Answers
May 8th, 2015 3:16pm
Stop letting people drag you into needless arguments. – Never waste your time trying to explain yourself to people who have proven that they are committed to misunderstanding you. And don’t define your intelligence or self-worth by the number of arguments you have won, but by the number of times you have said, “This needless nonsense is not worth my time!” Stop letting people drown you with their negativity. – Positivity is a choice. Choose wisely. Be smart enough to walk away from the negativity around you… it is never worth your while, ever. Stop letting people make you feel ashamed of your scars. – Scars remind us that our past is real, and that we have grown beyond it. Every scar has a story. Don’t be afraid to tell it and own it. Stop listening to those who berate you for your honest mistakes. – To grow strong and wise, you must have the courage to make mistakes. Allow yourself to be a beginner. No one starts off being excellent. Stop letting others blind you from YOUR truth. – Today, the only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday. Prove yourself to yourself, not others. (Read A New Earth.) Stop letting people bully you. – Bullying is not OK. Period. There is no freedom on Earth that gives someone the right to assault who you are as a person. Sadly, some people just won’t be happy until they’ve pushed your ego to the ground and stomped on it. What you have to do is have the nerve to stand your ground. Don’t give them any leeway. Nobody has the power to make you feel small unless you give them that power. Stop letting friends be untrue to you. – What is a true friend? Someone who loves you just the way you are, but still inspires you to be a better person. BE a true friend to others, and keep only true friends close to you. Stop letting the same people lie to you over and over again. – If someone fools you once, shame on them. If someone fools you twice, shame on you. If you catch someone lying to you, speak up. Some people will lie to you repeatedly in a vicious effort to get you to repeat their lies over and over until they effectively become true. Don’t partake in their nonsense. Don’t let their lies be your reality. Stop letting people take advantage of you. – Sometimes people don’t notice the things we do for them until we stop doing them. This is NOT right! Realize this. You deserve better. You deserve to be with people who make you smile – friends who don’t take you for granted – friends who won’t leave you hanging. Stop letting people treat you like a back-up plan. – Don’t settle to simply be someone’s downtime, spare time, part time, or sometime. If they can’t reliably be there for you when you need them most, they’re not worth your time. Stop letting the wrong people get between you and the right ones. – Don’t let the people who refuse to love you keep you from the people who do love you. Spend time with those who make your world a little brighter simply by being in it. Someday you will either regret not doing so, or you will say, “I’m glad I did.” Stop letting hateful people motivate you to hate them back. – As Gandhi once said, “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.” Regardless of how despicable another has acted, never let hate build in your heart. Fighting hatred with hatred only hurts you more. When you decide to hate someone you automatically begin digging two graves: one for your enemy and one for yourself. (Read The Four Agreements.) Stop letting people leave grudges in your mind. – Remember, the first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to move forward is the happiest. Always. Stop letting people use your past to poison your present. – Life is too short to tirelessly struggle with old news and those who refuse to let it go. Some people cannot stand that you’re moving on with your life and so they will try to drag your past to catch up with you. Do not help them by acknowledging their behavior. Keep moving forward. Practice acceptance and forgiveness. Letting go of the past is your first step to happiness. Stop letting people convince you that change is a bad thing. – The things we can’t change often end up changing us. This change happens for a reason. Roll with it. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it in the end. Stop letting people steer you away from meaningful pursuits. – If you can smile when no one else is around, you really mean it. So don’t let other people get between you and the ideas and activities that truly move you. Stop letting people dump on your dreams. – Life will test you to see how serious you are about pursuing a particular path. And sooner or later you may face negative feedback from others. When this happens, remember not to let anyone crush your spirit. If you are passionate about something, pursue it, no matter what anyone else thinks. That’s how dreams are achieved. Stop letting naysayers talk you out of putting in the extra effort. – Hard times often lead to greatness. Keep the faith. It will be worth it in the end. The beginnings to great things are always the hardest. Stop letting people convince you of their quick-fix schemes. – Anything worth achieving takes time and dedicated effort. Period. Honestly, I used to believe that making wishes and saying prayers changed things, but now I know that wishes and prayers change us, and WE change things. (Angel and I discuss this in detail in the “Goals and Success” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.) Stop letting people tell you that you need more to be happy. – Thankfulness is the start of happiness. Be sure to appreciate what you’ve got. Be thankful for the little things in life that mean a lot.
December 22nd, 2015 6:20am
There are a number of ways to "handle" a family member that gets angry and mean when they're stressed. But, it's important for us all to realize that we are responsible for our own actions and our own emotions. Nothing we do makes another person more or less angry or more or less mean - they choose how they're going to react to a situation. In the event you would like to assist a family member who is stressed, and may exhibit anger or become mean, you may ask them the questions: "If I did (insert a specific task) would that help you?" or "What is the best way I can help you get through this week?" However, if you're threatened in anyway or their anger and mean make you uncomfortable it may be best to distance yourself from the situation by simply doing so or saying, "I feel like how you're communicating with me implies you need some space. I'm going to give you some room. If you need help please communicate with me how I can assist you."
March 6th, 2017 4:07am
Try listening to them, sometimes it can be kind of hard, but probably this person doesn't realise they're being mean, so just try to be extra nice, but talk to them about they way you feel when they're no longer stressed.
May 15th, 2015 6:54pm
My sister does this special in social situations because she has mild anxiety. I usually just give her space but I check on her every 10 min. Sometimes after just 10 min she will respond with a different attitude than with anger. Having patience in key tho, responding with an attitude to an angry person only fuels their anger!
July 11th, 2016 2:03pm
You have to understand that obvious, aggression and anger is the only way they cope with their stress and unfortunately, you're the target. You'd have to learn to not take what they say to heart or feel like they're personally attacking you when they're angry. It might help to move to another room on your own, when you feel they're becoming nasty again.
July 6th, 2020 5:28am
By taking to them calmly and being patient with them. Its always good to remember they have life experiences too and to consider what they go through on a day-to-day basis to provide for you. They can go through a lot and may have personal struggles you dont see. Or past struggles you never heard of. Sometimes they just need someone who they can lean their shoulder on as well. Always consider what theyre feeling or why theyre feeling that way before reacting. Not everything can be resolved, though. And not everyone wants help. But if things get any more than angry or mean and it happens frequently or on short notice that stems from small tiny things, as well as never saying sorry or talking it out wirh you after being angry and mean about something, that might be a sign of abuse. Please be careful. But please do your research too. It means all the difference. But everyone's situation is different, so always consider what you both are going through.
February 1st, 2015 10:15am
Understand that they aren't being mean or angry towards you because you did something wrong. This does not mean however that you should simply allow yourself to treated badly or abused. Talk about what you should do when they are stressed or angry. They may say that just leaving the situation may be best, or maybe they don't want to be left alone. Maybe cheering them up or offering to help with the stressed may help them become less angry. Find out what's best for them. Be supportive but don't allow your self-worth or happiness be diminished because of it. Suggest ways they can help alleviate stress, listen, and suggest they speak with a professional.
April 28th, 2015 1:46am
Talk to them to find out what is on their mind. Maybe you are sharing the same burden and could tackle it together.
November 3rd, 2015 9:28pm
Sometimes its best to let them be alone, offer to step away for a bit, give them space and a chance to cool off.
February 8th, 2016 4:17am
It is best to avoid a person like this when they are anger if it ever gets physical you need to notify someone,
March 28th, 2016 12:48am
Don't respond. Remember that people make mistakes and they may have a really bad moment. Try to not take it personally whatever they say and keep your distance. When they calm down you can try to talk down with them and let them know how they made you feel and eventually work together on helping each other manage those moments better.
May 30th, 2016 11:22pm
You can try to figure out the source of their problem by communicating with them and show your empathy
July 25th, 2016 2:22pm
Pointed out their anger or mean behavior and tell them how it made you feel. Do not blame or argue with them but empathize their feeling and situation.
August 29th, 2016 6:03pm
i just tell them i am going to leave for a little and let you calm down and then we can talk when your okay .
February 21st, 2017 9:25am
let them rant out for a while and talk to them to see if they are ready to calm down. Once they seem ready to listen talk them out of whats bothering them.