It’s tempting to respond to someone’s angry rant or accusation with something even more incendiary.   But that will only lead to an escalation and move you further away from a resolution. Instead, it’s better to say, “Let’s talk later.”  Then, walk away.

You’ll be giving the other person, and yourself, the space to breathe, calm down and gain perspective. Once you’ve cooled down, you can decide if there is still a need to discuss the issue. If there is, think about how to do so in a way that doesn’t refuel the fire.

For example, you might try saying, “You were fairly angry about the situation. While I don’t intend to take you back to that place, I am wondering if now is a good time to talk. Or, if you prefer, we can speak at another time.” This approach acknowledges the other person’s intense feelings and signals that you’re willing to work on resolving the problem.