How To Deal With Angry People, According To Psychology Professor On TikTok

Though we all probably want to keep our emotions in check as much as possible, we can't help but get angry from time to time. I know I have.

But what should you do if someone else is angry, either directly at you or in general? According to Ryan Martin, who goes by @angerprofessor on TikTok, there are a lot of different things you can try that won't escalate the situation further.

Ryan Martin studies anger.

Unsplash | Usman Yousaf

As a natural response to stress or negative external influences, anger is one interesting emotion. It can cause us to do some things that could be considered out of character. And there are definitely a lot of ways to handle that emotion.

Ryan Martin has a Ph.D in psychology specializing in anger responses.

He also posts videos on TikTok

Unsplash | Solen Feyissa

Dr. Martin posts a bunch of different TikTok series that relate to anger, from how to identify kinds of anger, to how to deal with anger in healthy ways, and even how to deal with someone else's anger.

That last one is probably one of the most important lessons we can learn.

His series on dealing with angry people is worth the watch.

It's really great. In 6 parts, he teaches us how to deal with angry people in different situations. The key is definitely to not escalate the situation if it can be helped, because you'll probably just make the other person angrier. Instead, respond with a lot more patience.

The first part addresses self-reflection.

"Ask yourself if you've done something wrong," Dr. Martin says. "Keep in mind that their anger may be justified but they're still expressing it in a maladaptive, problematic way."

It's important to know that, even if you've wronged someone in some way, they still shouldn't be lashing out at you.

Part 2 addresses something called non-complementary behavior.

"A non-complementary behavior is if you do the opposite of their mood," he explains. Basically, don't respond to anger with more anger, and instead respond with more compassion.

"If you stay calm and even lower your voice a little bit, they are likely to match that and lower their voice a little bit."

Part 3 talks about what you can do if someone isn't speaking to you.

Some people lash out when they're angry. But worse yet, other people may have the tendency to stop talking to you altogether.

This can be tricky, Dr. Martin explains, but there are still ways to work with it. "Find a way to communicate with them that serves your relationship," he says.

The next step may be a bit harder.

Then, you'll want to says something along the lines of "'I believe you're angry with me. It seems you don't want to talk about it. That's okay, but when you are I am ready.'"

You may not get the kind of response you want, but you'll have at least done what you can.

He also warns against generalizing behavior in part 4.

Don't say things like, "'you always yell at me while you're mad,'" because it implies there's a pattern, making the situation much bigger than it is.

Dr. Martin suggests not bringing it up in that moment. "When you imply there's a pattern, it's easy for them to feel like they're being attacked." Even if there is a pattern, it's better left for another time.

Part 5 is all about learning how to disengage.

Sometimes you're better disengaging and walking away. Dr Martin says that there are plenty of reasons to disengage, one of which being "because [an] interaction isn't likely to come to a positive resolution."

It can sometimes be hard to reason with someone who's really angry, and there's no shame in walking away and trying again at a later time.

The 6th part is about what to do when you get an angry text.

There are a lot of ways to handle an angry text, and the best part is that you don't have to respond right away, so you have more time to think.

Dr. Martin's favorite way to reply is by asking questions, "Non-judgemental, 'I want to understand your perspective' questions." I think that's probably the safest route.

You should definitely check out his TikTok account if you want to learn more about how to deal with anger.