We’ve all been there before; we all had to deal with an explosive person at some point. Someone who is clearly an irritable person, that erupts in the worst possible way. And it feels like they’re always just one step away from losing it.
Whether it’s a friend, family member, or co-worker, we all have or have had that one person in our lives who seems to be a powder keg of emotions, always ready to blow up over the smallest thing. Plus, if you’re not careful, their outbursts can easily leave you feeling frazzled and exhausted.
It can be a nerve-wracking experience, but there are some things you can do to help diffuse the situation. So what can you do to deal with these emotionally explosive people?
How to deal with emotionally explosive people in 5 steps?
1- Don’t get scared and don’t let it work on you!
First, try to stay calm. If you show that you’re frightened or upset, as a result of one of their breakdowns; it will only make the other person more emotional.
And it will encourage them to keep playing this freakout card on you as they see that you get stressed, panic, and succumb to their wishes or desires to make that difficult phase go away.
2- Identify if it’s an attack on you or not:
Second, try to listen to what the person is saying and see if there’s anything you can do to help. If they just need to vent, sometimes all it takes is a sympathetic ear.
Maybe they’re not attacking you, they’re not blaming you and they’re just yelling and exploding from bottled-up emotions. Maybe they’re telling what happened to them with someone else or because of someone else and they just cannot bring themselves to calm down and be able to tell you about it while staying cool.
If this is the case, then try to be supportive and not judge them for their intense disappointment or feelings of betrayal. At least, they’re not accusing you of anything. They just want to vent and they’re clearly very hurt and vulnerable.
3- Don’t say anything provocative:
Third, try to avoid saying anything that could make the situation worse. If you can’t think of anything helpful to say, sometimes it’s best to just stay quiet.
But one thing that can help you for sure deal with emotionally explosive people is not to say anything provocative. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything they say, but it does mean avoiding contentious topics and steering clear of any remark that might set them off. It’s also important to be aware of your own body language and tone of voice, as these can be indicators of an emotional outburst coming your way.
And finally, if the situation starts to get out of control, don’t be afraid to walk away; it’s better to leave and come back later when they’re calmer and ready to communicate more efficiently rather than to risk making things worse. However, if the person is someone you can’t or you don’t want to avoid, it’s important to try to stay calm and constructive in your interactions, even if it feels like an uphill battle.
4- Think about other means of communication:
Another thing you can do to deal with emotionally explosive people or communicate with them is to write them a letter. This can help to release some of your own emotions, without being in the same vicinity as them and it can also give the other person a chance to calmly understand what you have been trying to tell them.
We have discussed many times on this website how writing a letter can sometimes save a marriage or another type of relationship and be a good way to communicate with someone unpredictable. It’s important, to be honest in your letter, but also to try and stay calm and constructive. If you’re feeling particularly upset or unheard in the relationship, it might be best to write the letter and then wait a day or two to decide if you have something to add before giving or sending it.
This way, you’ll have time to reread it and make sure that it’s not going to make the situation worse. Writing a letter can be a helpful way to deal with emotionally explosive people when you have something to say but fear the repercussions. it is also a good way to let them hear you out without interruptions or outbursts.
It’s true though that you can only write so many letters so it’s not always a permanent solution on how to deal with this type of person. Sometimes, it’s best just to walk away and avoid further conflict.
If you notice that writing letters work with an explosive person that you live with, then you can try texting each other from different rooms in your home when arguing. It can be a lot better than arguing in person and it will spare you a big explosive mess.
5- Find the root cause of their reaction:
Finally, when dealing with a person that you think is explosive, try to see things from their perspective. Oftentimes, their anger is coming from a place of hurt or insecurity. If you can understand where they’re coming from, it can be easier to defuse the situation.
This will also help you see that their anger is not personal against you and is probably coming from wanting to be better themselves and feeling like they’re failing at it. They probably just want to be appreciated and cannot bring themselves to know how to act right or please the person in front of them. So try not to take their outbursts personally. It’s not about you, no matter what they might say in the heat of the moment.
Keep these things in mind next time you’re dealing with an emotionally explosive person, and hopefully, you’ll be able to diffuse the situation before it gets out of hand.