When a person is angry with you, it is usually because of one of several reasons. He could be angry because of something you have said or done, or he could be angry because of something he thinks you have said or done. Sometimes, he may be upset with another person or other matters but vent his frustrations on you anyway, just because you happen to be the nearest or most convenient target. No matter what, you will need to do something about it, even if you are not to blame. You will need to turn off his anger quickly so that you can restore normal friendly relations with him again.
One effective method to do that is to simply listen to his story from the beginning to end without any interruption at all. After he has completed his scolding or whatever, tell him in a calm manner that you agree with him or that you understand his point of view. Then you ask him what he wants you to do about it. Usually, all he wants is to vent his frustration – get it all off his chest. By providing a sympathetic ear and showing that you are willing to listen, you would have calm him down somewhat. Usually, the person would just say that he only wanted you to know how he feels, or he just wanted an apology from you. If the situation warrants it, by all means apologise to him. You would have turned hostilities into friendliness without much difficulty.
Another effective technique to turn off a person’s anger is to respond in a kind and friendly manner to his outburst. Remain completely calm. Say nothing until he has drained himself emotionally. Then reply in a quiet and soft voice. You must deliberately lower your voice and keep it soft. Doing so will not only calm the angry person down, it will also keep you from getting angry as well. When you refrain from fighting back and hold your temper in check, you would have gained the edge needed to master and control the angry person. He will soon realise that by shouting at you or scolding you, he is the one who is being unreasonable. This embarrasses him and makes him feel bad as a normal person cannot possibly remain angry and high-strung for very long. After a short while, he will regain his composure, become self-conscious and would be anxious to get the situation back to normal as soon as possible.
The last and most effective method in overcoming hostilities, but more often than not the least used, is the ability to say that you are sorry. It is the least used because it is difficult to say for anyone to say that he is sorry. The factors of pride and ego are in play here. However, if you are genuinely in the wrong, you should quickly admit it and say that you are sorry. There is no faster or better way to turn off a person’s anger than to apologize to the person whose feelings you have hurt. However you can go beyond this. To be able to gain a lasting friendship with an angry person, all you need to do is to apologize even when you are not at fault. When you are not in the wrong, you can afford to be big-hearted and magnanimous, and the other person will also admire you for your courage. If just by saying sorry, you can restore peace in the family or workplace, or restore a friendly relationships, then say it. By doing so, you can get on with the more important matters of living and enjoying your life and your precious friendships rather than remaining disturbed and troubled, worrying over who is right or wrong.