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12 Things to Say to Someone Who Is Angry with You

12 Things to Say to Someone Who Is Angry with You

Anger is a very strong emotion, and it is important to know what to say to someone who is angry with you to avoid aggravation. Someone who is angry with you may say things they don’t mean and the situation may easily spiral out of control.

The best thing to do in a situation where someone is angry with you is to de-escalate before tackling the issue. It may be hard to figure out what to say when you are angry yourself or you feel like you are being attacked.

We have outlined some important things to pay attention to or consider that will help you determine what to say, and have included detailed examples that are sure to work.


What to pay attention to or consider before talking to the person who is mad at you (Dos & Don’ts)

Before you take a look at what to say to someone who is angry with you, pay close attention to these dos and dont’s to ensure the situation is as incident-free as possible:



Listening is the most important thing you can do. It is more important than what to say to someone who is angry with you. It shows that you are aware and willing to address his/her concerns.


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02Put your emotions to the side
Angry people are hurt, so they may say or do things they don’t mean in the situation simply because they are angry and don’t know how to process their emotions. Do not take anything too personally, and address anything hurtful after the situation is diffused.


03Try to find the root of the anger
The only way to truly solve the problem is to address the root of the anger. Actively listen and ask relevant questions. Afterward, propose a logical or reasonable solution where possible.


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No matter how good our intentions may be, we sometimes end up hurting or angering the people close to us. If you are wrong, apologize. An apology can go a long way in diffusing a situation. Just make sure it is genuine, and not a way of brushing things to the side.




01Respond with anger
If you are too angry to say something productive, leave the situation. You will only make the situation worse by fighting fire with fire.


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02Try to shut the person up
While you may not be the confrontational type and you would rather bury issues, do not hurry the person up or try to shut them up. They may interpret this as you being disrespectful, or you not caring.


03Mock the person
Mocking the person will only make things worse. Use a neutral face and tone when addressing the problem.


04Get defensive
When the person expresses why he/she is frustrated with or angry at you, do not go into defense mode. This is not an attack on your character. Instead, show empathy and willingness to improve the situation.


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5 Best things to say when your lover is angry with you

It’s completely normal for your lover to get angry or cross with you. It doesn’t mean he/she doesn’t love you anymore, so don’t be too worried.
At the same time, don’t take it too lightly. Not taking situations seriously can mount to bigger issues which then cause breakups.
Here’s what to say to someone who is angry with you when the person is a lover or partner:

01“Please take a moment before you say something you might regret.”
When using this phrase, it is important to use a neutral tone; otherwise, it may come off as a threat. This is best used when your lover is angry at you and is saying hurtful things out of frustration. It lets him/her know that he/she is approaching your boundaries, and you are getting hurt in the process.


A photo of an apologetic man talking to his girlfriend

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02“I want to understand how you feel. Please explain.”
Use this when your lover is angry at you but you don’t know why. This lets him/her know that you are willing and ready to listen so you can both move past this.


03“Your feelings are completely justified. I promise to do better.”
Say this when you have heard your lover’s complaints and are genuinely willing to change. This shows that you value the relationship. Do not say this to shut your partner up or make empty promises.



04“We’re on the same side here. Please tell me what’s wrong.”
This is good to use when your partner is directing his/her anger at you when your actions are not the root cause. This can happen if you say the wrong thing or do something annoying or irritating. It is good to remind your partner that you are not the enemy, and that you have the same goals as him/her. It is easy to forget that in the heat of the moment.


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05“I’m so sorry. I did not know you felt that way. Allow me to make it up to you.”
Use this when your partner expresses frustration about something that has been going on for a while, but you were not aware that it affected him/her in this way. This shows that you are willing to atone for your mistakes to improve the state of the relationship.


4 Best things to say when your friend is angry with you

Friendships are important relationships that everyone should strive to maintain. Friends sometimes disagree, but the most important thing is respecting each other and resolving the issues at hand.
Here’s what to say to someone who is angry with you when the person is a friend:

06“I understand you are upset. How can I fix this?”
This is a very mature response to a friend’s anger. It shows that you are aware of the situation and wish to make it right. It is good because it shows that you value the friendship.


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07“I didn’t mean to offend you. This was never my intention. I was only trying to [insert reasons]”
Use this when you unintentionally anger your friend through words or actions that were not done maliciously. Include your reasons for doing what you did, not as justification, but to help your friend understand your thought process. This will make it appear more genuine and you are more likely to be forgiven.


08“I’m sorry you feel this way. Can you explain what I did that made you so mad? I don’t want to ruin our friendship over this.”
This is what you should say if your friend is giving you the cold shoulder or is angry at you for an unknown reason. This makes it clear that you are trying to resolve the situation, but you need his/her help to do so.


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09“I hear you. Let’s both calm down and try this later.”
Use this if you find yourself becoming angry. As much as you may try to de-escalate the situation, you are still human and subject to emotions. This prevents it from becoming ugly and shows that you are willing to try if he/she is.


3 ideas of what to say to someone who is angry with you at work (colleague)

Disputes may happen at work, and resolving them yourselves is better than facing the boss or HR which could result in disciplinary action or termination. You are both adults and should be able to work it out together.
This is what to say to someone who is angry with you at work:

10“Remember that we’re both trying to solve the same problem.”
This is a good response when your colleague believes you were trying to be vindictive. It reassures him/her that you meant no harm and that you want to get to the bottom of the issue as much as he/she wants to.



11“So, you said [insert point], but I’m not sure what you meant by [insert point].”
Use this when you are engaged in a heated discussion. It shows that you are actively listening to your colleague, and are interested in an amicable solution.


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12“Let’s take a break so we can have a more productive discussion, say after lunch?”
If the situation becomes too heated and is more of a shouting match than a discussion of an issue, use this to moderate. It says that you are not trying to run away from the issue, but that this just isn’t working at this particular time.


3 Things that you MUST NOT say when someone is angry with you

Now that you know what to say to someone who is angry with you, it’s time to talk about the things that you must not say. These things will only make the situation worse.
Here are three of the most common ones:

01“Relax. It’s not a big deal.”
How would you feel if you were upset about something and another person tried to invalidate your feelings? This will make the person more upset and shows that you do not care.


02“Is it that time of the month?”
Do not mock the lady who you are talking to. This will further infuriate the situation. Men don’t have to contend with raging hormones once a month like women do. It shows that you do not take her seriously, even if you are just trying to make light of the situation.


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03“Calm down.”
Telling someone who is already angry to calm down is inflammatory. You are better off staying calm. The person may find it demeaning and could lash out at you.



The key to knowing what to say to someone who is angry with you is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. If you would not want to hear it when you’re angry, do not say it.
Show that you are listening to the person’s point and are willing to improve if you are at fault. If possible, don’t take what is said personally, and don’t be afraid to apologize when you are wrong.