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26 Ways to Protect Yourself From an Angry Drunk

26 Ways to Protect Yourself From an Angry Drunk

If you’ve ever had the “lovely” experience of trying to protect yourself from an angry drunk, then you know how utterly unpleasant, chaotic, scary, and sometimes traumatic it can be.

The ranting, the yelling, the screaming, and the destruction from an angry drunk spouse can be enough to give you nightmares for the rest of your life. Or at least some major resentment in the relationship that can be hard to overcome. If you are a woman, or a child, it can be absolutely terrifying to see this person go berserk and lose control.

I’ve dealt with my angry drunk spouse many times, (whom I secretly named “Drunky the Clown” LOL! Hey, humor is what gets me through the day sometimes!) and I’ve known countless other women, of all ages, and walks of life who can relate.

I’ve seen alcohol and angry drunks decimate relationships, and worst of all, take lives. The destruction it does is incalculable, and has been for generations.

I come from a family full of drinkers, myself included. I stopped for a variety of reasons, but my husband did not.

I’ve learned that when he gets snippy with me, I’m outta there before things escalate into another fight. He has trouble backing down, always wanting — no, having — to have the last word.

I’ve come to a point in my life where my peace is more important than being “right” and I refuse to engage in much of any pointless talk with someone whose had too much.

What’s the use?

They likely won’t remember it anyway, but I will.

How to Protect Yourself From an Angry Drunk

Protecting yourself from an angry drunk spouse can be very challenging, and potentially dangerous.

Here are some steps to consider to ensure your safety:

1. Stay Calm and Avoid Engaging:

Impact: Keeping your composure can help de-escalate the situation. Avoid arguing or trying to reason with an angry drunk, as their judgment is impaired.

2. Maintain Physical Distance:

Impact: Create a safe space between you and the drunk. This reduces the risk of physical harm and can help diffuse the intensity of the situation.

3. Use Non-Confrontational Language:

Impact: Speak in a soft, calm voice and use neutral language. Avoid triggering phrases or accusatory statements that might escalate their anger.

4. Acknowledge Their Feelings:

Impact: Sometimes, acknowledging their feelings without agreeing or disagreeing can help calm them. Simple phrases like, “I see you’re upset,” can be effective.

5. Avoid Physical Contact:

Impact: Physical contact can be misinterpreted and might escalate the situation. Keep your hands visible and avoid making sudden movements.

6. Exit the Situation if Possible:

Impact: If you can safely leave, do so. Removing yourself from the environment can prevent further conflict and protect your well-being.

7. Seek Help:

Impact: If your angry drunk spouse gets out of control, call for help. This could be a friend, family member, or, in severe cases, law enforcement.

8. Have a Safe Space:

Impact: If you are at home, go to a room with a lock where you can wait until the angry drunk calms down or help arrives. Ensure you have access to a phone.

9. Avoid Alcohol-Fueled Environments:

Impact: If this is a recurring issue, consider avoiding situations where the person commonly drinks excessively.

10. After the Incident:

Impact: Once the person is sober, discuss the incident calmly. Express how their behavior affected you and set clear boundaries for the future.

11. Consider Professional Help:

Impact: If the person has a pattern of aggressive behavior when drunk, encourage them to seek professional help for substance abuse and anger management.

12. Protect Yourself:

Impact: Know when to prioritize your safety above all else. If you ever feel in immediate danger, do not hesitate to contact emergency services.

Dealing with an angry drunk is difficult and requires prioritizing your safety, no matter what.

How to Avoid a Drunk, Angry Spouse From Raging at You When You Can’t Get Away

When you can’t physically remove yourself from a situation with an angry drunk person, it’s critical to employ strategies to minimize the risk and de-escalate the situation.

Here are some steps you can take:

1. Stay Calm and Composed:

Impact: Your calm demeanor can help prevent further escalation. Take deep breaths and keep your voice steady and soft.

2. Avoid Confrontation:

Impact: Do not argue or try to reason with an angry drunk. Avoid any statements that could be perceived as accusatory or confrontational.

3. Use Short, Simple Responses:

Impact: Respond with short, non-provocative phrases like “I understand” or “Let’s talk about this later.” This can help diffuse the immediate tension.

4. Acknowledge Their Emotions:

Impact: Sometimes, acknowledging their feelings can help calm them. Phrases like, “I can see you’re very upset,” can show empathy without escalating the argument.

5. Redirect the Conversation:

Impact: Try to gently steer the conversation to a neutral topic. This can sometimes distract them and reduce their agitation.

6. Use Non-Threatening Body Language:

Impact: Keep your body language open and non-threatening. Avoid crossing your arms, making sudden movements, or standing too close.

7. Create a Safe Zone:

Impact: Position yourself near an exit if possible, and ensure there are no objects around that could be used as weapons. This helps if you need to leave quickly.

8. Agree to Disagree:

Impact: If they are arguing a point, agree to disagree without pushing back. This can sometimes end the argument without admitting fault.

9. Offer a Solution:

Impact: If appropriate, offer a simple solution that can be acted upon later, such as, “Let’s sleep on this and talk when we’re both calmer.”

10. Limit Alcohol Access:

Impact: If possible, remove or limit their access to more alcohol, which could further fuel an angry drunk.

11. Call for Help:

Impact: If you feel unsafe and the situation is escalating, discreetly call a friend, family member, or even law enforcement for assistance.

12. Practice Self-Care:

Impact: After the situation has calmed, ensure you take care of your own emotional and physical well-being. Talk to a trusted friend or counselor about the experience.

More Tips to Protect Yourself From an Angry Drunk

There are a few additional considerations to keep in mind when dealing with an angry drunk person, especially if you cannot leave the situation:

1. Know Their Triggers:

Impact: Understanding what typically sets them off can help you avoid those topics or actions. This can help in preventing escalation.

2. Stay Neutral:

Impact: Avoid expressing strong emotions, whether anger or fear, as these can fuel the person’s rage. Maintain a neutral, non-reactive stance.

3. Use “I” Statements:

Impact: Frame your responses with “I” statements to avoid sounding accusatory. For example, “I feel uncomfortable when this happens” is less likely to provoke than “You always do this.”

4. Defer Decisions:

Impact: If they are demanding answers or decisions, defer these until they are sober. Calmly say that it’s better to discuss important matters later.

5. Ensure Your Safety:

Impact: Identify potential escape routes and make sure you have a phone accessible to call for help if needed.

6. Plan Ahead:

Impact: If you know you’ll be in a situation where this might happen, plan ahead. Inform a friend or family member of your whereabouts and arrange for regular check-ins.

7. Use Active Listening:

Impact: Show that you are listening by nodding and making brief verbal acknowledgments. This can sometimes calm them by making them feel heard.

8. Avoid Physical Touch:

Impact: Unless you are certain it will calm them, avoid physical touch. It can be misinterpreted and escalate the situation.

9. Stay Safe Physically:

Impact: Be mindful of your surroundings and avoid being in confined spaces where you can’t easily leave. Stay near exits if possible.

10. Prioritize De-Escalation Over Being Right:

Impact: Focus on de-escalating rather than winning the argument or proving a point. Your safety is more important than being right.

11. Have an Exit Strategy:

Impact: If things get too intense, have a pre-planned exit strategy. This might involve a safe word with a friend to come help or a place you can retreat to.

12. Seek Professional Advice:

Impact: If this is a recurring issue, consider seeking advice from a counselor or therapist on how to handle these situations more effectively.

13. Long-Term Considerations:

Impact: Reflect on the long-term viability of the relationship if these incidents are frequent. Ongoing exposure to such behavior can be harmful to your mental and emotional health.

These additional considerations can help you navigate the immediate situation more effectively and keep yourself safe. Have you tried any of these strategies before, and did they help?

Wrapping Up

Navigating interactions with an angry drunk requires both empathy and assertiveness. By prioritizing your safety and well-being, you can effectively manage these situations.

Remember, setting boundaries, staying calm yet firm, and knowing when to seek help are critical strategies.

It’s important to recognize that the behavior of an angry drunk is not your responsibility to fix, and prioritizing your own emotional and physical safety is paramount. With these strategies in mind, you can navigate these challenging situations with greater confidence and resilience.

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